The Toff in Town is a fabulous venue hosting a variety of events and performances from jazz, cabaret and burlesque nights.
There’s an old fashioned glamour to the place, evoking Paris of the 1920s, in particular the partitioned section of the venue which has private booths, a bit like an old fashioned railway carriage.
Superb wine and nibbles, ideal for a midnight encounter.
Second Floor, Curtin House
252 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
+ 61 3 9639 8770
One of Australia's best rural restaurants is Athelstane House in the historic maritime village of Queenscliff. The dining experience we had was superb, with amazing food backed up by a very good list of local and regional wines (as well as imports from France etc) and very very good service. Dining can be done in the restaurant or on the balcony or in front of the fire. Athelstane House also provides high class accommodation as well as a very good food store. Athelstane House is the winner of many dining and good food awards. We were impressed.
Melbourne is getting a collection of great little restaurants along its bay and Vincents is another one. It has fantastic views across Port Phillip Bay and the surrounding bayside suburbs from the upstairs dining room.
The menu is mediterranean based and of course offers lots of fish choices.
The pastas were great as were the home made dips. Service was smart and efficient. BYO and also licenced, Vincents is just a nice place to go and have a meal
Melbourne is Australia's secret city. Visitors from abroad are awestruck by Sydney's habour and opera house, but often fail to see Melbourne's charm. Melburnians however, all know that if you know where to look, the city is full of secret hidden spots.
Murmur bar is a fine example of a truly hidden secret Melbourne bar. Tucked away at the back of an alley way, off a small side street, up a flight of stairs and you find an atmospheric cocktail bar where you can while away a pleasant evening sipping new and innovative cocktail creations.
Think dim lighting, jazz music and attractive thirty-somethings drinking quirky cocktails.
Bit on the expensive side, but worth it!
Murmur bar is on wharburton lane in the Melbourne CBD. From the junction of Little Bourke st and Elizabeth Street walk west on Little Bourke (towards the Telstra Dome), Whatburton lane if off Little Bourke on the left side. (03) 9640 0395.
Google map: tinyurl.com/pdnkff
Situated on the shoreline between the marina and the bay, Rìva really makes the most of its bayside location. There are views across the bay, the marina and the Melbourne skyline and the outside decks sare great. The menu and wine list are pretty good. Rìva was packed when we went and although it's a bit different, it's still a great place for a night out.
Highett is a pretty plain Melbourne suburb and wasn't renowned for dining or eateries until The French corner arrived. The French Corner is a bistro, bar and restaurant. If you want a quick bite, try the Les Petits Plâts or for something more substantial the Les Plâts de Resistance which are substantial meals.
There are some interesting choices on the menu. The service is good and the drinks prices are not too silly either. Many wines (local and French) are available by the glass. I liked the place.
Jimmy Watson's is named after an icon of the Australian wine industry and is a wine bar, bistro and restaurant. Located in the Lygon St food and dining area of the inner city suburb of Carlton, it has been a meeting place for Melburnians to chat, imbibe and graze for more than 75 years (it was opened in the 1930s by Jimmy Watson himself).
As it's also located close to Melbourne University, countless generations of students have met there over the years to discuss politics and economics. Run today by Watson's grandsons, the original aura and atmosphere of Watson's has been retained.
It must also be said, that in addition to this eating place, Jimmy Watson is remembered by the memorial trophy under his name offered each year at the Royal Melbourne Wine show.
Watsons is a Melbourne institution.
This is one of the better old style pubs in inner Melbourne. Many types of beer and good grub.
Its specialities are the chicken parma and a good serve of fish and chips. Some decent pizzas as well as a kids menu. The rooftop bar and beer garden is the place to be on a warm night.
The Corner Hotel is also well known for its entertainment and is open until late...
What does one say about a restaurant that hands you a drinks list when you arrive... with 68 different vodkas on it? And when you turn the page over there is a list of vodka cocktails... more than 25 of them!
The food menu (after you have finished looking through the vodkas) is very European-based with a Polish flavour. Borsch? Yes, it's on the menu. Goulash? Of course! Bratwurst and sauerkraut is included as expected. Come with an empty stomach as the servings are large. The service is cheery, the entertainment fun (a trio dressed as gypsies playing a violin, a piano accordion... and, of all things, a cello!) and if you really want to make a night of it, there is always the theatre next door.
