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20 Top Dishes You Need to Try in Melbourne

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What are the 20 must try dishes in Melbourne right now? Here is our selection - 

1. Tagliolini al Nero at Tippo 00

Tipo 00 is a touch of class when it comes to Italian dining; greeting you like a Nonna with warm hospitality while serving up fine rustic Italian fare. This is the sort of place you seek out to spend several hours imbibing. Don't let the office contact you. Tell the Secretary to put everything on hold; you're in a meeting. The romance of Italian dining is alive and well in Melbourne.

There's nothing like sitting down to a welcoming authentic bowl of top class Italian pasta (hand made of course). It warms the soul. Melbourne does Italian fare well, but some do it better.

Two dishes stood out in the Pasta menu immediately; the Pappardelle –braised rabbit, marjoram & hazelnut (how often do you see rabbit on a menu?) and the striking Tagliolini al nero – squid ink tagliolini, squid & bottarga. We settled on the Tagliolini al Nero upon the waiter's recommendation as it's such a unique dish.

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Perfectly cooked squid ink pasta with pieces of squid and compelling bottarga (salted cured fish roe) on top. We washed this rustic dish down with Sangiovese then Merlot, and longed to be able to enjoy long lunches here every week (with thoughts I may need to revive my banking career). Remember, you're in a meeting.

2. Fish Mackerel Dumplings at ShanDong MaMa

World class dumplings. The Pork and chives dumplings here are a resounding success; with the Melbourne dumplings and the Black fungus dumplings a sensation. When it comes to prawns in dumplings Mama uses the highest quality prawns, not shrimps. Being from the coastal city of Yan Thai in Shandong Province Mama has an affinity with the sea and loves to cook seafood.

But it's the Fish Mackerel Boiled Dumplings that steal the show! These are not only world class but among the world's best. My dining partner Jeffrey Merrihue CEO of global food site FoodieHub was able to cut through the dumpling with his chopsticks with ease; showcasing the lux mousse-like texture.

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A bite into these dumplings is a flavour explosion. The Fish Dumplings consisted of fresh mackerel fillet mixed by hand with coriander ginger and chives, into a mousse-textured filling, wrapped in home-made thin dumpling skin. The dumpling holds together well, and is tasty without being overpowering. This is a delicate dumpling. Fish Mackerel dumplings (above) are possibly the best dumplings in the world - and we're serious! A creamy mousse like texture from the lux Mackerel (expensive ingredient) dumplings.

Jeffrey Merrihue said of the Fish Mackerel dumplings, "This boiled mackerel dumpling is so tender that you can cut it with chopsticks. This wonder from Shandong is the masterful creation from ShanDong MaMa in Melbourne." Recently Melbourne restaurant icon Andrew McConnell heaped high praise on the dumplings at ShanDong MaMa in The Weekly Review: When Andrew finds the time to pop out for dumplings, ShanDong MaMa is always high on the agenda. "This is great, street-style restaurant that does everything from scratch," he says."The skins they make for their boiled dumplings are a little bit thicker than usual and are wheat-based. To me they are just incredibly authentic. They are filled with fish paste and fresh mackerel, coriander, ginger spring onion and chives."

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We tried the pan fried version of the Fish Mackerel dumplings, but felt the boiled version is superior with it's silky delicate texture.

Shandong Mama can lay claim to the best dumplings in Melbourne. Mama is a retired ex accountant from China who spent years cooking for friends in her social circle in Shandong Province. She's had the courage to start this homely restaurant with her delightful family here in Melbourne. Friends and relatives are part of the scene. Mama has a passion for healthy, delicate cuisine. It's exciting to see a Shandong Restaurant (one of the 8 major Chinese cuisines) in Melbourne.

3. Lamb, Cucumber at Dinner by Heston

Lamb & Cucumber (c. 1830)

Heston lovers can celebrate as Dinner by Heston has made its mark in Melbourne.

The sensory experience begins as you glide through the dark corridor, scented with woody smoke and heady leather aromas. Once inside, the fit-out is all class; think smooth timber tables, stylish circular banquets and lime green furnishings, all with that celebrated Yarra River view.

