Top 10 Melbourne Pork Dishes
Melbourne is in love with pork belly, pork hock, pork ribs, charsu ramen and all things pork.
Here are our top finds for Melbourne's cracking pork dishes (no particular order) -
3. Red Spice Road
5. Mr Ramen San
6. The Roving Marrow
7. Munich Brauhaus
8. Chin Chin
9. Earl Canteen
10. Jinda Thai
1. Longrain - Caramelised Pork Hock - Little Bourke St
The Caramelised pork hock with chilli vinegar at Longrain is a melt-in-your-mouth delight. The pork is cubed then deep fried until it is crisp and has an irresistable sweetness. This is serious caramelisation that causes the pork to have a lovely stickiness. The chilli vinegar cuts through the sweetness like South African fast bowlers through the Aussie middle order. We ordered a second serving .
2. Huxtable - Korean BBQ Pork Ribs w Slaw - Smith Street Collingwood
Huxtable serves up killer Korean bbq pork ribs with spicy slaw and chilli gherkin. Sweet pork balanced with tangy slaw and the crunch of the acidic gherkin. The pork is oh so sticky. The slaw is superbly spicy. And the gherkin has some kick. The presentation is a delight to the eyes. Huxtable is my favourite "dude" food restaurant.
3. Red Spice Road - Pork Belly w Apple Slaw - McKillop St and QV CBD
Red Spice Road delivers a pork belly that ticks all the boxes. The flavour profile is perfect and bordering on genius with pork belly, apple slaw, chilli caramel and black vinegar. The black vinegar comes in a small jug and when poured over the dish hits the high notes.
I’m told it takes many hours to prepare this pork belly and it's cooked something like 3 times. The sweetness and the crunch of the large portions of pork belly were sublime and the combination with the slaw and black vinegar was amazing. We were all keen to go back for seconds – fortunately we were close friends and were able to share this dish without tension and dramas. OMG!
4. Bomba - Pedro Ximenez Braised Pork Jowl - Lonsdale
Bomba Bar is one of the hottest destinations in Melbourne with its killer ambience, exciting Spanish cuisine and a sexy wine and cocktail list. Jesse and Vanessa, Melbourne culinary royalty, have transformed former The Aylesbury - already a hit - into something even more rewarding as a Spanish Workers Bar.
But it's the epic Pork jowl that steals the show. In fact the Pedro Ximenez braised pork jowl with celeriac...
So indulgent. Amen to a fat cut of meat. Melbourne is pork belly crazy but check this jowl brother. It will change your life. Infused with sweet Sherry flavour and almost creamy, it wows. Important is the knob turnip celery to cut through the fatty goodness. The skin is super sticky and I ate it eyes shut.
Bomba's big busty meat dish is the standout track on a pretty heady album.
5. Mr Ramen San - Charsu Tonkotsu Ramen - MidCity Centre CBD
Many believe this to be the best ramen in Melbourne! Ever get a ramen craving? Want intensity of broth and decent noodles? Pork in a broth? Head Chef Roystan has been trained by Japanese masters in Ramen and has worked in high profile restaurants. According to Roystan, "What you get in Japan in terms of ramen, we produce here. Authenticity." Roystan brings the influences of Kyushu, a charming southern precinct of Japan to Melbourne. The Kyushu style is about pork bones in white broth, signature at Mr Ramen San.
Mr Ramen San traditionally greets you as you enter, making customers feel welcome from the start, and there are containers to put your belongings in while you eat, just like in Japan. Customers who have travelled to Japan (including The World Loves Melbourne) believe this is the closest ramen to Japan you will find in Melbourne; in fact the ramen is as you would find in Japan!
Charsu Tonkatsu Ramen is a signature dish that rewards you with it's white cloudy broth; intense in flavour having been cooked for over 10 hours in pork bones. As Ramen lovers know, it's all in the broth! There are no shortcuts in the cooking process (ie no soup stock from any supplier and definitely no MSG) and Roystan has a great passion for cooking authentic ramen. The Charsu roast pork is melt in your mouth, and the seasoned egg, wood ear mushroom and greens give a refreshing accompaniment. The World Loves Melbourne considers this dish the best ramen in Melbourne.
Mr Ramen San will provide you with FREE extra noodles on request!
6. The Roving Marrow - Free Range Pork Belly, smoked apple, celeraic - Carlton North
The Free Range Pork Belly, smoked apple, celeraic was an exceptional dish. The secret was in the smoked apple puree, giving a wonderful smoky hit to the dish, balanced by the sweetness of the apple. One of the better pork dishes we've had in a while.
7. Munich Brauhaus - Pork Knuckle - South Wharf
Indulgence overdrive with the massive pork knuckle at Munich Brauhaus; the good news is that it's also delicious. Crispy salty exterior with tender pork inside, this dish is a showstopper and guaranteed to satisfy your hunger. Comes with sauerkraut and creamy mash. The "go to" dish whenever we visit Munich Brauhaus and perfect with German beer.
8. Chin Chin - Caramelised Sticky Pork - CBD
Caramelised Sticky Pork has been on the menu as a signature dish since the restaurant opened in 2011 and has been a much lauded dish among diners.
The Caramelised sticky pork dish features rich and rewarding sweet sticky caramelised pork on the outside, and soft and juicy pork inside. The salad brings a sour dimension, a mix of Granny Smith apple strips, betel leaves, coriander and mint on a chilli vinegar dressing. The genius of the salad is that it brings a tang and pleasing acidity that offsets the pork. Chin Chin does not dumb it down on heat, and this dish comes with rewarding spice and kick. The caramelised sticky pork dish is aesthetically pleasing with a plethora of colours and textures. The colour of the sweet caramelised pork is mouth watering. The aroma of the dish is compelling, including the aroma of Asian herbs.
9. Earl Canteen - Crisp Free Range Pork Belly Sandwich - CBD
How good is this? A Melbourne favourite! The standout at Earl Canteen is the Crisp skin free range pork belly sandwich... I'm pleased to say it powers on after several years. I'm talking generous portion of tasty moist perfectly cooked pork with cabbage and fennel coleslaw, wilted silverbeet inside a fresh thick roll... The star attraction for me is the pork crackling! Oh yum! Never enough! (I don't care if it's salty!) And Earl Canteen still loads you up on the crackling.
Other amazing choices include the Lime Poached Chicken, Harissa Lamb, the Fish Fingers or the ever popular Meatballs. This is fresh - their slogan is "made today, not for tomorrow." Apart from sandwiches Earl Canteen put together fabulous salads including a healthy Superfood salad.
We discussed it in the office and a survey among well travelled corporates couldn't identify better sandwiches anywhere... New York rated a mention. But Earl Canteen is a global winner. Totally delicious creative fillings!
10. Jinda Thai - Pork Neck - Abbotsford
Jinda Thai has quickly established itself as a formidable modern Thai restaurant and has a large fan base.I find many Thai restaurants in Melbourne cook great pork neck dishes, and the Thai style marinated pork neck at Jinda Thai from the grill was top notch.Walk in to a vibrant modern space full of natural light, which has a different but alluring ambience at night with chic lighting.