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The Top 5 Restaurants in Melbourne

Home > Melbourne > Food and Wine | Restaurants | Fun Things To Do
by Sean Goedecke (subscribe)
Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published September 3rd 2011
Along with caf้s, restaurants are scattered thickly throughout Melbourne. Whether hidden in alleyways or paraded at the top of the Rialto Towers, almost all of them offer a satisfying meal and a great night out. Good food can be quite expensive, though, and it's reassuring to know that you aren't wasting your money. With that in mind, here are the five best restaurants in Melbourne.

Moroccan Soup Bar

On 183 St Georges Road, the Moroccan Soup Bar has been a favourite place to eat for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. There's no meat on the menu, true, but the vegie dishes won't leave you hungry. There's a fixed three-course banquet menu, which is quite cheap for the quantity and quality of the food offered. Most of the food is North African, and the d้cor matches it well. Naturally, the soups are the Moroccan Soup Bar's specialty – try the Egyptian-style dahl for a very filling meal. The best menu option is the 'mystery chickpea dish', a secret recipe made with organic ingredients that is guaranteed to make you come back for more. Want to know what it is? Visit the Moroccan Soup Bar yourself and give it a try.

MoVida Bar De Tapas

Tasteful and delicious.

If you've got money to burn, you can't visit Melbourne without checking out MoVida Bar De Tapas on 1 Hosier Lane, the restaurant that started this city's love of Spanish food. MoVida is the reason that every bar in Melbourne offers some kind of tapas – and it's a good reason. For those going with a group, share your dishes so that everyone can sample as many different tastes as possible. If you can't decide, why not let the kitchen order for you? Every dish is stellar, so you've got nothing to lose. One word of warning: don't show up without a reservation or you'll be turned away. You'll need to book at least a week in advance, if not a month. The food is also very expensive: it's worth it, but ordering more than you can eat could prove a costly mistake.

Vue De Monde

Vue De Monde
Not for the faint-hearted.

Strategically placed on Level 55 of the Rialto Towers, Vue De Monde is a foodie's delight. If you're willing to fork out incredible sums of money – so incredible that the waiters warn you about the cost at the door – you can get what is in all probability the best dinner in Melbourne. The poached egg is poached for sixty-four hours and accompanied by freshly-shaved truffle, and the sommelier is constantly on hand with wine selections that match each course. After the meal the head chef will give you a tour of the kitchen if you like, and if you order the Gastronome's menu – at $250 each, not counting wine – the head chef will pick your courses too. Perhaps for a little extra he eats them himself as well.


It's potato, but not as you know it.

In Ripponlea, at 74 Glen Eira Road, Attica is classy but not snobbish. The staff – unlike at Vue De Monde – are friendly and the head chef himself, Ben Shewry, is often seen chatting with patrons. Again, there's no weak spots in the menu. Try the beef tongue; it's thick but succulent, and is the perfect dish to convince someone that tongue is tastier than it sounds. One of their signature dishes is the snow crab: a crab dusted with horseradish snow, which surprisingly doesn't overpower the taste of the crab. The beer list, unfortunately, is bland and unimpressive – admittedly a minor complaint – with Coopers and Boag's dominating the list. If you're reading this, Attica, at couple of wheat beers would be an excellent match for a lot of your courses.

Camy Shanghai Dumpling

Finally we come to the best restaurant in Melbourne: Camy Shanghai Dumpling on 25 Tattersalls Lane in Chinatown. It's not the most expensive – far from it – nor does it provide the most delicious food. What it does do is provide an unforgettable dining experience. It's so well known, it almost doesn't need a review, and for good reason. The food is incredibly cheap and tasty in a guilty-pleasure sort of way, the atmosphere is loud and raucous, and the service is so atrocious you honestly have to assume they know about their reputation and are playing it up for laughs. Want a hot drink to wash your dumplings down? There's a free barrel of tea in the corner that tastes like someone soaked a lump of wood in hot water for a few hours. If you like Shanghai Dumpling, you'll love it – but if you don't, you'll really hate it. Give it a visit before deciding, though, as it really has to be experienced to be believed.

You wouldn't want to be going to one of these places every night. Most are expensive, and patronizing Shanghai Dumpling won't do wonders for your arteries. They're great places to treat a loved one to every now and then, but on most occasions you should consider other options. Do you know of a great restaurant that deserves to be on this list? Share it in the comments - we'd love to hear from you.
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Why? To taste the best food in Melbourne.
When: For dinner, whenever you want.
Where: All around the city.
Cost: From cheap to very expensive.
The Moroccan soup bar is defiantly one of my favourite restaurants. But the Hyatt in Melbourne serves AMAZING food also! Their buffet breakfast is to die for!!
By gem-a - reader
Tuesday, 6th of September @ 02:04 am
Looks divine. I have quite a liking for truffle. Im wondering how you could poach an egg for 64 hours. I cannot quite imagine it and I would think it would not be at a temperature that I would find desireable.

The Moroccan Soup bar looks like its worth a try.
By Jody Kimber - senior reviewer
Tuesday, 6th of September @ 04:47 am
Looks divine. I have quite a liking for truffle. Im wondering how you could poach an egg for 64 hours. I cannot quite imagine it and I would think it would not be at a temperature that I would find desireable.

The Moroccan Soup bar looks like its worth a try.
By Jody Kimber - senior reviewer
Tuesday, 6th of September @ 04:47 am
I'd add Gingerboy and Pearl to the list. Always consistently good, without being snobby or priced so high that you have to blow a week's rent just for dinner. The desserts at Pearl are mindblowingly good.
By Anonymous
Friday, 9th of September @ 06:11 am
New reader comment. Waiting for approval.
By Anonymous
Sunday, 16th of September @ 08:45 am
Vue Du Monde was designed by somebody who actually doesnt like to have a drink, I am all for atmosphere, but the menus, seats and overall feel are very over the top but in a way in which you cannot actually enjoy the experience below the surface, it has a 5 minute wow factor and no depth.
By BlackSmith Inc - senior reviewer
Wednesday, 18th of December @ 01:43 am
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