Not to be blurred with the wild magic of The Fat Duck, the food at Dinner is inspired by the historical dishes of the British Isles dating as far back as the 13thcentury. Heston has researched these dishes throughout his journeys and has developed with flecks of Australian ingredients. This fascinating culinary exploration is manifest throughout the menu which references the source of origin of each dish, from which one can feel the sense of place on the plate, reincarnated with each little bite. 

Service is superbly polished and the floor is graced with approachable ease. When explaining the bible of a wine list, there is real enthusiasm and an educational element from sommelier, Loic Avri. Have no doubt you will drink like a king from all corners of the globe, albeit with a hefty price tag.

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The composition of best end of lamb with roast cucumber hearts, delicately cooked sweetbreads and broad beans is a hugely satisfying dish. $56

4. Ricotta Hotcakes at Top Paddock

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The World Loves Melbourne has to say something about the Blueberry and ricotta hotcake at Top Paddock; it's arguably the best brunch dish in Melbourne.

Visually it doesn't get any better. How can you eat something so gorgeous?

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The Blueberry & ricotta hotcake with berries, organic maple, seeds and double cream is a stunning brunch dish that belongs in the arts centre as a colourful masterpiece. It is the Rembrandt and Monet of brunch dishes.

Wait staff tell us that one in three customers order this for brunch; and it’s one of the most photographed dishes in Melbourne. The taste is as amazing as the appearance; perfect fluffy hotcake with indulgent organic maple syrup, with freshness of berries and crunch of seeds. All scooped up with a dollop of double cream. Don’t tell your doctor. So good!

5. Mango Sorbet and Black Sesame Desserts at Din Tai Fung

Din Tai Fung is a dumpling house of note but its desserts also shine...


Enchanting, refreshing  and exciting are the Mango sorbet and the Black sesame desserts. Wow factor with these desserts; so refreshing and compelling yet simple. The Mango sorbet is a work of art with plenty going on - a must order dish.


6. Margherita Pizza at 400 Gradi

400 Gradi lays claim to being among the best pizza restaurants in Melbourne; famous for Naples style pizza.  This is authentic Italian of the highest order. Quality ingredients, pizza cooked perfectly at 400 degrees for around 90 seconds, and even a pizza dance by the staff several times during the night. Now Essendon has great pizza available.

400 Gradi is the brainchild of chef and V.P.N. Principal Johnny Di Francesco, who’s family hail from Naples in Southern coastal Italy – the home of ‘world’s best’ pizza. Johnny has a series of Pizza and Calzone outlets with the 400 Gradi restaurant being the flagship of the group.

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400 Gradi serves up World Championship winning Margherita pizza. So delicate with the strength in the simplicity, quality of the base, perfectly cooked and quality ingredients.

7. Peking Duck at Flower Drum

Flower Drum is one of the few Melbourne restaurants that can be spoken of as an icon over decades. This year Flower Drum, founded by Gilbert Lau, celebrates the fine achievement of 40 years as a world class restaurant (30th at current Market Lane address). We've had some icons come and go over the years, and only a few are at that level today. But 40 years and at the top! 

Consider it takes enormous effort and skill to stay at the top for so long. Impeccable service day after day, no matter the circumstances. Extraordinary skill in the kitchen when there may be a temptation to cut corners.

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Peking Duck is the signature here and the presentation is first class. Perfectly cooked duck with crispy skin and slight pink, and the decoration of the sauce on each plate is a different animal character. Pictured here with Jeffrey Merrihue CEO of The skilled waiters bring a portion of duck out and assemble the dish on a tray next to your table; with the glistening duck arranged inside translucent pancakes.

8. Baller bucket at Belle's Hot Chicken

Belles Hot Chicken the fried chicken sensation has "crossed the road" to add another destination this time in Richmond following its success in Gertrude St. Swan Street is alive with new premium openings and Belles Hot Chicken has launches with more soft landing than fanfare. With an amazing response in Sydney, Belles Hot Chicken is taking all before it.  We can't go past the Baller for value with 16 fried chicken wings and 4 sides. Drinks menu is attractive; whether beers on tap or in the can, and interesting soft drinks including a sweet tea. Menu additions for Richmond include some funky sandwich options.

