10 March 2010

Where should I eat in Melbourne: Visiting 24–30 April 2010 (10 Mar 2010)

Easter in Melbourne

I've always enjoyed my visits to Melbourne when I get the chance. The food, bars and art culture is great — if only the weather was more reliable :-). I've been keeping a wish list of places to remember but I'm always looking for more. If you have any fantastic food and bar gems you'd love to share please let me know. Great food, reasonable prices and authenticity are always high on my agenda but I'm also willing to spend a pretty penny if it's absolutely worth it. I really want to know what Melbourne has to offer. Please help!

Places on my wishlist to visit:
Laksa Me, Melbourne CBD - Laksa
Noisette Boulangerie Pastisserie, Port Melbourne
Via Volare, Fitzoy - Pancakes
Little Malaysia, Melbourne CBD
Der Raum, Richmond - Cocktails
Lorca, Melbourne CBD - Breakfast

Food places in mind to revisit:
St Kilda Markets - Sundays, Cake shops
Brunetti, Carlton - Cakes
Brunswick Street, Fitzroy - Cafes/Shops
Half Moon Cafe, Coburg - Falafel
Lygon Street, Carlton - All things Italian
Pellegrini's Expresso Bar - is it still cheap and popular?
The European, Melbourne CBD
Gingerboy, Melbourne CBD
Queen Victoria Markets, Melbourne CBD

Bars in mind to revisit:
Gin Palace - I'm a G&T fan

Culture in mind to revisit:
National Gallery of Victoria / Ian Potter Centre
Crown Casino - watching outdoor fire towers at night

Main reason for visiting Melbourne this time:
agIdeas: 27-29 April 2010

Memorable and artistic dessert from Maris Restaurant, Malvern

View Melbourne Visit Wishlist in a larger map


Jetsetting Joyce (MEL: HOT OR NOT) said...

Good choices Simon! I'd add the following to your list - I think they're quintessentially Melbourne:

Movida Aqui
Baker D Chirico
City Wine Shop
The European
Von Haus
Rooftop Bar
Madame Brussels

Happy eating!
Jetsetting Joyce

joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

Hi Simon,
My partner and I will be in and around Melbourne around the same time as you, and we didn't realise it was such a bad time to go because of the Grand Prix .... it will certainly be a busy city at the time. The only place we've planned on dining at is Jacques Raymond. If you'd like to catch up whilst we're there, let me know.
One great place to try in Melbourne is Ginger Boy (http://www.gingerboy.com.au/), and don't forget the other end of Acland Street in St. Kilda, where there is the great Il Fornaio cafe and also Lau's Family Kitchen.

Cougar Vox said...

Interestingly, I had just started lists for both Sydney and Melbourne based on the Age/SMH good food awards ... I suppose you can access those lists easy enough:

You will see on this list: Vue de Monde, which is one of those 'once in a lifetime' places--from what I hear, definitely a drop-dead-knock-down-gorgeously-pretty penny. a good addition to the list!

You could also add to the list:
-the cheescake at CERES cafe in Brunswick East
-Jimmy Watson's in Lygon St, a classic pub with moderne cuisine and EXCELLENT wine (just ask for their recommendation with whatever you get)--we always take family here and then go to Brunetti's after for dessert.
-Balha's - a Middle Eastern bakery (think baclava x 1,000,000) in Brunswick on Sydney Road, open till very late at night.
-The Waiters' Restaruant: where waiters go! very cheap, generous serves and excellent no fuss cuisine, very small place so go early and expect a wait.
-the felafel at Half Moon Cafe COBURG--but I think we brought you here on one of your last visits? Our friend from Adelaide comes to Melbourne twice a year just to eat there!!!
-Cookie's &/or Toff in Town ... kinda sorta parta the same place ... plus it is a late nite venue ...

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Outside of Melbourne if you have the time, the Royal Mail at Dunkeld!

Vix said...

If you are a pizza lover, try Tazio in Flinders Lane. My personal recommendation is the Porco Carne pizza (pork & veal meatball). Mmmm I try and get there every time I hit Melbourne :)

Anonymous said...

