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Melbourne’s food scene is easily one of the best in the world. There’s a huge variety of cultures in the city and this has meant the variety of food available is outstanding. Not only that, but the fine dining scene offers unparalleled gastronomic delights.

While people don’t move to Melbourne solely for the food, it’s definitely a drawcard. Take a digital tour of the food scene here (and then when you do decide to hop over the Tasman permanently, give us a call and we’ll help you move).

Cheap eats

There might be Michelin Hat contenders everywhere, but that doesn’t mean it’s only fine dining. Check out these cheap eats for your work-day lunch and weekend treats.

Butchers Diner is a 24-hour restaurant, known best for its meat. While there are plenty of vege options, it’s the meat that’s the winner on the day (and, night, and early morning). Burgers start at $9.50, or if you like skewered offal that tastes better than it sounds, you can pick up a stick for $7.50 for two. JFC (Japanese Fried Chicken) is served with Kewpie Mayo and sharply pickled daikon. Of course, you need desserts too- with sticky date pudding and Spanish donuts, you’ll be full to bursting by the time you leave.

Red Sparrow Pizza is all vegan- and all taste. If you thought that plant-based pepperoni is the stuff of nightmares, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised. While you have to head into Collingwood, it’s worth the trip for the traditionally cooked bases with the conventional toppings made meat-free.

Noodle House by Lao-Luangprabang is the type of place you’ll look past at first. Head up the stairs opposite Queen Vic Markets and find this Laotian noodle house. Everything is handmade and the broth is everything you dream a broth to be and more. You can have crispy pork belly, pork balls, or a vege bowl- just go easy on that chilli oil.

Very Good Falafel in Brunswick delivers what it says on the box. It keeps in its lane, with pita wraps and platters, with a choice of falafel, sabih and meat patties (ktzitot) served with dips, pickles and salad.

ShanDong Mama is the dumpling star in Melbourne. While they might be a little rustic, the food is outstanding. Fish dumplings use oily mackerel with ginger, coriander root and chives wrapped in paper thin wrappers. Or classic chicken and prawn dumplings, crunchy and golden on the outside with the familiar juicy filling. This is a family run restaurant and it’s far from fine dining, but the flavours of the food rival the best in town.

Gami Chicken and Beer rounds off our list of cheap eats. This Korean diner is great for a crowd- $42 for four litres of beer – and then a menu with chicken options that will make your stomach chirp. A whole chicken is $34, and approximately serves two people. Choose your dipping sauce and enjoy the cabbage coleslaw and pickled cabbage it comes with. The beer- and your company- make this place a great night out.

Fine dining

Melbourne is home to a huge number of award-winning chefs. You’ll find their restaurants sprinkled around the city, just waiting for a special occasion.

MoVida is a Spanish restaurant that has been around a very long time. It’s successful because the food and service is absolutely outstanding. You must book in advance, but it’s worth being organised for. Chargrilled calamari in ink sauce with burnt garlic oil. Or maybe you’d prefer the quail stuffed with pine nuts and raisins, served with a Catalan vegetable salad. Chef Frank Camorra produces consistently amazing meals.

Rockpool is an institution of Melbourne. Kiwi Neil Perry has taken the classic American steakhouse and made it the kind of experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life. The steak tartare with the hand cut, duck fat fries, the prawns, the dry aged steak served with sides that will blow your mind… Neil can do no wrong.

Attica is making waves in the Melbourne food scene, as much for the ethos as the food. Sustainable food sources and a huge emphasis on local ingredients make the menu here incredibly varied. While you expect kangaroo on the menu, the nod to the Aborigines indigenous food sources are refreshing.  NZ born chef, Ben Shewry has curated an outstanding, every changing menu- from hand picked crab and wattle bread, black ant lamingtosn to bunya bunya… get in there, mate, and delight your tastebuds.

Cutler & Co. is the child of Andrew McConnell. Bucket loads of Aussie-influenced dishes, there’s a seasonal menu of the finest local food. Freshwater crayfish, marron, dry-aged steak, Macedon Ranges duck, and you can finish with cheery blossom ice-cream or blueberry vacherin. Exquisite.

Vue de Monde is one of the top 100 restaurants in the world- and literally is at the top of Melbourne. On the 55th floor overlooking the Melbourne CBD, you’ll feast on sea urchin, caviar and bunya bunya. You’ll delight on sea parsley sorbet with herbs and flowers, or dry aged duck with leather wood honey, leek and desert lime. An incredibly luxurious experience that will linger in your memory.

Coda is a bistro that’s all about sharing small plates. It’s a French/ Vietnamese style restaurant with beautifully balanced flavours. You can eat divine Hervey Bay Scallops, expertly cooked with pearl tapioca and Yarra Valley salmon caviar. Or perhaps a steak tartare with quail egg, mustard cress and caper Melba toasts. Whatever you do, leave room for dessert. While the Vietnamese coffee is a must, the desserts are next-level. Pandan waffle ice-cream sandwich with coconut sorbet and gula melaka syrup? Yes please!

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal takes its cues from the blended Australia and English history. The resulting mash-up means kedgeree of grilled abalone and prawn, salamangundy of chicken oysters and braised radish, and roast pork chop served on smoked hispi cabbage and pickled cabbage. Kitchen trickery mix vegemite and sourdough crumble, or bone marrow with snails. Good luck.


moving to australia melbourne eating out

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