Prices are reasonable and despite the alcohol, 'After the Tears' is kid-friendly. My grandkids loved their meals.
9B Gordon St, Elsternwick
(entrance thru the Classic theatre )
Phone(03) 9523 0969
Across the road from Elsternwick railway station (don't drink and drive, catch a train instead)
Google map: tinyurl.com/qpadfm
A daggy old longstanding hotel (robbed by bushrangers in the 19th century!), Milano's has gone through a renovation and rejuvenation
and today it has decent dining facilities (new bistro) and new function areas (for receptions or parties). The bay and city views from the upstairs function area is amazing.
In addition, Milano's is gaining a reputation as a great place for live music featuring local acts Dining and entertainment deals make this a great night out.
4 The Esplanade, Brighton Beach, Victoria, AUSTRALIA, 3186
Phone: (03) 9592 3555
Fax: (03) 9592 3619
next door to Brighton Beach railway station
Strange name... nice restaurant. The Wet Fish is a small intimate place that serves excellent mezze, tapas, great Turkish food and other Mediterranean fare. Seafood is a speciality. The range of Turkish dips and bread is rather nice. Also nice too are the prices, this is a cheap eating experience. The service is excellent.
427 Hampton St
(in Hampton Village)
ph 9533 1666
free parking out front
Google map: tinyurl.com/qy5zl8
Hotel Phillip Island is centrally located in Cowes on the esplanade with simply one of the best views from any eatery I have been in. The food is good with a quite extensive menu with plenty of seafood listed.
Quite a nice spot to while away the time with a drink, a meal and the view.
11-13 The Esplanade
Phone +61 3 5952 2100
Another nice little find in my local neighbourhood... Sarands presents a Mediterranean-based menu of seafood or meat dishes. The restaurant itself is light and airy (with an upstairs private dining area for functions), service is pleasant, the wine list small but well chosen and the (mains) servings huge. The prices are reasonable too. Coffee is excellent.
532 Hampton St, Hampton
3188 Vic (200m south of South Rd)
Ph 9598 8944
Google map: tinyurl.com/rxul2v
Ten years old this year, makes the Gin Palace a venerable old man among Melbourne's hip young cocktail bars. It has lost none of its greatness though. Well trained bartenders, a bookshelf of cocktail books, hundreds of bottles (including dozens of types of gin) means that if you want to stray from the ten martinis printed on their cocktail list, you can have just about anything. Also, the chairs are stuffed with goose feathers, the music is never too loud and it is open every day of the year (including Christmas). I don't live in Melbourne any more but if I did, I'd be there right now.
Russell Place, Melbourne
Google map: tinyurl.com/qg2jvh
Named after a notorious Victorian brothel keeper, Madame Brussels has a deliciously kooky garden party theme, complete with grassed interior, trellising and parasols.
Bright young things in tennis whites will bring you iced Pimms and cucumber sandwiches. Scrumptious in every way.
Dining at Mirka is a tasty visual experience. Surrounded by murals by Mirka Mora, you dine on food from the kitchen of Melbourne's famed Guy Grossi. Based widely on a mediterranean style (Grossi is Italian), the menu here is about making one feel cosseted and at home.
The wine list is superb with wines from France and South America as well as the best of Australia. Superb service along the art of the dining room makes 'Mirka' one of Melbourne's best culinary experiences. We will be going back.
42 Fitzroy St
03 9525 3088
100m from St Kilda Light Rail station
Google map: tinyurl.com/pp2mqb
A pub with a view, a great view across Melbourne's bay. A pub with decent food in the bistro, a TAB, a lounge bar and accommodation all within 15km of the CBD.
A pretty good local pub with one of the best outlooks in Melbourne.
Recently renovated inside, the Flinders Pub has moved to improve its eating areas with a formal dining room in addition to the bistro.
The pub is a favourite of motorcycle riders (it's a great place to start or end a ride) who frequent the bistro but the dining room is a nice place for those wanting something more formal... nice thick linen and quality tableware. It's a nice place to eat for those who have been tramping the wineries in the area or having a hit at Flinders Golf Club.
Cafe Latte is not a drink, it's a nice little Italian restaurant in swanky Toorak. Great pasta dishes (mainly southern Italian style), nice wine list, central bar and a fantastic atmosphere make this a place 'to eat out' at.
521 Malvern Rd, Toorak, VIC, 3142
Phone: (03) 98265846
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