Whether in Melbourne or Sydney, people queue for their succulent hot chicken. The fit out in Swan Street is modern but not opulent, still in the diner style. Service is engaging.

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Morgan McClone (right) outside the Gertrude St Belles Hot Chicken along with Matt Beyer.

Inspired by his time in Nashville, Charleston, Australian chef, Morgan McGlone, and his partners Reno Pontonio and Miranda Campbell have introduced the local specialty of Nashville hot chicken to ‘Melburnians’ and ‘Sydneysiders’, an undoubtable crowd-favourite since originally launching in Melbourne in 2014.

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Crunchy, juicy chicken is the star of the Belles menu. Choose from dark meat, wings or tenders and then season it with any one of the spice levels which are broken into five heats from southern, medium, hot, really hot or…. really f**kin hot…. We dare you!

Vegetarians can opt for fried Portobello mushrooms, and sides include classics like red cabbage slaw, mac-n-cheese, crinkle cut chips and three bean salad. To calm those tastebuds down, a selection of natural wines or house made soft drinks are available.

9. Deconstructed Tiramisu & White chocolate mini pots at Merricks Creek Winery

Weekend visit to Mornington Peninsula? A new hot destination on Mornington Peninsula with rave reviews is family run Merricks Creek Winery Cellar Door. Peter Parker is a Clinical Psychologist in South Yarra who has also been making some of the best Pinot Noir around for the last couple of decades. James Halliday gives this winery gem on Merricks Rd Merricks a 5 star rating. Image credit photo above: Jamie Durrant.

Roll up to the new Cellar Door, past the family photo on the wall to a world of charm in this fabulous vineyard setting. Peter Parker describes his labour of love as "a hobby gone mad" and is "obsessed with Pinot Noir" but understates the quality of the operation here.

Is this one of the best casual dining experiences in Victoria? You can imbibe on a raised deck right among the vineyards just below. You feel you're part of the winery action! The deck is an extension of the stylish new Cellar Door at Merricks Creek where wine meets food meets fashion/style. Peter and Sam on Cellar Door actually make the wine so engaging them about all things Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is a rewarding experience in itself!



Sweet share plates are quality offerings, with Kahlua espresso deconstructed tiramisu a huge hit with visitors to the winery. Check out their Instagram account and see all the foodie pics of this and other dishes!

The White chocolate mousse mini pots are moorish and delectable creamy bliss. The World Loves Melbourne can't get enough and the food and wine at Merricks Creek is a standout!

10. Tumeric pancakes at Little Sunflower Cafe

Little Sunflower has taken the cafe scene by storm since opening on Ormond Road Elwood in 2015. From day one Little Sunflower Cafe has attracted many health professionals. The World Loves Melbourne has been impressed by the authenticity of Little Sunflower Cafe; and the fact that it "goes the extra mile" when it comes to healthier eating. The cafe has attracted many from Pilates groups, Wellness Centre, Ostiopaths, Natropaths and other professionals. Little Sunflower Cafe has been well received by the health and wellness industry.

A hit since the cafe opened has been the Lemon, turmeric & quinoa pancakes, mascarpone, organic maple syrup. This is a pretty dish and packed with flavour, without the guilt. Lemon and turmeric pancakes are made with quinoa flour so they're gluten free. The pancakes also feature Pepe Saya mascarpone and organic maple syrup. Yum!!Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory with anti-oxidant properties, while lemon supports the immune system and aids digestion. Not totally guilt free but a bit of nutritional value for the pleasure.

11. One Piece Double Chilli Burger at One Plus Piece

Are you on board with spicy burgers? We think it's a trend in Melbourne. One Plus Piece Cafe has developed popular burgers with the locals impressed; serious burgers in Balwyn. For those in the eastern suburbs, One Plus Piece is the place to go for your burger fix!

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One Plus Piece Cafe is located in a premium pocket of Whitehorse Road in Balwyn, with banks, eateries and high end shops surrounding. The decor at One Plus Piece Cafe is lively with an assortment of figurines displayed on the wall, animation characters painted on one wall, posters, plants, books and other quirky objects, as Melbourne loves all things quirk. Playful and fun!

