The pulsating epicentre of the uber chic Curtin House on Swanston Street, Cookie is a restaurant that knows what it's doing. Serving a tempting menu of Thai food with a modern Australian twist, this Asian fusion dining destination is an inner-city institution.
Cookie encourages sharing, and with exotic meals like chicken and lemongrass salad with banana blossom on offer, you'll have trouble picking just one to try. The stir fried peppered snapper with celery and spring onions is a gastronomic pleasure, as is the deep fried lotus root salad with cashews, watercress and tomato. Try to leave room for desserts like tapioca and sweet corn pudding with mango ice cream, and basil and lime panna cotta with strawberries.
The staff here bustle about in a whirlwind of paisley-patterned shirts and the beer flows freely from the taps of the gorgeous centrepiece bar. The decor is inspired by children's literature, with large whimsical murals adorning the walls and little golden books delivering the bill. Around the back of the bar is a dimly lit lounge oozing style and sophistication, the perfect place to peruse the extensive drinks menu including a variety of imported brews. Expect to wait for one of Cookie's famous cocktails, but true artistry takes time and your patience will be rewarded.
A self-described Eating House and Beer Hall, Cookie will take reservations for part of the restaurant but also keep a section free for those who live a little more spontaneously. Cookie is popular almost every night of the week, so don't be surprised if you're invited to take a seat at the bar and shoot the breeze over a beer while a table frees up. Take the opportunity to try something from their bar menu, appetisers like prawn firecrackers with avocado and coriander sauce will whet your appetite.