20 More Top Dishes to Try in Melbourne
What are the best dishes in Melbourne right now? We've been out and about sourcing the hottest and best dishes in Melbourne. Check out this list of 20 Must Try dishes in Melbourne. This article follows our 20 Top Dishes You Need to Try in Melbourne.
1. Meat Fruit at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Meat Fruit c 1500 is a visually exciting dish which looks like a mandarin; but under the skin is a superb chicken parfait. The dish heralds from the 1500s in England. The chicken parfait is piped into moulds and the skin of the "fruit" is made from mandarin jelly. The chargrilled sourdough is the perfect accompaniment.
We found ourselves spreading the meat fruit across the sourdough in copious amounts. This is an iconic famous global dish and a must try dish in Melbourne. Dinner by Heston is a surprisingly affordable restaurant.
2. IDES (anything on the menu)
Sheer brilliance! Is there anything like this in Melbourne? Who else chances their arm to virtually create a new menu night after night? You can sense the creativity in the kitchen, with Peter Gunn Head Chef and visionary and his band of talented chefs on song. This is a tight knit team that thrives on the passion of authentic edgy dining. Raff is a top notch Sommelier with extensive experience and flair.
Oysters in Saffron syrup is a song on a plate; a chorus of textures and bold flavours. Pacific oysters from Blackman Bay in a sweet and sour saffron syrup, horseradish cream, crushed radishes and smoked herring roe. Perfect with Sake.
3. French Toast at Jack B. Nimble
Jack B Nimble in Maidstone is surely in the top flight of cafes in Melbourne, a gem among a humble row of shops.
French toast with dulce de leche, poached pear, fresh kiwi fruit, early grey mascarpone and malt crumb is another chart topper. A sweet brunch dish such as this can be overbearing but Jack B Nimble balances out the sugar levels with poached pear and kiwi fruit. The earl grey mascarpone is a genius touch. As is the advent of dulce de leche; just spoon it up and drizzle it over your already sweet french toast. Another example of nuanced cooking is the malt crumb; just for that crunch.
Visually the dish is sexy; one of the best brunch dishes we've had all year.
4. Share Plates at Merricks Creek Winery
Merricks Creek Winery is a hot destination on the fabulous Mornington Peninsula only an hour from Melbourne. (Images above: Robert Harmer Photography). It's a standout for a winery because of its affordable shared plates full of fresh local produce and its amazing Pinot Noir. We recommend the Rare Eye Fillet as well as the Cheese Platters, the Roasted tomatoes, Main Ridge Dairy goat curd and grilled ciabata, and the desserts including famous Deconstructed Tiramisu.
Merricks Creek also boasts a new stylish cellar door where Peter and Sam Parker offer one of the best tasting experiences around. Image above (Jamie Durrant). This is a James Halliday 5 Star Winery so the wines are seriously excellent, with French techniques and close planted vines contributing to intensity of flavour. The view from the deck is stunning with diners feeling they are right in among the vines. It's one of the best settings for a winery on the Peninsula. We have enjoyed memorable lunches here and it won't break the bank. often we see groups here, a populr destination to catch up with friends. The menu contains ever popular dishes but in recent times Merricks Creek have added several stunning dishes to the list. Not always do you get wineries with decent food, decent wine and a decent atmosphere/setting - but Merricks Creek Winery ticks all the boxes.
5. Ribs at San Antone
Rumour has it that Crown Melbourne searched far and wide for outstanding American BBQ before teaming up with Kevin Bludso from famous LA eatery of his own name. The fit out, as with other eateries in Crown, is first class and upmarket.
How good are the ribs! The best we've had. Melbourne is full of ribs basted in litres of sauce. OK we also enjoy that. But it was refreshing to have ribs where the sauce is served on the side and the slow cooked ribs are the hero, enhanced by a killer rub. Dry ribs are the best!
6. Butter Chicken and Punjabi Kadhi curries at Babu Ji
Butter Chicken and a new addition to the menu, the Punjabi Kadhi are the perfect winter warmers. This exotic Northern Indian curry is made from sour yoghurt gram flour and cauliflower fritters. The aged basmati rice and fresh Raita balance the mild heat and rich texture.
If you’re living under the assumption that Indian food is simply curry and rice, prepare to be blown away by the creativity of Babu Ji. Image above: Rachel Mason. Their new menu satisfies both the traditionalists and the adventurous, embodying the vibrance and colour that so many associate with Indian culture, while playfully moving into new realms of fusion.
7. Kaifta Prawns/Haloumi Chips/Lamb Riblets at Saint Barry
Shared plates and a bottle of wine (or craft beers and ciders) is the way to go at Saint Barry on Whitehorse Road Surrey Hills.