Acclaimed by iconic Burgers of Melbourne is the Double chilli beef, double bacon, double cheese, caramelised onion, mushroom, lettuce and their secret One Piece sauce. This burger is juicy bliss from the"get go". Soft brioche melts into double of everything; how we like it! The house made patty with chilli is outstanding and has that welcome kick to it. Cheese is also a standout, melted over the patties as we like it. Double bacon is not to be underestimated and a generous portion hits the spot. Caramelised onion is also generous and with the lettuce provides some crunch. Mushroom in the mix makes this a hearty substantial burger, but it's the taste and texture high that impressed. The secret sauce is sensational, adding to the already great burger. A pleasure to eat such a burger.

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12. Lasagne at Bossy Boots Cafe

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Says The Weekly Review, "The menu has the usual breakfast and lunch options, from eggs to salads to sandwiches, but BB is best known for Italian food made on site by Bossy Boots chef Nonna Nellie (Thomasina). Locals tell me her lasagna is the “best in Melbourne” – it’s cheesy, piping-hot goodness." 

Bossy Boots Cafe is the masterstroke of Melbourne chefs Ben Forehan and Rachael Browne who have taken their cooking talents working at notable Melbourne kitchens such as Stokehouse, Circa and Dench Bakers, and 10 years cooking to the rich and famous on super yachts, to create a unique foodie haven in Brighton.  The World Loves Melbourne stopped by for lunch to check out the amazing lasagne (meat and vegetarian) large gourmet sausage rolls and delectable salads.

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Nonna Thomasina (Nellie) is the Italian dynamo who serves up some of the finest home cooked food in Melbourne as part of the kitchen staff at Bossy Boots Cafe in Brighton. Nellie is a Melbourne culinary icon, and has been cooking for as long as she can remember. Her flair for Italian cooking continues to thrive and for the last 7 years Nellie has been a regular chef at Bossy Boots in Brighton. Always a smile on her face, and passion for Italian cooking, Nellie prepares everything by hand in exact measure, with fine technique and the best ingredients. No short cuts here. 

Nonna Nellie was born in Calabria, Italy 1952 (she's 62 years old) and has abundant energy and young looks (she runs and keeps fit). Both her parents died when she was 13 and Nellie came to Australia in 1969 at the young age 14. She has always been in the kitchen. She loves it. Even as a baby, she was in the kitchen with her mother and grandmother. She often recalls a story when her grandmother yelled something about "cooking something the right way, with no short cuts and plenty of love. If you don't do it the way I showed you, then get out of the kitchen!"

Cooking is Nellie's first love and she still cooks with the same philosophy that was passed from her mother and grandmother.  Amazingly, Nellie was 'cooking like a Nonna' when she was 7. With no formal training, she cooks beautifully. She cooks with her heart & soul. Her husband, Phil is a great man and cooks with the same love. He makes his own wine, limoncello, fresh sausages, salami and other cured meats. Ben Forehan the owner of Bossy Boots, went to school with their eldest son, Patrick.

The World Loves Melbourne watched Nellie in action and was amazed by her skill. Top chefs have trouble picking up the skill and nuance required to master Italian traditional cooking.  Nellie says Italian cooking "runs in her blood."

Nonna Nellie pictured rolling the cannelloni. The kitchen staff at Bossy Boots are highly trained and experienced with 5 chefs all having worked at this gourmet cafe for several years. Surely this is one of the best cafe kitchen teams in Melbourne.

13. Son in Law Eggs at Son in Law

Son In Law is a delightful modern Thai restaurant that hits the spot on all fronts. Traditional names are present but this is about modern Thai or "Thai with a twist". Good restaurants are run by good people and Tony is an excellent front of house, eager to please. We remember the previous restaurant Ayatana but this is something different. The World Loves Melbourne (David and Mario) was invited to sample the bright vibrant experience that is Son In Law.

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The fit out is light and airy with modern design; on trend with casual but smart Melbourne dining. Several dining spaces add interest; such as the downstairs dining area overlooking Johnston St with opportunity to sit at a counter along the window, the upstairs dining area and the dining out the back.

