For the food-driven among us, Melbourne is a wonderland of all things tempting and delicious. From the lovingly prepared cold-drip coffees and sous-vide eggs and hidden laneway cafes, to the haute cuisine of top fine dining establishments, Melbourne has it all in spades when it comes to culinary innovation.
Here’s just a handful of reasons why Melbourne’s best cuisine is a must-try.
1/ Melbourne is home to unique cuisines from around the globe
Think of any cuisine, no matter how obscure or unusual, and you’ll find a fantastic restaurant serving up just that in Melbourne. Aside from the usual suspects like Italian, Chinese, French and Thai, Melbourne is home to a growing number of niche restaurants offering a taste of exotic places.
South African cuisine melds flavours and dishes made by indigenous people of Africa with more Western styles of cooking. Locals share a love of barbecue (typically called by its Afrikaans name, a “braai”), and meat is the centrepiece of a meal on many South African dinner tables.
At The Meat & Wine Co. Southbank, Hawthorn East and South Yarra, we take authentic South African flavours and combine them with top-quality meat and produce. Every cut of steak on our menu is prepared to perfection on the grill – just like a traditional South African braai. And on our wine menu, you’ll find a selection of varietals and blends straight from the vineyards of South Africa.
Yemen, in southern Arabia, is an ancient country steeped in history. Yemenite Jews migrated to Israel in the mid-20th century, taking with them the malawach – a traditional Yemeni flatbread served with sliced boiled egg and salsa or with chunky roast eggplant and salad. Try this traditional dish at Falafel Omisi at 359 Hawthorn Rd in Caulfield.
Burmese House at 303 Bridge Rd in Richmond has been serving traditional dishes for over 20 years. For an authentic taste of Burma, try their deep-fried marrow fritters with tamarind, pickled green-tea leaf salad with dried prawn and fried mixed peas, or one of the menu’s 20+ curries.
Kluska Restaurant at 2/573 Burwood Hwy in Knoxfield is a stalwart of the Polish dumpling aka pierogi. Try them stuffed with various fillings – beef, chicken, potato, cheese and more – and polish it all off with a Polish beer or a nip of vodka. Na Zdorowie!
Denmark House fuses traditional Danish cuisine with contemporary culinary techniques in dishes like gravlax, herring, meatballs (frikadeller) and mayonnaise-rich chicken salad (kyllingebryst). It’s located at 428 Little Bourke St, so if you’re wondering what to eat in Melbourne CBD, this spot could be just the ticket.
2/ Melbourne was named one of the world’s best food cities
Food and travel website Thrillist gave Melbourne one of the top accolades in its guide to The World’s 18 Best Food Cities. The criteria? “Uniqueness of traditional food/drink style, quality of restaurants/bars, diversity of cuisines, and also, for the most part, a feeling that it is changing and improving.” That’s a pretty impressive rap, even if we do say so ourselves.
3/ Melbourne is a mecca for celebrity chefs
From gastronomic wizard Heston Blumenthal and MasterChef’s own George Calombaris to Neil Perry, Benjamin Cooper, Ben Shewry and more, Melbourne is a favourite stomping ground for celebrity chefs from near and far. So, whether you’re a local or visiting, you can get a taste of cuisine envisaged by some of the world’s best-known and well-loved chefs on the streets of Melbourne.
See for yourself why The Meat & Wine Co is one of the best dining experiences in Melbourne. Make a reservation online.