Best Restaurants of Australia gift card
Posted 23 January 2012 - 03:02 AM
Posted 23 January 2012 - 03:51 AM
I've heard very good things (and it's not just me--they've been awarded in The Good Food Guide, etc) about the following:
The Grand Hotel, Richmond
Ladro (a pizza-focused place, the sort of thing I'd check out if I was in the area rather than making a special trip for)
MoMo (then again, I've also heard a few negative remarks, but hey, the Malouf couple always publish pretty books)
The Flower Drum is a Melbourne icon that's gone from having an excellent reputation to a shit one to one that's slowly, maybe, possibly becoming great again.
If it was me? Well, $100 isn't going to get you very far at Jacques Reymond (of course, you can top it up with cash and whatnot, so I guess you could consider it a nice discount), so I'd be looking at maybe the Grand or Mezzo--I'm meaning to visit those at some point in the near future. But I've been to Reymond. In your case, tho'? Jacques Reymond all the way.
And, when you've exhausted the voucher and are looking for things to eat, here are some places (maybe even in some kind of order, too) to check out:
Attica (Ripponlea--inner south, south-east, well worth booking in advance and making the trip)
MoVida, MoVida Aqui, MoVida Next Door (all in the CBD, well worth booking in advance/trying to get to a no-bookings table early)
La Luna (also in Carlton)
Cumulus Inc and Cutler & Co (CBD and, iirc, Brunswick or somewhere around there)
Rumi (Brunswick Nth? Brunswick something)--get the banquet
Libertine (close to home--Nth Melbourne)
Kenzan (sit at the sushi bar, order sushi and sashimi--it's in the CBD)
Burch & Purchese (I didn't care for it a whole lot, but if you feel like a trip to South Yarra they sell kind-of-interesting cakes)
Vue de Monde (the awesome value $70 lunch is a thing of the past, but the $150 four course meal is probably worthwhile--and too, you get a nice view of the CBD now)
Dainty Sichuan (South Yarra also--not amazing, no, but some of the dishes are good)
Chez Regine (whisk[e]y bar in the CBD)
Mamasita (CBD--if you can get in for, say, an early lunch--it's okay, but hardly worth the standard two hour lineup procedure)
The Point (Albert Park--only if 'roo is on the menu, really, as their 'roo steak is the best I've had)
The All Nations Hotel (Fitzroy, purely because everyone, at some point, needs to eat a burger that contains beef, chicken, bacon, a hashbrown, an egg, pineapple [this is Australia, after all] and maybe pineapple, plus wedges and a salad)
The Press Club (CBD--not amazing or anything, but a nice meal)
Andrew's Hamburgers (Albert Park--surely not the best burgers in Melbourne, as many will say, but a very good example of a 'fish and chip shop'-style burger)
Bistro Guillaume (CBD)
Dalmatino (Prt Melbourne)
Grill'd--all over the place
Travel for: The Lake House, Daylesford (go there for a few days, actually, as there are lots of nice places to eat and drink)
Avoid Lygon St and Chinatown--there are a couple of good restaurants in each of those places, sure, but mostly Lygon St and Chinatown are vile tourist traps
The Age Food Guide is a generally reliable source for recommendations. I've struck a couple of duds in it and its Sydney counterpart--Pier, Abla's, Pearl--but I've otherwise had meals that were good, great or excellent. It does miss a few places, every now and then, that really should get a nod (or, say, a better ranking than one hat), but on the whole it's at least worth Googling for the list they upload to their website upon the release of each year's guide (no need to throw down $30 on the book--if you're really keen to hear more about a place, you can always look up the menu or get some more feedback from Urbanspoon).
So. Yeah. Go to Jacques.
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between
Posted 23 January 2012 - 03:00 PM
I looked at Jacques Reymond website and realized that $100 probably won't cover half the bill. However, I don't mind spending extra.
I was so hoping that either Cumulus or Libertine would be on the list, but alas.
Thanks for the list of places to try. A lot of good eating will be done.
Posted 24 January 2012 - 12:21 PM
Blue Fire Churrascuria - Brazilian style grilled meats. Unfortunately - it's one of those "all you can eat" joints, meaning that the meat isn't of very high quality. Most of what we had was overcooked and dry. Popular with family groups and those on a budget.
Chillipadi - an Asian restaurant with an identity problem. It serves Malaysian, Thai, and Southern Chinese dishes and is distinctly not authentic. Don't bother.
Church St Enoteca - a good modern Italian restaurant. Recommended.
Fenix - Gary Mehigan's place. It's OK but a little pricey for what it is.
Flower Drum - I wasn't impressed the last time I went. There was nothing wrong with the food, it's just that you can eat as well for much less - the problem being you would be in a normal noisy Chinese restaurant. This isn't - this is a silver service restaurant serving good quality Chinese food, which is no better than many Chinese restaurants in town.
Grossi Grill - a much better eating experience than the restaurant. Food was great, prices reasonable.
Grossi Restaurant - something about this place just clashes. The food is amazing and imaginative, but the staid looking restaurant looks more like a classical establishment from the 1930's. Also very expensive for what it is.
Jacques Reymond - one of the best restaurants in Melbourne and definitely worth a visit. Where Vue and Attica are bold with flavours (much stronger tasting dishes and more adventurous flavour combinations) and avantgarde techniques, Reymond is more conservative. His cooking is simply more refined than any of his rivals and the flavours more subtle.
MoMo - we have been here a couple of times and we love it. I had no idea middle eastern food could be this good. Even a simple dish like crudites with za'atar and rose water is a thrill to eat.
Red Emperor - I may be a bit biased because the owner is a friend of mine, but I don't think I would be far wrong in saying that Red Emperor is one of the better Chinese restaurants in Melbourne. You are not paying Flower Drum prices, and the place looks like a typical Chinese restaurant (albeit one with a view) - but the cooking is refined and sensational and the service is "good enough" (by Chinese restaurant standards). I really rate it.
Takumi - good little Japanese restaurant. Despite the quality and the prices, it is surprisingly easy to get a table. This probably means that others don't rate this place as highly as I do ... I wonder why. Worth a visit.
The Botanical - I haven't been but I want to. Chef Cheong Liew is a Melbourne icon.
The Hotel Windsor - if you have ever been to a traditional English fine dining restaurant, where the vegetables are served seperate to the meat in a cloche by a waiter who puts the food on your plate ... this is it. The food is not great but is worth going for the experience.
... and a few not on the list:
Best restaurants in Melbourne: Attica, Vue de Monde, Jacques Reymond, Cutler & Co.
Must go restaurant: any of the Movida's.
Good fun food: Chin Chin, Coda, Mamasita, Gingerboy
Chinese restaurants: Tao Tao (Hawthorn, for dimsum), Red Emperor, Crystal Jade (the best Chinese restaurant in Chinatown).