This new upmarket casual diner criss-crosses the globe to create a menu that confidently places goat rogan josh on the same page as shredded lamb tacos and trevally ceviche. If that’s not enough to intrigue, they’ve also got an extensive champagne list with big hitters like Moet & Chandon, Perrier-Jouet and Dom Perignon.
Tortillas are the star of the show at this pint-sized new taqueria in Carlton where they’re hand-pressed from ground corn before being topped with everything from smoky pumpkin and avocado crema to slow-braised beef and zingy salsa verde. Making tortillas and corn chips onsite allows the kitchen to optimise flavour, softness and structure, so these staples shine beyond being simply a base. The Taquito team is also picking habaneros for salsa from plants out the back and mixing up killer ...
If the stylish, tropical-kitsch interiors haven’t already caught your attention, then the mouth-watering scent of Indian cooking surely will. Highlighting locally-sourced ingredients, the menu is a colourful riot of inventive street food served alongside more traditional dishes. All of which is complemented by an impressive list of 21 beers to cut the heat.
From the team that brought you Chapel St funhouse Leonard’s House of Love and casual fine diner Ramblr comes a new pizza joint doing old-school comfort food – think massive, eight slice pepperoni pies dipped in ranch dressing, thick cuts of herb stuffed porchetta and spag bol under a shower of parmesan.
Two Fat Indians has a food truck that roves all over Melbourne, winning fans with piping hot samosas and butter chicken-loaded chips, but their standalone restaurant is a slightly more proper affair. Here they're doing Indian favourites that hit hard on the flavour stakes. Like a three chilli beef vindaloo and a sour lime chicken curry, best mopped up with fluffy naan and a side of cooling raita.
Pub food gets a modern sheen at Melba Social, where you can get panko crumbed mushrooms in queso sauce, crispy pork belly with apple cranberry compote and three cheese gnocchi with gorgonzola, grana padano and vintage cheddar. Pair your meal with a selection from their wide-ranging wine list of go for $10 cocktails on Mondays and Tuesdays.
This contemporary Italian restaurant and bar is one of the best dining options in town. They've got a big woodfired oven pumping out thin, blistery pizzas and a kitchen producing modernised takes on classic antipasti, pastas and mains. Group catchups and date nights alike are helped along with a robust wine and cocktail list, and on cold days they even brew batches of mulled wine.
Armed with a quirky origin story (owner Xavier O'Shanassy funded the place with winnings from an appearance on Million Dollar Minute) and a custom-built smoker, This Borderland is winning fans with faithful renditions of American diner classics, from fried chicken and waffles to moreish pecan pie. Vegans are also well catered for – they offer plant-based versions of every menu item, using seitan to create burger patties and nuggets every bit as juicy as their omnivorous counterparts.
At their second location in Greensborough, Infuse with the delicious flavour-packed fusions they’re known for. There’s a breakfast bonza that stuffs five spiced roast pork belly, sriracha, slaw, crackling and fried egg inside a warm croissant, or wholesome Thai salmon, zucchini and corn fritters dressed in tangy green chilli dressing. With coffee by lauded Canberra roasters ONA and fluffy Japanese-style souffle pancakes for sweet tooths, there are plenty of reasons to return again and again.
This fun westside eatery is bringing sliders back into fashion, and we’re here for it. Mix and match varieties such as classic cheeseburger, buttermilk fried chicken with kimchi slaw or crumbed calamari. Dine inside the quirky room of contrasting royal blues and pastel pinks while enjoying boozy milkshakes and pie of the day for dessert.
Eternal Thai favourites are refined to a polished sheen at Blue River, where the kitchen keeps a keen eye on top produce and freshly-ground pastes and sauces. With standalone tables lining one side of the restaurant and banquette seating the other, locals tuck into zesty salads, earthy curries and smoky stir-fries. While they do all the familiar suspects you rely on, it's house specials like their tom yum fried rice and slow-cooked lamb curry that makes them a restaurant you'll ...
You can now get a double dose of Greek culture at the Hellenic Museum, where they’ve opened a sun-lit new restaurant situated in the building’s courtyard pavilion. After a morning scoping out the museum’s priceless ancient antiquities, you can dig into hearty regional specialties from leafy surrounds, with dishes like whole baked snapper with sautéed fregola, caoers and sundried tomatoes, and kritharaki, a risoni with seafood, parsley, garlic and chilli. Of course, you can expect lots of ouzo, raki and ...
Chinese food gets a modern remix at Super Ling, where mapo tofu gets stuffed in jaffles and fried rice arrives in a disarming shade of black, coloured by squid ink. The hip Carlton diner is run by a pair with proper Hakka heritage however, so while the form may be novel the flavours ring true. It's all in the spirit of fun, helped along with pet-nat wines, fine sakes and PS40 sodas from Sydney.
