Tipo 00 is a restaurant and pasta bar co-owned by former Vue de Monde head chef, Andreas Papadakis. The cosy 42-seat restaurant is aesthetically pleasing (as in, very Instagrammable), with its copper light fixtures and white marble bench tops. Get ready for inventive Italian dishes like raspberry and juniper pappardelle with wild boar bolognese, squid and bottarga on squid ink tagliolini, and saffron spaghettini with spanner crab. Like many other Melbourne CBD restaurants, Tipo 00 also offers a chef’s menu, which includes a selection of dishes tailored by the kitchen team.
Flower Drum is a fine dining Cantonese restaurant in Melbourne’s CBD, which has been named one of the world’s top 50 restaurants by Restaurant Magazine on numerous occasions. From its a la carte menu, you can choose dishes like jellyfish, abalone, paspaley pearl meat and sea conch. Flower Drum also has both lunch and dinner banquets available, and you can order an entire roast suckling pig if you give them two days notice.
Florentino began in Melbourne in 1928, before becoming Grossi Florentino in 1999 when the Grossi family took over ownership. The Italian restaurant has three areas: Florentino, Cellar Bar and Grill. Florentino has both a ‘Gran Tour’ tasting menu and an a la carte menu. Expect experimental dishes like tuna with buffalo yoghurt, scallop and oscietra caviar, and seaweed taglierini with prawn and bottarga. The extensive wine list at Florentino also features the best wines from both Australia and Italy.
Heston Blumenthal is a British chef who needs no introduction. Together with its two Michelin star counterpart in London, Dinner’s menu features unique and modern dishes that are inspired by both Australian and British history. Some elements date back to the 13th century. Start with Meat Fruit, which dates back to the 1500s. A main meal from the 15th century is the roast fish with green sauce and eucalyptus. Then there’s the perfect Australian-inspired dessert: ice cream with Vegemite.
Located on the 55th floor of the Rialto Building, Vue de Monde is owned by multi award-winning Australian chef, Shannon Bennett. Open for lunch and dinner, guests at Vue de Monde have the tough decision of choosing between the Seasonal Tasting Menu and the Chef’s Tasting Menu. Some of the items on the Chef’s Tasting Menu include mud crab, suckling pig with cabbage, and jasmine milk ice cream. After visiting Vue de Monde, why not stop for a nightcap at Lui Bar?
MoVida is an iconic tapas bar located along the ever-popular Hosier Lane. You can always expect to be served the best seasonal Australian produce at MoVida, to “showcase and celebrate Spanish food culture and flavours.” Popular tapas dishes include anchovy with smoked tomato sorbet, sardine and smoked eel on semolina cracker, and fried pig’s ear sandwich. Known as the Original MoVida, you can also stop by MoVida Aqui, MoVida Next Door and Bar Tini in the CBD as well.
Located in Duckboard Place (another quintessentially Melbourne laneway), Tonka consists of a dining room and the walk-in Thali Bar, with a cocktail list that celebrates Indian spice and a small food menu. Specialising in modern Indian cuisine, every dish on the Tonka menu is complemented by the award-winning wine list. After sampling Tonka’s Butter Chicken, petuna ocean trout or madras duck breast, dig into dessert. The Tonka take on Bombe Alaska includes sweet corn and coconut with caramelised cornflakes.
Established in 2008, Cumulus Inc. is an award-winning restaurant by Andrew McConnell. Open all day every day, Cumulus Inc.’s contemporary menu features charcuterie and cheese options, as well as salads and larger dishes. A popular option is to choose the Chef’s Selection Menu, which includes samples of top dishes, and is available for both lunch and dinner. Don’t miss sampling some freshly-baked madeleines for dessert as well, which are filled with either lemon curd or nutella. Another renowned McConnell restaurant in the CBD is Supernormal.
Chin Chin is one of Melbourne’s most beloved dining establishments. This means you’re guaranteed to wait, no matter what day of the week you visit. Fortunately, patrons can drink away their wait time downstairs at GoGo Bar, where you can sample Asian-inspired cocktails like the aptly-named Millennial Housing Crisis or Kentucky Cargo. Upstairs, Chin Chin specialises in Southeast Asian dishes. Choose from an assortment of curries, stir fries and salads, or say ‘feed me’ to your server and they will serve you a selection of Chin Chin’s most popular dishes. No Chin Chin meal is complete without the Chin Chin Trifle or Vietnamese Iced Coffee Panna Cotta.
Since 1999, Ezard has been one of the city’s most respected fine dining establishments. Owner and chef Teage Ezard was a forerunner in ‘Australian freestyle’ cooking, which involves chefs taking techniques from other countries and applying them to Australian produce. Specialising in modern Australian fare, Ezard has a variety of options for lunch and dinner, including an eight-course meat, vegetarian or vegan tasting menu, as well as a four-course pre-theatre tasting menu.