Dining in Melbourne is a bit like travelling the world without leaving the comfort of your armchair. Except that you do leave your lounge room, only to transport yourself down some quirky laneway or moody subterranean bar. And you eat food that is as good as, if not better, than in its country of origin.
Each time I go to that eclectic city, I like to try a new establishment, so I have worked my way through a few. And, for the benefit of those who may be visiting that southern city soon, perhaps for that little horse race next week, or if joining the Evvoke Six Senses in Six Days tour in January, which includes dining in some of these restaurants, as well as indulging in a selection of wine and food in the Mornington Peninsula, and attending a week of The School of Life seminars, here are my top 5:
- San Telmo – named after the famous and oldest area of Buenos Aires, this Argentinian restaurant is all about share plates, succulent meat and fresh vegetables cooked on the parrilla (Argentinian grill) with the sweet and sticky dulce de leche to finish! Head Chef Chris Moran has honed his skills over many years working in Australia, Canada and Argentina, to bring his innovative approach to traditional South American foods, to our welcoming tastebuds.
- Tonka – this is Indian food like you have never tasted before! Hidden down a graffiti-strewn laneway, Tonka has caused a sensation since its opening, making it very difficult to secure a coveted seat. Executive Chef Adam D’Sylva and Head Chef Michael Smith mix traditional Indian with fresh Asian and modern Australian, resulting in dishes which are unique and delectable, making you beg to come back for more!
- Coda – sister restaurant to Tonka, Coda channels French and Asian-inspired cooking into tantalising share plates, made to be enjoyed in this underground bolt hole, complete with open kitchen where you can watch the chefs create magic!
- Gazi – Revel in the buzz which is George Calombaris’ latest Greek incarnation. Complete with terracotta pots strewn across the ceiling, hearty share plates, Grecian liquor and fun desserts – this won’t disappoint!
- B’Stilla – out of the CBD to South Yarra, and onto Morrocco, B’Stilla pays creative and delicious homage to all things spicy and sweet. Created by Jason Jones, the co-owner and former Head Chef of Mamasita, B’Stilla has an impressive and delectable selection of meat, vegetable and seafood share plates, ensuring a memorable taste experience you will want to repeat.
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