Dining in Grossi Florentino's Tuscan mural room shows that special-occasion dining in Melbourne is alive and well. The dining room has high, decorated plaster ceilings, chandeliers, dark wood panelling and the murals. Service is a delight from the black dressed waiters with their long white aprons.
Guy Grossi's menu whatever the season is magnificient... and in our case we walked away with a copy of the book on the restaurant... autographed by Guy Grossi himself.
All in all, a memorable dining experience.
And a final note - all this from an establishment that has been there since the early 1900s, which makes it even more amazing!
Address: 80 Bourke St, City 3000
Phone: 9662 1811
One of Melbourne's best Indian restaurants (and one of our favourites), the Roti Boti (pronounced Roaty Boaty, which means bread and meat) produces superb Indian dishes with a leaning towards those cooked in the tandoor. Great service and a wide choice of meals and courses, from vegetarian dishes to 'make your eyes water' curries. Kid friendly too, somewhere for the whole family. Bookings are essential at weekends, because it’s popular.
513 Hampton St, Hampton, within walking distance from Hampton Station;
tel: (03) 9598 5511;
Like Indian food? Authentic Indian?
The Indian Express in Hampton St, Hampton (bayside Melbourne) provides all that. There is virtually no room to eat in (it is a takeaway after all) but the queues for the takeaway say it all. People come from surrounding suburbs for their fill of Indian... it is that good!
Our local Italian... and we are proud of it. It is somewhere we can walk on a Saturday night... with a bottle of red and enjoy a meal. (It's fully licensed or you can bring your own). Families love it because kids are well catered for here.
It is noisy and buzzy but down the back away from the large Pizza oven it is quieter. The waiting staff are very much at home dealing with us locals (even their guest Canadian waiter is no longer homesick)... Great southern Italian cooking here !
Sometimes it pays to book beforehand...
462 Hampton St HAMPTON 3188
ph: 9598 9396
Superbly located on the riverfront walk outside the Crown Casino and accessed via the Crown Promenade inside Melbourne's world class casino, the Waterfront does not disappoint.
With a name like - Waterfront Fish Market, the emphasis is obviously on seafood and to that end, Waterfront provides an elegant dining experience as the seafood is sublime.
For those who prefer something different, a variety of steaks done by weight is offered; anything up to 900gms of ribeye is for the carnivores in us.
Side dishes of salads are for the vegetarians or the hungry and to finish, a nice choice of desserts is available including their famous Belgian Chocolate Fondant! Yum!
A very good beverage menu also provides diners with an excellent choice of Australian and mainly French wines (red, white and sparkling).
Waterfront should be visited and enjoyed. Not cheap but well worth it.
Riverside (Shop 19)
Crown Casino Complex
8 Whiteman Street
Southbank, Victoria 3006
ph 9686 9766
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.
Salix restaurant at the Willow Creek Winery on the Mornington Peninsula south of Melbourne is simply superb.
Local produce and seafood, a great view and the fine wines from the winery and other areas create a high-class dining experience. Go for lunch or dinner and enjoy!
Willow Creek Vineyard
166 Balnarring Road
Merricks North 3926
ph: 5989 7640
Google map: tinyurl.com/p4l5ox
Wheelers is a pub that has gone through a bit of a transformation and turned into a top class hotel with good food, good entertainment (especially Thursday and Friday nights) and a view to die for.
Having a lazy lunch in the fancy class restaurant overlooking the valley is a great way to spend a Sunday. The Wheelers is a fave with locals. And did I mention the views too?
Wheelers Hill Hotel
Ferntree Gully Road (cnr Jells Road), Wheelers Hill (about 20 mins from the centre of the city along the freeway) Tel. 9560 8922
car parking on site is free
A Japanese Taxi? yes! Here in Melbourne in the 'Transport' hotel in the centre of the city is a Japanese restaurant, a very good restaurant mixing modern day Oz with Japanese to produce inspired dining.
The food and service is fantastic and the interior and exterior design ...amazing
'Taxi' dining room is at Transport Hotel, Federation Square, Flinders St
(just across from Flinders St
Tel: 9654 8808
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
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
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.
..strange name for a little touch of Italy in bayside Hampton. And more curiously, this new eatery has been set up by Alastair Dobbs, previously the sommelier at the Church St Enoteca.
OS presents a classic simple Italian menu accompanied of course with an excellent wine list. Bookings are advised as OS has become very popular
Middle eastern restaurant in the basement of one of the coolest apartments in Melbourne. Local foodie, George Colombaris is part owner of this very swanky bar/restaurant which does terrific middle eastern fare with slick modern twists. Style and substance - quite a coup.
Interesting restaurant. Vegetarian only, and you pay what you feel your meal was worth. All food is organic and locally sourced, and despite the unusual - and potentially bankrupting - ethos, the food is absolutely delicious and the atmosphere warm and friendly. Highly recommended!
There are three restaurants in Melbourne: St Kilda, Fitzroy and Footscray
Attica is superb, unbelievable, different, wonderful and challenging.
In a quiet suburb, south east of the city (better known for its majestic National Trust mansion), Attica is breaking the ground rules for dining in Melbourne and gaining a very good reputation and two or three hats in local dining guides.
Attica presents food that is challenging - their after mains course called 'Terroir' consists of beetroot, limes, berries and flowers and is a prelude to various desserts, one of which blows you away - a tumbler of sauternes custard berries and toffee.
The service is exemplary and professional beyond belief. Attica hands the diner a wine list of great length with a selection of wines, local and international.
The degustation menu (on Friday and Saturday evenings) presents diners with two entrees and seven mains and a dessert dish, presented and explained over three hours of dining.
An astonishing dining experience
not cheap but absolutely worth it
First constructed in 1866, the Vue Grand is a superb historic hotel in Queenscliff about 90 mins from Melbourne. With very good accommodation in modernised old rooms, the Vue Grand is the place to stay while looking over the sights of Queenscliff or visiting the Historical Museum or discovering the local area of Bellarine. The Vue Grand has a number of cafes and eating areas as well as bars but the highlight is the Grand Dining room.
Just a nice place to stay in provincial Victoria.
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.
Woodapple is in Hampton and gets its name from a strange Sri Lankan fruit of the same name (the fruit being hard skinned like a coconut but with an inner pulp like apple and berry pie filling according to our host)
So Woodapple serves Sri Lankan cuisine and does so superbly. There is a reasonable list of entrees but for mains the best choice is the hoppers (bowlshaped rice flour pancakes) filled with your choice of whatever curries are on the constantly changing menus. These are fantastic and come with some amazing chutneys. The coconut roti (bread) is also great. One thing we noticed is that vegetarians are well catered for with a surprisingly good choice of authentic dishes. The service was good, done by the either the lady owner and/or the chef.
Best of all, the prices are very nice and there is no corkage if you bring your own drinks.
427 Hampton St
ph 9598 7800
Woodapple is in the setback Hampton Village area of Hampton st shops and is about 200m north of Hampton station. Parking out front is free.
Google map: tinyurl.com/yfufnkk
A new name, a new owner, a new chef and newly renovated is the setup for what was the 'Middle Brighton Baths'.
'The Baths' encompasses a very swish restaurant upstairs with superb views across the bay, a lounge deck and a separate cafe and bar downstairs.
We dined at the newly renovated upstairs restaurant and came away impressed with a new a la carte menu, a very interesting wine list of local and imported wines, beers and liquers topped with very good service! Overall a very nice evening out.
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