Melbourne prides itself on its fantastic dining scene, with countless restaurants and cafés located on rooftops, down laneways, underground, in the suburbs, along the river… in short, everywhere! The city is a total melting pot of cultures and this is reflected in the wide array of food options available, including everything from award-wining restaurants and cool hipster joints to iconic cheap eats and even food trucks. Even the harshest of critics should be impressed by this foodie paradise, so here are my top five Melbourne eateries for you to feast at.
Attica is the only restaurant in Australia to have been included in the World's 50 Best Restaurants, so make sure you book well in advance to bag one of the hottest tables in town. Head chef Ben Shewry is dedicated to sustainability, which is evident in his unique way of selecting and combining the freshest of ingredients to delicious effect. Opt for the seafood or treat yourself to the degustation menu to sample Shewry's finest.
ROCKPOOL BAR & GRILL
If you're looking for a good piece of steak, then Rockpool Bar & Grill in Southbank is the restaurant for you. You'll be greeted by the tantalising smells of the open grill as soon as you walk in – and those beef cravings will definitely be satisfied by a meal here. Overlook the rest of the menu at your peril though, as the oysters, lobster and pork belly are all worth a try … if you still have any stomach space left that is!
This casual eatery is a great spot for lunch – think minimal décor, natural lighting and no pretentions, all set in a wonderfully comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. The food here looks simple but don't let that fool you; their menu is extensive and impressive, taking in everything from oysters, appetisers, charcuterie, fresh salads, fish and meat, cheese and, of course, dessert. I highly recommend their whole slow-roasted lamb shoulder, or the full English breakfast or shakshouka (poached eggs in a spicy tomato sauce) at their super filling brunch.
VUE DE MONDE
Talk about fine dining with a view! Complementing their impressive 360-degree view of the city, Vue De Monde's modern interior is spacious, stylish and sleek. If budget isn't an issue, try their 10-course degustation – you'll be extremely full but totally satisfied! Each dish comes with a detailed explanation of the ingredients and cooking techniques used, making you appreciate and savour every single bite all the more.
Thai food in Melbourne? Don't judge it until you've tried it! Pop Art-inspired hipster joint Chin Chin is located on Flinders Lane and always packed to the brim, with pumping music and cheeky waiters who have become an institution in the city's dining scene. The curry here is always a safe bet, but my favourite has to be the barramundi and caramelised pork salad. Equal parts salty, sweet and spicy (if you add some chilli), it runs riot with your taste buds to produce a true gastronomic delight. If you can't decide what to order, try "feed me". They'll serve you a selection of their favourites for only AU$69! Don't forget to jump on the bandwagon and take a Chin Chin photo to post on your Instagram… who can resist some good #foodporn, right?