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Best restaurants in Melbourne


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I'm making my first trip to Melbourne, and was hoping to get opinions on what the best few restaurants in Melbourne are, of any type. I'm completely open in terms of food types, and price isn't an issue. I'm simply looking for the can't-miss food experiences in town. Any input is appreciated.

Thanks!

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Cutler & Co.... miss it at your peril. there's a thread in here somewhere...

i'd personally avoid anything at the Crown Casino, but others might beg to differ.

in the City, Kenzan for their omakase sushi.

also the French Brasserie for a great bistro meal and fine wine.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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LPShanet,

I love Tempura Hajime in South Melbourne. No menu options, only a fixed tempura set which the sensei will fry before your eyes. I think it only seats around 14 people a night. Great ingredients and remarkable value at around $72 per head.

I also loved Circa, but the staff have been cleared out since I last ate there. Their chef Andrew McConnell is now at Cutler & Co so it is probably worth checking out as PCL recommended. Their excellent pastry chef Philippa Sibley is now with Bistro Guillaume at Crown.

Would you be willing to leave Melbourne and check out rural Victoria? I can highly recommend The Lake House at Daylesford and The Royal Mail Hotel at Dunkeld, by the Grampians National Park. Both are quite far out but offer very decent accommodation, so you can park the car and enjoy their great wine offerings without worry. They're also in interesting areas with plenty else to do for visitors.

Edited by Julian Teoh (log)
Julian's Eating - Tales of Food and Drink
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Julian// (irt Circa) What about Matt Wilkinson? I was impressed with his stuff more than Andrew Mc.

I would recommend going to Crown - at least once during your visit. I thought the $9.50 Potato Chips at The Brasserie was the best chips I've had ever... yea... a weird thing to be impressed with, huh?

Kenzan is alright... and I think they have a special on otoro at the moment...? (could be over but they did last time i went a cpl months back) you probably don't want to miss that. O man I want to eat toro now...

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Julian// (irt Circa) What about Matt Wilkinson?  I was impressed with his stuff more than Andrew Mc.

I would recommend going to Crown - at least once during your visit. I thought the $9.50 Potato Chips at The Brasserie was the best chips I've had ever... yea... a weird thing to be impressed with, huh?

Kenzan is alright... and I think they have a special on otoro at the moment...? (could be over but they did last time i went a cpl months back) you probably don't want to miss that.  O man I want to eat toro now...

Jkim

Per my earlier email, I haven't eaten at Circa under the new regime, so could not give an honest account of how it is now. I mean, I guess I could recommend a place I haven't eaten at, but that wouldn't be worth much.

Nothing wrong with Matt Wilkinson. Although I can't actually say that hand across my heart, seeing as I haven't eaten at Circa under the new regime, so could not give an honest account, etc. :raz:

Julian's Eating - Tales of Food and Drink
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One of Australia's food magazines, Gourmet Traveller, just released their 2010 Australian restaurant guide.

In their top, three star, category the only Melbourne restaurant to make the cut was Shannon Bennett's "Vue de Monde."

In response, many Melbourne correspondents have been extremely surprised by the omission of Jacques Reymond, MoMo, and Cutler & Co from the top ranking.

I'd put all four of these on your list of possibilities.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Another vote for Cutler&Co. And his other place, Cumulus Inc. Just as good as Cutler & Co but a simpler style of food and a cosier atmosphere. Especially lovely at breakfast time with the sun coming in the windows.

Bistrot D'Orsay is miles better than the French Brasserie imo. My husband much preferred it to Bistro Vue also, though for me the quality was similar.

Gills Diner does rustic dishes of a marvellous quality.

We found Bistro Guillame's dishes to be excellent, but without that je ne sais quoi that justifies such prices. Phillippa Sibley's dessert, however, was truly special.

It's been quite a few years since we last went to Jacques Reymond, but they've gained a hat since then, so I feel justified in recommending them.

Mo Vida and Bar Lourinha are always worth a visit.

If you're going regional, allow me to add the Healesville Hotel.

There Will Be Bloody Marys
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Jkim

Per my earlier email, I haven't eaten at Circa under the new regime, so could not give an honest account of how it is now.  I mean, I guess I could recommend a place I haven't eaten at, but that wouldn't be worth much.

Nothing wrong with Matt Wilkinson.  Although I can't actually say that hand across my heart, seeing as I haven't eaten at Circa under the new regime, so could not give an honest account, etc.   :raz:

I haven't been to Circa recently either. However, I must say I was really impressed with Matt's stuff at Alevansi, where he was running the show solo before he moved to Circa.

Edited by jkim (log)
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Another vote for Cutler And Co. I'd say that's the essential place to visit.

Apart from the high end restaurants, to really get a feel for Melbourne food, you would consider doing the following:

* Have a bratwurst from the Bratwurst Shop at the Queen Victoria Market

* A bowl of pho from Richmond, Springvale, or Footscray

* Pizza from a place like D.O.C., Cafe Bedda or the like

* Breakfast in one of the cafes in Melbourne laneways

* Coffee at one of the top qualify cafes in town

* Nonna-style Italian at somewhere like Tiamo, Pelligrini's or the Waiters Restaurant

* Queueing up for a table at Cicciolina's in St.Kilda

* Hamburger at Greasy Joes in St.Kilda

* Roast duck/pork at Pacific Seafood BBQ House in Richmond

* Late night drinks in a bar hidden down a laneway

Bourdain raved about the Royal Mail ("one of the great meals of the world") in his recent visit to Melbourne.

The Royal Mail is about a three to four hour drive outside of Melbourne.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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Great stuff, everyone. Thanks so much. I'm there now, and almost certainly going to Cutler and Co., and Vue de Monde at some point this week if possible, and going to try to hit as many others as time allows. Unfortunately, since it's not a pure vacation, I don't think we'll be able to get too far out of town, though some of the more distant options do sound good. Better saved for the next trip, it would seem.

Thanks again!

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It's hard enough getting a table at Culter And Co., but it's going to be almost impossible now.

According to a report on twitter, Cutler And Co. has won the Age Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year and Andrew McConnell has won chef of the year. Both a thoroughly deserved.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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