Saint Barry eatery has attracted the attention of locals since opening its doors recently in Surrey Hills. A foodie haven for lunch and dinner, Saint Barry features first class modern casual dining with top chef Spyros Vrakas in the kitchen, a chic fitout, rotating beers and wine on tap, and locally sourced fresh produce.
Kataifi prawns are a highlight; with chilli, coriander and ginger for extra kick. This is a spectacular dish where quality fresh prawns are wrapped by Spyros in a kataifi (finely shredded) pastry.Another smaller dish we imbibed was the Haloumi chips with sriracha salt and aoli. Lamb riblets are simply melt in your mouth and fall off the bone! Comfort food of the highest order.
8. Half Roast Chicken at Embla
Embla in Russell Street CBD is one of the hottest wine bars in Melbourne right now; and is championing a refined yet a more relaxed style than most.
Embla is the sibling of much acclaimed The Town Mouse; a hatted restaurant in Carlton that continues to impress. With pedigree like this we were sure Embla would inspire. Christian McCabe and Dave Verheul have struck a chord with a wine bar and wood oven combination. Just to get a table here is an achievement.
A highlight of the evening was this Creamed corn, cream fraiche, oregano, dried citrus. This was another dish worth returning for.
9. Corn fritters at Bossy Boots
The World Loves Melbourne loves a great corn fritters brunch and Bossy Boots in Bay St Brighton doesn't disappoint. Corn fritters with crispy bacon, avocado salsa, sour cream and chives, and a poached egg is a first class dish. This is a dish available on weekends and a popular favourite with locals (weekends have extra brunch and lunch specials). Where others would have gone into "fry up" mode, Bossy Boots has brought the balance. The combination of quality fritters with perfectly cooked egg and a compelling avocado salsa is superb eating, along with crispy bacon to set off the dish. Bossy Boots has recently been renovated and has a new menu with additional standout dishes such as a rewarding Bruscetta brunch dish, a Ham hock brunch dish, as well as a stunning porridge dish.
Bossy Boots is also famous for its take home food, including for busy professionals. A large display cabinet is full of baked goods, gourmet salads, take home dishes and tasty treats.
We love the food at Bossy Boots; nearly everything is made from scratch in the large kitchen. Our kind of brunch; big on flavour with balance.
10. Double Smash Patty Burger at Rockwell & Sons
The beef comes as a ball and is smashed on the grill so there’s no nice cute patty as such. We love the violence of the patty smash and the “in your face” element; like a punk burger. The beef is brisket, chuck and other top "grass fed" cuts.
Meat is pink in the middle and still has the char on the outside! Quality beef cut and the romance of the smash. Bun is on point and this burger elevates the status of the Kraft Single. The soft seeded savoury brioche (not sweet) bun is perfect for the burger; as not all brioche buns are sweet.
11. Poached eggs and Grilled Salmon with Rosti at The Mabel
The Mabel is a newly opened cafe in Mitcham and has hit the ground running. This is modern cafe food at its best.
Poached eggs with grilled salmon, shaved radish and wasabi hollandaise, on sour dough toast with a side of Potato Rosti is a mild sensation of a brunch dish. Poached eggs and salmon are always a winning combination but poached eggs and grilled salmon is not as common, but equally delightful. A generous portion of the grilled salmon was more than welcome. The finesse of a fine chef was evident in the advent of thinly sliced radish and onion, which lifted the dish in to zesty wonderland. Not only that, but the wasabi hollandaise was a talking point in itself. Why serve boring old school hollandaise when you can serve wasabi hollandaise with some kick. Eggs were of course cooked perfectly with oozy yolk and the salmon was on song, all on sourdough. This brunch dish was a creamy crunchy cacophony.
The side of Potato Rosti was superb, and generous in portion; perfect to mop up some of the wasabi hollandaise.
12. Ravioli All'Uovo at Grossi Florentino
Grossi Florentino is like stepping into classic Europe; a place where tradition and progress intertwine, to create a sanctuary for food, art and wine.
RAVIOLI ALL’UOVO Ravioli All'Uovo is a cracking dish featuring Egg Yolk, Smoked Ricotta, Butter, Sage, Amaretti, Aged Balsamic, Parmigiano Reggiano. This is a famous dish at Grossi Florentino; with Guy Grossi producing this dish on camera in cooking demonstrations. We consider this to be a must try dish when visiting Grossi Florentino and an indulgent dish with all the things we love; smoky, butter, runny egg, and parmigiano reggiano.
A rare Aged Balsamic is poured over the dish with a sense of theatre...
13. Bagel with Banana, Bacon and Maple Syrup at Manchester Press
This is one of our favourite cafés in Melbourne - it's a great place to meet with friends and has one of Melbourne's most enjoyable breakfasts. Another laneway gem where coffee meets art.
