This holiday has pretty much evolved around a plate and Melbourne was probably the height of this. Whilst some places will get their own review in time, here is a run down of the noteworthy ones:
We might have been a little ambitious but we managed to fit in 3 fine dining tasting menus in the space of a week
Number 1 in Australia,
World ranking: 44
Style: Country style, contemporary Australian cuisine with an emphasis on locally grown (onsite) produce and ecologically friendly processes.
Verdict: Falls in the top 5 places I have ever eaten. The more I think about it, the more I realise it was an exceptional experience.
Number 5 in Australia
No world ranking
Flagship restaurant of Shannon Bennett (Masterchef Australia mentor)
Style: Contemporary Australian fine dining in city centre location. Very slick, modern feel.
Verdict: Uber swish, excellent food and open plan kitchen. Feels lavish and extravagant.
Number x in Australia
No world ranking
Flagship restaurant of George Calombaris (Masterchef Australia host)
Style: Modern Greek with Australian influences. Business like but laid back atmosphere. Surprisingly small venue.
Verdict: Well priced, good food and very friendly staff added to experience. Full tasting menu is a little large but smaller option does exist. Wine pairing interesting and good value.
Meletos– Yarra Valley
Set in wine country we had a very languid lunch here and I had possibly the biggest mussels I’ve ever eaten. Menu has a mix of dishes from barramundi to pork belly alongside a good range of home made pizzas. Very good quality and affordable with stunning views and quaint shop next door (good dairy shop just around the corner too)
Naked for Satan-Fitzroy
This unusually named venue is known for in pintxos. We were especially lucky as the birthday celebration meant they were 50c each! Needless to say we had a variety including wagyu breasola, smoked salmon, chorizo and an arancini ball. No doubt this was the cheapest meal we had in Australia and the drinks selection was pretty good too.
The Public Brewery
We only stopped here for a brief lunch and couple of drinks but the pork belly will forever be lodged in my mind. The sauce wasn’t overly sweet but very sticky and the pork just incredible.
We couldn’t go to Australia and not end up having a BBQ. There is a bit emphasis on quality meat and it was great to see the number of independent shops in small suburbs. Finding a good butcher at home is often hard but there were plenty of options available to us with the traditional ‘butcher,baker,greengrocer’ combo not that uncommon. On our final night we had steaks, lamb cutlets (cut to order) kabanos, marinated lamb backstrap and kebabs not to mention fresh corn and salad. It was a great way to finish off our time in Australia and I saw a possum 😁