ACMI - australian centre of the moving image!!

Anonymous said...

You must must must go to STALACTITES. Its 24 Hours a day 7 days a week and has the BEST souvlaki in all of Melbourne!
A visit to Melbourne is not complete without a 2am souvlaki from Stalactites!!

Also Movida Next Door is good and Bistro Giulliame (downstairs)

Bean Sprout's Cafe said...

please go to Horoki Casual dining http://beansproutscafe.blogspot.com/2009/04/horoki-casual-dining-bar.html

its very very good... just opposite Laksa me. (I really like Laksa me but many people said their noodle is too soft so I am not sure u will like it or not.. but I really like the soup)

and Vue de monde is the first place I had the degustation and its still the most memorable meal for me.. highly recommend !

mm.. I will tell you more places where I wish u to try it for me when I can think about it :D

Alex said...

Go to the Press Club and if your there Sunday go for their Sunday Kerasma lunch. I could not move afterwards.

Otherwise, you could visit Hellenic Republic, unfortunately it had not opened yet when we were down last, but I hear its really lovely honest food.

I agree with Yu-U but go for dinner, lunch is only obento lunch boxes so go for dinner if you can, I hear the set menu is great and different. Otherwise, just go for the novelty of entering their graffiti door where you think its a basement but its actually really nice and serene down there.

For some traditional Lebanese food that never ends, have the banquet at Ablas.

Don't forget the Jam Doughnuts at the QV Markets!

If you have time and just for fun, couldn't go last time I was down try a sushi burger, lol only in Melbourne. http://www.sushiburger.com.au/

Oh another one of my must trys when I am down there next time is the Bubble Bar and The Botanical for breakfast.

Can't wait to see the photos you are going take :)

Anonymous said...

It's not too late to suggest a place right?
The last time I was in Melbourne, I had a lovely breakfast at Creperie Le Triskel (32 Hardware Lane) - everything I tried was swoon-worthy. Savoury: we tried the blue cheese, prosciutto and walnut galette (buckwheat crepes); Sweet: crepes with chestnut puree and crepes with lemon juice & butter.
The wait staff are really friendly too - I was wavering between the chestnut puree crepes and the L'Originel which contains calvados but the waitress laughingly advised me to abstain from alcohol before 12pm...lol. Great lazy-weekend cafe.

Anonymous said...

Hi Simon, My list?
i) Der Raum for mindblowing cocktails
ii) Supper Club - for trés civilized drinks & nibbles
iii) New Gold Mountain - high camp!
iv) Cutler & Co - beg borrow or steal a table
v) Cumulus Inc - if you can't land a table at Cutler
vi) En Izakaya - if you can leg it to woop woop (Balaclava)
vii) Monsieur Truffe - but only during second half of the week and at night, when you have that dessert wunderkind at work
viii) The Carlton Hotel (Bourke St) - the Gazebo/Winery on acid
ix) St Ali - great coffee
x) The Deanery - great value at lunch, as the chef is Robin Wickens, ex Interlude
My over-there and over-hyped list? Gingerboy (sorry, Joey); Longrain Melb (not a patch on ours in Sydney); Movida (not a patch on Bodega - but Movida Next Door is ok); Comme; Silk Road.
If you can land a booking, try Hajime - the tempura only degustation 14 seater wonder. Happy trails! Gobsmack'd

Simon Leong said...

hi guys, thanks for all the great suggestions. i wish i could take a few months off exploring all the places i haven't been to. it's never too late to add more if you can think of others. a couple of visits ago i checked out over 20 bars in 3 days so there's always a chance i'll be able to bar hop all the bar suggestions :-) i think i'll have to be more selective with the food options.

Simon Leong said...


Anh said...

UHm, great list! :)

I was thinking what to recommend and one Vietnamese restaurant comes to mind. (And I don't normally recommend a Viet restaurant :P). It's called Thanh Nga 9.

