Best Lamb Dishes in Melbourne
What are the best lamb dishes in Melbourne? We could feature a large number of restaurants in this article who offer top notch lamb dishes, but we have elected for some of our favourites. Whether its casual lamb dishes such as a "souva", or exquisite lamb shoulder (also popular in Melbourne) dishes, Melbourne loves its lamb.
Cutler & Co - Gertrude St Fitzroy
We could have also listed Cumulus Inc. - just check out the stable of Andrew McConnell restaurants and you will find amazing slow roast lamb dishes. We recently enjoyed top notch lamb dishes at Builders Arms and Cutler & Co. Awesome caramelised on the outside with bits of crunch, then inside super tender so it just prises apart easily on the fork. The flavours are also amazing, and the cut of lamb is prime with an even covering of fat. How good is a lamb shoulder to share? The perfect communal (if not primal) dish.
Maha - CBD
Shane Delia celebrity chef is known for his exceptional lamb dishes at middle-eastern Maha Restaurant in the Melbourne CBD. Famous is the 12 hour Roasted Lamb Shoulder with cumin, garlic, onion and tarragon. We've been enjoying this wonder over several years; meat falls from the bone and is juicy and tender and the outside is golden brown and sticky. Shane is a master of slow roasts and his lamb is top notch and iconic in Melbourne.
Dinner by Heston - Crown
A signature of Heston Blumenthal at Dinner by Heston is the Lamb & Cucumber c1830 featuring Best end of lamb with roast cucumber heart, sweetbreads, peas, barilla and mint. Don't underestimate the cucumber in this dish; it contrasts with the lamb but also lifts it. Saltbush lamb is the most flavoursome lamb we know and this dish is cooked to perfection. One of the most pleasurable dining destinations in Melbourne.
Merricks Creek Winery
Merricks Creek Winery is one of the most relaxing and joyful cellar door and winery experiences in Victoria. Only an hour from Melbourne on the delighful Mornington Peninsula it provides the ultimate vineyard setting with vines only metres away from the raised deck. Enjoy gourmet share plates and stunning wines including acclaimed Pinot Noir made in a French style, Estate Chardonnay and other funky wines.
This is how we like to dine at a winery - just order some share plates and wine and enjoy a range of tastes and foods. We don't want it to be to formal but still gourmet. Merricks creek is a hit with punters, many of who keep returning as a relaxing, almost therapeutic afternoon ensues.
The Pulled 6 hour Slow Cooked Shoulder of Lamb with mushy peas is a delicious dish with flavoursome juicy lamb and indulgent mushy peas combining in brilliant harmony. With a glass of Pinot Noir, this is our perfect winery session. of course we like to order other gourmet plates including their legendary Swiss Raclette.
Ryne - Fitzroy
Donovan Cooke iconic chef is back in his own restaurant at Ryne, serving up a series of his signature dishes as well as compelling daily specials. We loved our dinner here, and appreciate Donovan's passion for cooking and his ability to cater for luxe tastes. This Lamb Saddle with peas, broad beans and oven-roasted truss tomatoes was an epiphany of deliciousness. The crust on top of the lamb was akin to a schnitzel and the dish had a sense of indulgence about it. The saddle is a wonderful part of the lamb and Donovan cooked this with tender perfection. One of the many dishes that will have you coming back.
Bahari - Richmond
Bahari is a joyful Greek restaurant in Swan St and those in the know keep coming back for Greek staples with a twist. If you're looking for excellent value Greek dining then Bahari ticks the boxes and the restaurant itself exudes a convivial charm. We enjoyed the Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder - which comes at a pleasingly affordable price. Melt in your mouth lamb goodness. Philip Vakos (ex Masterchef) is working wonders with his "Gringlish" food.
Hellenic Republic/Gazi/Jimmy Grants/Press Club
Not sure whether we should put all these restaurants together as they are distinctive. Whether its a Lamb Souva at Jimmy Grants or Gazi, or a Lamb Kofta Kalamaki (Gazi, above), or refined Lamb Rack at the Press Club, or Hellenic Republic, George has revolutionised all things lamb in the city of Melbourne. You may find yourself judging lamb dishes around Melbourne with your reference being visits to George Calombaris related restaurants. We know its slow cooked but also the lamb in these restaurants is always juicy, flavoursome and never dry. George knows how to tenderise slow cooked lamb! Melt in your mouth.
Pontoon - St Kilda
Pontoon is another enjoyable casual dining experience as part of the Stokehouse precinct, overlooking the St Kilda beach. The hero of the menu is the Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder with sides and condiments. This is a substantial dish that the 2 of us couldn't finish - it could even stretch to 3 people we think. Sides were decent and we enjoyed our lamb fuelled seaside experience.