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Son in Law Eggs are a must order; Instagram art on a plate but more than that delicious textures and flavours for a simple dish. It set the trend for the night; bright modern food with decent and appropriate levels of spice. Sweetness with heat featuring sweet tamarind, chilli, fried shallots.

14. Pasta at La Cucina Di Sandra Cooking School

The World Loves Melbourne highly rates fabulous pasta cooking classes at La Cucina Di Sandra Cooking School in Richmond, which includes an engaging class, sumptuous finger food and 3 course meal with glass of wine. It's a dinner party as much as a cooking class and a unique foodie experience in Melbourne!

Since launching the classes in the later half of 2014 La Cucina Di Sandra has proved popular with groups of friends, cooking enthusiasts, people interested in Italian cooking, and corporates. One group of corporates took a long lunch at the cooking school and left at 5.30pm! Sandra immediately engages you with her humour and personality and her passion for Italian food is infectious.

La Cucina Di Sandra is the masterstroke of Melbourne foodie Sandra Del Greco who has pursued her love of Italian cooking after being schooled in cooking in Melbourne and honing her skills on regular trips to Italy, spending time in her Zia’s kitchen. Sandra has collected hundreds of Italian recipes from family and friends in Italy, as well as growing her collection of cookbooks. Born in Italy in Pescara, Abruzzo and raised among women who loved to cook Italian food for their families, Sandra developed a love for Italian food from an early age. Sandra also spent many years as a successful accountant and senior manager in business. After recently opening La Cucina Di Sandra in Richmond Sandra has received a great response from Melburnians passionate about Italian cooking, or keen to enjoy a great Italian meal. Customers have given the cooking school rave reviews including Necia Wilden including La Cucina Di Sandra in an article on 4 standout Australian cooking schools in The Australian.

The cooking school offers a fabulous selection of classes with bookings available online through the website at We began our pasta cooking class with a stunning Pennette al sugo di salsiccia di Toto pictured above. Sandra told us the evening was about a "medley of pastas" with exceptional sauces. This dish was magnificent, with nuances of Italian sausage and pecorino cheese. Highly recommended.

15. Duck Sausage Benedict at Mammoth Cafe

This cafe in Armadale has taken many by surprise as it's not the usual cafe fare, but comes with the level of finesse and creativity of a top restaurant.

There's some serious cafe clout behind this venture; Loren and Jamie McBride from Touchwood, Barry and Pillar of Salt fame (cafes we love and adore). As great as those cafes are, Mammoth is discernably different with bold flair. Is this the brave new world of cafes?

For those who may be bored with the same old same old food options of many Melbourne cafes, Mammoth brings a point of difference. When we scan cafe menus it's often a case of wanting 2 or 3 picks out of the menu then deciding. Call us snobs but that's the way it is. In this case it was about what not to order. Interesting and compelling menu options.

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Mind you there are many dishes we are yet to taste. Stumbing along on a quiet week day in the school holidays we were met by a packed out cafe. Lucky to get a table, dining solo on occasion has it's advantages. We love the light and airy feel to the place, designed by Techne Architecture. Blues and browns, great use of timber and a spacious minimalist look, borders on Scandinavian. The triangular shape of the cafe is unusual but there's several compelling spaces for your dining pleasure.

As for the menu options we chose The Benedict - duck sausage, orange and corn blini, pickled onion, fried egg, smoked maple hollandaise. Simply sensational, the duck sausage was the hero and a surprisingly generous portion to boot. Duck and orange are a killer combination and the orange and corn blini was a perfect taste, as well as texture match. The impression was instant; how good is this dish!

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It's art on a plate, although no sense of pretension. It's an Instagrammers dream, but with foodie substance behind it.

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Other options that we'd like to try include Cherry lamington puffed pancake; or the Lobster donut burger; or the Szechuan spiced spare ribs. The waitress also raved to us about the salads; the Black Russian salad and the Smoked chicken salad. Next time.

Or indeed hit up the Golden Gaytime panna cotta for dessert. And did someone say Egg and bacon popcorn?

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Staff were professional and passionate about this cafe when we engaged in conversation. Mammoth was a standout cafe experience; pushing boundaries is what we love to see.