Nosh dish up seasonal and wholesome Japanese and Poke to hungry CBD workers. Nosh means to eat enthusiastically, and that's exactly what we do when we get our hands on one of their sushi tacos. Delicious combos of meat and sashimi are packed into tempura nori taco "shells" and they're as insta-worthy as you'd imagine.
There are few pleasures in life as blissful as a juicy burger hitting an empty stomach, and when Glen Huntly locals get a hankering they head to Burger Bliss. The casual modern eatery serves two-hander beauties stuffed with beef patties, slow-cooked brisket, fried chicken, flake or vegie patties boosted by a multitude of toppings and house sauces. Meals can be supercharged even further with addictive sides like mozzarella sticks and loaded fries, while malted thickshakes and soft serves bring a ...
No question about it – Sumalee is Bentleigh's favourite place for Thai. Here they go full force, firing up authentic renditions of soups, curries and stir-fries, combining Thai cuisine's punchy flavour profiles with quality Australian produce. The intimate, modern fit-out is a marked step above your average neighbourhood joint, and prospective diners take note: showing up at this packed-to-the-rafters favourite without a booking is a recipe for disappointment.
Cafe Saffron's menu contains over 70 northern Indian dishes, each one more flavourful than the last. They've been serving the neighbourhood for over 15 years, loved for their spice-rubbed tandoor meats, rich curries and bountiful vegetarian options. Table linens and Indian-style decorations add a touch of hominess to the place, making it a comfortable location from the first pappadum to your last bite of sticky gulab jamun.
Aside from having the cutest name in town, Everyday's Sunday serves delicious Thai favourites in a stylish, modern setting. The kitchen's eye for presentation sees familiar curries, noodles and stir-fries plated with a little extra care. And diners would be wise to save room for the dessert menu, which includes such delights as banana sticky rice dumplings with coconut ice cream.
Fast yet endlessly flavourful, Thongsuk is Bentleigh's reliable go-to for a satisfying Thai feed. Noodles and proteins are stir-fried any which way you like alongside well-loved curries, soup and salads, but diners would be remiss to overlook their house speciality of deep-fried whole barramundi covered in fresh Thai herbs. Dinners are ended on a sweet note with a robust selection of traditional delicacies from toddy palm cakes to banana sticky rice dumplings.
At the Abyssinian, you can experience the rich culinary traditions of Ethiopia and Eritrea, where food is slow-cooked using a complex mix of spices and a delicate dance of traditional cooking techniques. Their relaxed atmosphere and colourful décor make an inviting space to tuck into marinated meats, and spiced stews served on tangy injera bread, which is made to be torn apart with your hands and shared with your tablemates.
The trend of reviving old milk bars continues at full throttle with the opening of this peppy new café in Mitcham. While it may still have a lolly counter out the front selling dollar pop rocks and a freezer filled with Bubble-O-Bill’s, everything else here lives firmly in the 21st century. Expect lots of smoothie bowls in every colour from pink pitaya to blue spirulina, plus well-balanced dishes full of crunchy fresh veg and inspired additions like peking duck.
Word has already travelled far about this new CBD café’s signature offering – the ‘tradie slammer’ bravely sandwiches a full pie in between brioche buns and caramelised onion chutney. Even if your appetite doesn’t stretch quite so far, there’s plenty to love on the menu, including vibrant salads, decadent sweet pastries, oozy toasties, and of course, their full range of pies, encasing everything from humble beef to fancy confit duck with parsnip, honey and coffee jus.
This bright and buzzy 30-seater in Carnegie is a favourite with ramen lovers in the south east, serving hearty bowls of chicken- and pork-based broth simmered for more than 10 hours to achieve maximum flavour. While these signature bowls are surefire winners, in summer it's hard to go past the ramen dishes tossed in a lush, savoury sauce and topped with everything from spicy mince to crunchy chicken karaage.
One Thai is the neighbourhood's top pick for a proper Thai feed. They serve all the crowd-pleasing favourites like satay chicken, curries and fried noodles, alongside regional specialties like fiery larb and fresh seafood dishes (the ginger steamed barramundi is a beaut). The warm, well-lit space is comfortable and roomy enough for groups of all sizes.
Fresh and flavourful Thai cuisine is found at Narai, where extensive choice proves to be both a blessing and a burden. Coconut-rich curries, stir-fries, noodles and soups are all on offer. Plus, house specialties like charcoal-grilled meats served with dipping sauces and belly-warming clay pots that reveal a steamy treasure trove of chicken or prawn, glass noodles and veggies.