An indulgent dish, Bagel with banana, bacon, maple syrup, mascarpone may require extra sessions at the gym.
14. Wellness Bowl at Admiral Cheng Ho
Admiral Cheng Ho is a fabulous healthy style cafe in Abbotsford exuding character and raw appeal with its salvaged timber and recycled materials. This cafe embraces an impressive combination of specialty coffee and a seasonal whole food menu using organic and fresh locally sourced produce where possible.
Come here for your Superfood bowl as we did, packed with goodness such as Organic Acai with banana, blueberries, strawberries, maca, mesquite, lucuma, hazelnut milk. This is served with house made maple granola, brazil nuts, fresh seasonal fruit, coconut probiotic and raw white chocolate tuille. The dish looks enticing and apart from the goodness is a fabulous arrangement of tastes and textures.
15. Tipsy Cake at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Yes we are featuring another dish at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal! Tipsy Cake c 1810 with Spit Roast Pineapple is a compelling must try Heston signature dish. Caramelisation is delightful and the cake is utterly light and fluffy; you will savour every morsel. The pineapple is a burst of zesty fresh flavour. Check out the pineapples on the spit roast through the kitchen window.
16. Spherical Hot Chocolate at Sisko Chocolate in Eastland
Sisko is a premium chocolatier to the stars in Melbourne. With a new retail store in Eastland, Sisko is building on its huger reputation from its Hawthorn business which has supplied chocolate designs and formations for five star clients such as Bentley and Rolls Royce. The Eastland experience feels like a luxe Rolls Royce experience, a notch above cafes and other eateries in Eastland. If you're looking for a place to catch up with friends in Eastland we recommend Sisko Chocolate.
Famous is the chocolate sphere; a theatrical hot chocolate drink served on a board with hot chocolate to pour into a glass containing spherical chocolate. Spoiler alert; inside the sphere are top notch marshmallows.
17. Fried Chicken Burger at Lounge Kitchen
Lounge Kitchen is an iconic venue in the CBD and we've visited several times over the years, lapping up its charm. In recent times it has reinvented itself. Walk up the stairs off Swanston Street into a cool ambience of dark timbers, various dining spaces, mood lighting, plants and character booths. Quintessential Melbourne we say. They even have tables on the standout balcony overlooking Swanston Street (best in Melbourne?).
The Fried Chicken Burger has been a sensation with soft bun, spicy fried chicken breast, blue cheese sauce and celery slaw. A balanced burger with a big punch of flavour!
18. Creamed Corn at Embla
Embla in Russell Street CBD is one of the hottest wine bars in Melbourne right now; and is championing a refined yet a more relaxed style than most. Embla is the sibling of much acclaimed The Town Mouse; a hatted restaurant in Carlton that continues to impress. With pedigree like this we were sure Embla would inspire. Christian McCabe and Dave Verheul have struck a chord with a wine bar and wood oven combination. Just to get a table here is an achievement.
A highlight in a sea of highlights is the Creamed corn, cream fraiche, oregano, dried citrus. This is a dish worth returning for.
19. Josper Baked Fresh Calamari at Vanilla
The World Loves Melbourne was invited to a tasting of the Vanilla menu and we were gobsmacked. This was our first time at Vanilla and were amazed by this foodie haven in Oakleigh; a hub of conviviality and excellence. When you walk in you feel like you are embraced as part of the family! Thanasis the patriarch of the family was in fine form and a charming host with the family all involved in this extraordinary business.
Josper oven baby! And how good is Josper baked fresh calamari with white and black tsaziki spheres.
20. Grilled zucchini and brown rice salad with pumpkin, poached egg, haloumi at One Plus Piece
The World Loves Melbourne has enjoyed several brunch dishes at One Plus Piece in Balwyn. We consider One Plus Piece to be one of the most innovative cafes in Melbourne; featuring standout brunch dishes (available all day), excellent anime ambience, friendly service, and unique high quality burgers. One Plus Piece also has a standout courtyard area perfect for the warmer weather. Relax on the timber deck out the back with surrounding plants.
One Plus Piece is popular with locals but has also gained a loyal cult following from across town. It's great to see a themed cafe with not just token effort, but the Japanese anime theme permeates through the art on the walls, the menu, quirky decor items and a plethora of anime characters.
Grilled zucchini and brown rice salad with pumpkin puree, poached egg, and haloumi is a creamy delight. Enjoy a triumph of taste and texture with a brunch dish that is not too heavy. We also feel this dish fits the trend for healthier dishes. Check out their new Spring menu. This cafe is always evolving and enjoys featuring fresh seasonal produce. They also have a burger happy hour from 3-4pm on Monday-Friday, with stunning shakes to accompany.
What do you think of our 20 "must try" list of dishes?