16. Baked Eggs at Hardware Societe

Hardware Societe is a standout cafe in Melbourne with several now famous dishes including the Baked Eggs with three current variations. Maybe this dish has had different expressions over the years but it's still going strong in all it's glory. It has it all in one big rustic sensation. Piping hot pot full of baked eggs, potato, piquillo pepperschunks of chorizo (permeates the dish), queso mahon, toasted almonds (don't underestimate their crunchy importance) and aoli. Served with toasted sourdough bread (for the mop up).

Harware Societe still boasts a roaring trade with waiting line at times, even years after opening; a veritable quintessential Melbourne institution.

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17. Meataxe Burger at Cafe 51

Made famous by iconic Melbourne burgers site Burgers of Melbourne who was one of the first to visit Cafe 51 and herald the credentials of these awesome burgers, there's a star studded line up of burgers including the Meataxe, the Juicy Lucy, The Mac Daddy, Soul Sister, The Boss, CFK, or go custom made... In terms of burger joints in Melbourne this is a broad ranging burger menu with something for everyone. Including shakes and salads, the menu on boards. The Instagram feed of Cafe 51 is a work of art; burger stacks streaming down a page that makes you drool.

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We were told upon our visit that The Meataxe was the pick of a great list; juicy Gigi beef patty, crispy southern fried chicken, crispy bacon, double dirty cheese, lettuce, onion rings, two jalapeno poppers, chipotle and XXX BBQ sauce. Now there's a description. We enjoy burgers with kick or heat, and the Meataxe seemed the way to go.

The Meataxe came as a massive tower served on a sturdy board. We found it hard to put your hands around this burger; really it's a beast. Burger challenges at Cafe 51 are known to involve 3kg of burger with 20 patties and cheese. There's an opportunity to put yourself in comatose burger oblivion!

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Every element of The Meataxe was spot on from the crispy southern fried chicken fillet to the juicy chuck brisket patty to the crispy bacon and the heat elements that gave the kick. Even the soft bun rocked. It's tempting to take the bun off the top and pick at the various elements, but we recommend tackling The Meataxe head on and biting into this juicy bliss as a whole burger in all its glory!

When I later reflect and ponder upon The Meataxe, I do so with affection. Golden chunky fries are decent here; perfect with the burgers. The Combo meal for only $15 was great value (burger, drink, fries). Prices are low, real low. No $20 burgers here.

The Meataxe is not to be trifled with; a mountain of burger elements. Could we take it down? Yes.

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We needed a packet of paper towels, such is the juice factor. We like it juicy.

The World Loves Melbourne loves Cafe 51 for the sheer fun of the place. For some reason when I think of Cafe 51 I also think of Studio 54 in LA; eclectic, fun and a venue for the people. Boogie fever and burger fever. We saw business types in their suits, student types, tradies, bloggers with cameras, and all manner of people coming together in the name of burger love. Maybe world conflicts could be sorted by burger joints like this appearing in troubled regions. In the meantime we shall be back...

18. The Bully Burger at Tuck Shop Takeaway

Tuck Shop Take Away does a roaring trade, often selling out of its burgers. The Minor and The Major burgers, as well as the Veggie Burger, attract rave reviews. Then there's The Bully.

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In our quest for burgers we heard about secret menu item, The Bully. Proud of the design of this burger, Clinton told The World Loves Melbourne that The Bully was his "labour of love". He describes how often he is frustrated with burgers that lack spice or heat or kick. He wanted something classic but with right amount of heat, "without blowing your socks off". 

If you visit Tuck Shop Take Away you have to mention The Bully by name; if you only say "Secret burger please" they'll pretend they don't know what you're talking about.

The Bully burger is a double; and features double beef patty, double cheese, bacon, jalapeños and Sriracha hot sauce, all inside a milk brioche bun. The meat patty is a special blend made up daily from some of the best grass fed beef in the world from Victoria's Gippsland. With perfect char the meat is a high note. Light seasoning only takes place on the grill. Of course the meat is perfectly juicy and pink inside.

Clinton wouldn't tell us the exact make up of the meat cuts other than the source being some of the world's best beef. And we are told it's 100% beef, nothing else added.