They have large menu but forget the Chinese influenced stuff. Go for the smaller special dishes. And you MUST MUST try the pancakes - both styles! (Actually you will be full from eating elesehwere so just come there for the pancakes lol). Rice paper rolls are authentic. Thumbs up. {No where in Australia have I tasted a better version of the pancakes}.


Anh said...

Also, little Malaysia is not that good. Laksa me is nice (haven't been back for ages though).

If you are out of idea for lunch, there's always Vue Cafe lunch box ;)

AnnieC said...

Hi Simon. Great blog! Came across it when I was searching for that Malaysian restaurant in Campsie.

I've just came back from good all Melbourne & my recommenation as follows:

1) St Ali - fab coffee & great breakfast menu. Saw your post on the sensory lab at DJs. Go to St Ali, its much better. They do not only your usual but Syphon, Cold drip, etc.

2) Vue de Monde - had the degus lunch. We had an excellent maitre d / waiter so that make for a wonderful experience. Its the first degus I had where I don't know what the next dish is! So it make it even more exciting.

3) Claypot King on Swanston St - open until 2am in the morning. Their chicken feet & pork spare ribs hot pot rice is the BOMB

4) Rockpool Bar & Grill - I recommend dinner over lunch service

Simon Leong said...

hi anh, thanks heaps for the vietnamese recommendation. i love good vietnamese.

hi annieC, thanks for the yummy suggestions. Claypot King sounds so good :-)

Simon Leong said...

roof top bars http://www.melhotornot.com/hot-siglo-bar-level2-161-spring-st-melbourne

Simon Leong said...

Madame Brussels http://www.atablefortwo.com.au/2010/03/23/madame-brussels-melbourne-cbd

Grace Tham said...

Hi Simon,

As a food-loving Sydney-sider, I really enjoy your blog!

I was in Melb recently to visit my pâtissier sister and here are some of our suggestions:

If there's one place you MUST book for a good dinner in Melb, it is


Trendy decor, amazing food and table service that plays like a well choreographed dance. Our faves for the night: Roast suckling pig, whole chicken baked in bread, violet ice cream with chocolate ganache and sour cherries - YUM!

Also, here's a second shout for ST ALI'S - best coffee around and for brekkie/brunch, try the 'Spanish Cousin' :)

CREPERIE LE TRISKEL is also great lil French cafe/creperie to duck into for a quick bite.

-grace t.

Grace Tham said...

Oh and how could I forget > THE PRESS CLUB by George Calombaris is another gem of a dining experience. Sunday lunch there proceeded by an afternoon nap is bliss. :)

-grace t.

Simon Leong said...

French crepes http://www.roulegalette.com.au by http://www.atablefortwo.com.au/2010/03/30/lose-yourself-in-melbourne-laneways

Anonymous said...

Hi Simon,

If you love pastries, you must not miss Baker D Chirico in Port Melbourne and The Dench Bakers in North Fitzroy.

Sydney Road in Brunswick is also a great place for foodies. Search these keywords in my blog if you like for more info. Have a great trip in Melbourne!

Simon Leong said...


nomnomnibblies said...

hmm i hope this isn't too late.. but you might want to go to shoya in the city. the shoya festive course from their degustation menu is pretty amazing


Simon Leong said...

hi nomnomnibblies, it's never too late to add suggestions. i think i've heard of this place before, possibly through your blog? i'll be able to keep all these recommendations for future trips to melbourne as well and have online for anyone else to refer to :-) i'm off next weekend to melbourne so still a week and a half away.

Simon Leong said...

Ramen Ya http://offthespork.blogspot.com/2010/04/melbourne-cbd-ramen-hunting.html

Adrian @ Food Rehab said...

Great List- but seriously, I'd skip Laksa Me.

I would head to Laksa King: http://www.eatability.com.au/au/melbourne/laksa-king/

Cheap, always packed and if you like your Laksa creamy, served in a big slupaliscious bowl...jackpot.

Simon Leong said...

Nobu http://www.noburestaurants.com/melbourne/index.html

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