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Melbourne’s best restaurants reflect its diverse population, offering French, Spanish, Italian and Asian-inspired cuisines. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ choices for the five top places to eat in Melbourne:
1. Vue de Monde. At Vue de Monde, acclaimed chef Shannon Bennett lives by the words of French actor Maurice Chevalier: “I never eat when I can dine.” True to form, Bennett serves up gourmet French fare with an undeniable Australian twist, as evidenced by dishes like his salt-cured kangaroo appetizer. Mirrors hang above the kitchen so you can watch the chefs put finishing touches on unforgettable meals like the 64-hour poached egg topped with shaved truffle. A bonus: This splurge-worthy restaurant is perched 55 stories high atop Melbourne’s iconic Rialto Towers, allowing you an unrivaled view of the city at night.
2. MoVida. This wildly successful Spanish eatery serves up some of the best food in town. MoVida’s main courses are flavorful and well-executed, but the tapas menu steals the show, an attractive mix of innovative dishes, like squid ink croquetas, along with classics, like quality Manchego cheese and Iberian ham. Not in the mood for small plates? Trust your fate to the kitchen and order the banquet menu, letting the chefs select your dishes. Reservations are a must.
3. Ezard. At this chic restaurant in the Adelphi Hotel, celebrated chef Teage Ezard presents what he calls Australian freestyle cooking — a brilliant fusion of European, Australian and Asian flavors. Treat yourself to unique dishes like the chef’s Wagyu beef red curry, served with caramelized pumpkin and a hot-and-sour salad.
4. Grossi Florentino. There’s no shortage of Italian food in Melbourne, but Grossi Florentino has been the spot locals swear by for more than 75 years. Under crystal chandeliers in the restaurant’s elegant dining room, enjoy classics like slow-braised short rib with shallots, peas, fennel and rosemary praline. The eight-course tasting menu is highly recommended.
5. Yu-u. One of the city’s best-kept secrets, this Japanese canteen serves unbelievably fresh sashimi, tasty eel, seaweed salad and more. Venture down graffiti-covered Flinders Lane to a steel warehouse door covered in peeling paint, and step into serene, minimalist Yu-u. Guests adore the inexpensive lunch trays laden with pickled vegetables and fresh fish. In the evening, order yakitori, skewers of meat coated in savory tare sauce and grilled to perfection. You will love uncovering this gem.