The cheese and bacon are high quality (Otway free range bacon); the bacon crispy and the cheese delightfully oozing all over the patties. Adding to the experience are the jalapenos and the Sriracha hot sauce; as Clinton describes as a warming heat that creeps up on you.

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Clinton explains to The World Loves Melbourne how he believes lightly toasting a fresh milk brioche bun brings out the best in the bun in terms of freshness, balance and slight crunch. Not toasting the bun, he says, gives the burger a different personality, where you can have a cold bun and a warm burger that is at odds.

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The Bully is a "bad boy" in a good way with a superbly balanced juicy flavoursome burger and it all comes together as a sweet harmony. As Clinton says, many burger joints get a few elements right but it's a challenge to get all elements right all the time (which Tuckshop Takeaway does). Freshness is paramount as they only make a certain number of burgers a day and are often sold out by 8pm by design.

The Tomato sauce here is house made and is made out the back every morning; as is the mayo - all adding to the superior burger experience. As Clinton says, "we are fine dining chefs who are used to making everything from scratch with quality ingredients."

19. Mr Franky Roti dish at One Plus Piece

Where to go for breakfast? Seen it all? One Plus Piece has been cooking up a plethora of stunning breakfast dishes in Balwyn with an all day menu, and is one of the standout brunch destinations in Melbourne. For those who may feel many Melbourne breakfasts are similar, One Plus Piece delivers on delicious and interesting breakfast/brunch options.

Spicy breakfasts seem to be a trend right now. How about Chilli scrambled egg on brioche bun with avocado, bacon and herbs? Creamy egg with a hit of chilli is rewarding, along with quality bacon and fresh avocado. A lightly toasted brioche bun sets off the dish. 

Love roti? One of our favourite breakfast dishes in Melbourne right now is the Mr Franky; Two fried eggs, roti roll with tasty cheese and smoked ham, topped with smashed avocado, sour cream, drizzled with organic tomato relish served with tomato salsa. Perfectly cooked roti is a highlight, and the advent of the eggs combining with the cream and salsa, is epic. Not to mention the combination of cheese and ham. The perfect breakfast dish, that bloggers have been raving about.

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One Plus Piece has become a popular cafe in Balwyn for its innovation and tasty dishes, and known for its generous portions. 

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Cain is a talented chef who loves to innovate and strive for perfection...

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Get on it.

20. Marron with Sweet and Sour Pumpkin Seeds at Attica

Our second visit to Attica in a couple of months was even more impressive than the last time; with every single dish being a showcasing and triumph of native Australian cuisine. Sometimes playful, sometime humorous, and with a great deal of theatre, Ben Shewry and team take us to places that are only unique to Australia.

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Rated 32nd restaurant in the world in San Pellegrino World Top 50, Attica continues to shine bright as a heart bed of innovation, theatre, surprise and ingenuity. Natural ingredients are highlighted in a new light. Revelation of Australian native ingredients is at the fore; who knew the mussels in Port Phillip Bay could feature in a world class restaurant. We enjoyed a full dining experience with Jeffrey Merrihue CEO of and his wife Maria, along with Kristy of Queen of Bad Timing from Perth (Perth expert for

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The menu shows the ground taken by Ben Shewry and team; it includes saltbush but takes Australian native cuisine way beyond innovative use of saltbush into a myriad and plethora of Australian native tastes, textures and thrilling combinations.

The table agreed the favourite dish of the night was the Marron with Sweet and Sour Pumpkin Seeds. Lux Western Australian freshwater crayfish has a mesmerising texture and sweetness. The head removed, presentation was spectacular with elegant and elongated crayfish draped across the plate. The Ovens pumpkin seeds provided welcome crunch, with a tantalising sweet and sour dressing. Something simple showcased to perfection with understated brilliance. (Image below: Jeffrey Merrihue).

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What do you expect from a World 50 Best restaurant? According to Jeffrey Merrihue, "Agree with experts this is Australia's best restaurant combining quality, freshness, expertise and theatre." Kristy the Queen of Bad Timing from Perth described it as an "epic dinner". Thanks to and Jeffrey Merrihue, as well as Attica, for a fabulous world class evening. Simply spectacular.