Melbourne is the Australian version of New York. It has stylish people, oodles of culture, and the nation’s choicest bars and restaurants. Seemingly endless options make it difficult to navigate through the city’s hidden laneways in search of the best eats. With a wide variety of influences from Asian to Middle Eastern and European, these are hottest restaurants in Melbourne in 2017. They are THE places to eat in Victoria’s capital city.
Kisume — Scoring a reservation at this upscale Japanese eatery is the perfect excuse for a delicious date night. Choose from three different levels of dining including basement-level, first-floor, and private dining. The elegant ambience, clean lines, illustrious artwork, and impeccable service make it a meal worthy of its price tag -– as does to its signature house-made sake and impeccable Japanese food. Don’t miss the Deluxe Feature Box, which includes double toro maki, raw and seared, which is topped with uni.
Vue de Monde — Located on the 55th floor of the iconic Rialto, Vue de Monde is one of the most upscale meals in Melbourne with the best views – hands down. Dine on more than 10 courses in an elegant dining room with touches of Australian culture spread throughout. Each course includes local organic veggies and proteins arranged in ornate dishes designed to wow, such as the kohlrabi with macadamia milk, lemon verbena, and ethically sourced salmon caviar from the Yarra Valley. Enjoy each dish slowly because the sweeping views of the city are worth the cost of the prix fixe.
Sezar — Here you’ll find modern Armenian food served in a chic dining room with sleek wooden chairs, plush booths, and tiled walls. The team behind The Black Toro restaurant transforms classic Armenian dishes into refined plates with spices and flavours galore. Order the twice-cooked chicken wings doused in pomegranate glaze and pistachios, and finish the night with the modern baklava stuffed with salt-caramel ice cream.
Maha — Just off the famous Flinders Street Station is Middle Eastern dining in a modish setting. The team at Maha refers to their food as “unrestricted Middle Eastern.” The dishes here are fresh and bold with a unique twist on a centuries-old cuisine. Sip on a Turkish Delight Martini while you wait to dig into the much-heralded orange blossom-glazed pork cutlet with fennel, preserved orange, pine nut, and sorrel hummus, and soak in the enticing ambiance featuring touches of the Middle East.
Noir — Nestled in between a few unassuming shops is the hidden gem of Richmond. When you enter the newly renovated dining room, you’re enveloped in a relaxed, cosy atmosphere. It’s the perfect neighbourhood spot for food and wine lovers to spend a Friday night. They specialize in elevated European dishes using local Australian ingredients, such as duck, Spanner crab, and Kangaroo Island marron.
Supernormal — As far as hip and hot spots in Melbourne, it doesn’t get any cooler than this. Its bright pink neon logo lights up Flinders Lane, drawing you into the understated wooden interior. The uber-popular joint creates shareable Asian-inspired dishes, from the twice-cooked duck to purple broccoli and popcorn soft serve. Order a few things from each section of the menu. Pro tip: Supernormal books up quickly so plan ahead.
Visit OpenTable to discover more great restaurants in Melbourne, and let us know your favourites in the comments.
Katie Lockhart is a Brooklyn-based food and travel writer. When she’s not writing, she’s eating her way around the world and posting it all on her Instagram @findyourhappyplate and blog findyourhappyplate.co.
Photo credits: Harvard Wang (Vue de Monde, Ricky & Pinky); David Griffen (Spice Temple).