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Best Overall

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years ago

Longrain

44 Little Bourke St, City

Price: bit spendy

Modern Thai

OMIGOD this is the best food I've had in years. From the little piles of goodness on betel leaves (think prawn, peanuts, toasted coconut & ginger), to the sublime fresh oysters with chili, lime & fried shallot, until you finally commence on the superb mains (twice cooked duck with tamarind & mandarins, soft shell crab in a red curry, pad thai worth ordering and savouring, wagyu beef cheek, and a totally amazing 'eggnet' wrapped around a salad of pork, prawns, bean sprouts & ginger). Without doubt the most delectable birthday feast I've experienced in years, and perhaps ever (though that 10-year-old birthday at Chez Carie in Orange County was also highly memorable). tammois

 

Gingerboy

Crossley St, City (btwn Bourke & Little Bourke, & Exhibition & Spring)

Price: pricey

Southeast Asian Hawker-style food

I'm sure it wasn't just the incredibly delicious Thai Moon cocktail that made everything else so unbelievably good (mmm... chili, lime, coriander, ginger, coconut, cointreau and chili-infused vodka with a splash of lemonade). But it helped set the palatable picture. It's hard to pick favourites, but I must rave about the crispy chili salt cuttlefish with lemon & roasted sesame sauce, the green papaya salad with an innovative move of fried sticky rice tossed through it, the pork nam prik ong on shredded lettuce & coriander, and the outrageously delicious wagyu ox cheeks in a sauce of ground peanuts and served on a hot and sour salad. Oh, but then I feel bad for not mentioning the surreally delectable mussaman duck leg curry, which melted into a mouthful of strong but smooth flavours. Finally, I don't do dessert, but the 'runway' of samples was irresistible - just think cinnamon, lime, coconut and pandan and you'll have some sense of the flavour array. Just make sure you take plenty of cash and people who love to share dishes, and you can't go wrong! tammois

 

Yu-u

Flinders Lane

Phone Number: 9639 7073

Address: 137 Flinders Lane (enter from Oliver Lane)

Melbourne, Victoria, 3000

Japanese

Price: Medium-ish

Impossible to find without an address and determination, Yu-u is arguably (here's your chance!) the best Japanese in Melbourne. Tres chic, always booked weeks in advance and completely delicious. Beautiful horenso no gomae, sushi and nasu dengaku. tammois

 

 

SOS

Melbourne Central (!)

Spanish & Italian influences

Price: Expensive

Sadly, SOS closed, due, I believe, to people thinking Melbourne Central is a daggy venue, and also, I believe, to the conundrum that most people who can afford it don't tend to have the conscience to choose it. Sigh. However, Paul Mathis has reopened as 100 Mile Cafe - read below.

Paul Mathis (of Blue Train, Soulmama, Taxi & Chocolate Buddha fame) has launched Melbourne's first self-described veg-aquarian restaurant with fab views of the State Library and toilets that flush by running the tap above (in the men's, anyway). The service is friendly and attentive, the sommelier (Raul) eccentric and wise, and the food sublime. Porcini ravioli in butter and thyme sauce goes from lovely to stupendous by the addition of dear little blueberries, tiny explosions of unexpected flavour that don't last so long as to overwhelm the rich, earthy flavour of the porcinis. Genius. Don't miss the almond-crusted King George Whiting with dandelion weeds. Watch out for the French champagne if offered when you arrive, at $17 a glass, it's delicious but best saved for a special occasion, say a 15th anniversary? tammois

 

100 Mile Cafe

Melbourne Central

East Asian

Price: Medium expensive

http://www.100milecafe.com.au/

Paul Mathis has done it again. And this time, I think if people overcome their prejudice against Melbourne Central as a dining venue, he may even succeed! The restaurant is housed in a lovely space overlooking the State Library (see the description of SOS above) - it's worlds away from the banal shopping centre within which it sits. The service is spectacular (thank you, Winter!) and the food is not only sustainable (everything is sourced within 100 miles), it is delicious. As is usual for my birthday family dinners, I was permitted to select food for the entire table to share (7 of us) - I was in heaven! We started with the wood-fired bread to share (no suprise that my favourite was the shaved garlic, olive oil & Geelong sea salt, but the miso & Donnybrook blue cheese was also spectacular), followed by a range of entrees including house-made vegetable gyoza with sesame vinaigrette (av. 70 miles) and house-smoked duck sushi with teriyaki reduction (av. 95 miles). Amongst our mains were porterhouse with daikon fondant, roast beetroot, rocket, witlof and horseradish cream (av. 99.6 miles) and a yummy bibimbap (a Korean rice, pickled vegie and egg dish with a chili sauce) and steamed broccolini, chilli and lemongrass. The rest of the dishes are too numerous to mention - you'll have to try for yourself! The sustainability push is very welcome in a state in such serious drought in a world suffering the effects of climate change, where if we all just stopped driving, let alone having our food trucked so far to get to us, imagine what sort of world we might leave to our children. tammois

 

Mecca

Southbank

Moroccan/Tunisian

Price: Expensive

Mmmmmmmmm

 

Flower Drum

Chinatown

Price: Very very pricey

You can't beat the long-running Age Good Food Guide winner of best Melbourne restaurant for top-end Chinese food and superb service. Undoubtedly the best seafood around, not to mention the Peking Duck. Yummmmmmm.

 

MJ Forty

Cnr Nicholson and Raleigh Sts., Essendon

Price: Relatively good

Cafe style (best breakfasts in Melbourne)

You will no doubt hate this place, as the dilemma of whether to order the pancakes or the big breakfast is excruciating. Without question, the best pancake breakfast in Australia (I don't even like the idea of pancakes for breakfast and yet I can't help myself when it comes to theirs)- well you can only imagine how good the big breakfast must be to compete. Awesome coffee, fabulous service (they even bring out a bowl of fresh water for your dog), plenty of newspapers. If you're ever looking for me on a Sunday morning, this is where I'm at! Sam

 

Cafe Najla

Westgarth Strip, Northcote

Price: medium (mains are $18-$23)

Open for dinner (closed Sunday nights)

BYO

This is a Moroccan restaurant that I've been to many times (probably 15 times). I've tried most items on the menu and can recommend everything except the chickpea dish (a bit bland) and the kebabs (who wants kebabs on rice when there are many more exciting things to have). The Damascan Ousi (sp?) is delicious - a filo pastry parcel stuffed with lamb mince, spices and rice, served on yoghurt with a Shangalese cheese salad. The stuffed corgettes are also great, as are the brown mushrooms served with spices, strawberries and deep-fried herbs. The food is consistently good, the service is friendly and attentive (but they'll let you talk for hours if you want to). They do take a while to serve meals, so it's best for a leisurely meal, not a quick bite before you run across the road to see a movie. You only need to book on a weekend. Jenny

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