I know I’m in Melbourne when I walk past a queue of discerning diners, patiently waiting to eat at their favourite place!
My first defining food moment in Melbourne was sitting up at the kitchen bar at Cumulus Inc in 2008, watching the chefs meticulously prepare the dishes. I remember Josh Murphy shucking oysters for myself and my brother Cam, and handing them straight over the counter. That was a special dinner.
The best new thing I’ve found is the Negroni Sbagliato (“Broken” Negroni) at Collins Quarter. It’s a spritzy version of the classic, where the gin is subbed out for prosecco.
When I want to push the boat out on a meal, I will go all out. We are so lucky in Victoria to have both Attica and Brae on our doorsteps - decadent wizardry at its finest.
There’s no better value in Melbourne than the roast chicken at Embla. De-boned, cooked in a wood-fired oven, served with crispy skin and sauce “vin John”, so good that will bring tears to your eyes. Seriously Dave; you’ve ruined me for life.
And when I want to dazzle friends from out of town, I like to take them to Supernormal. A seat up at the bar opposite the kitchen (see a theme developing!) is the perfect place to spend an evening with exceptional food, great wine and cocktails, and the best hospitality around.
In the mornings you’ll find me sitting out the front of Napier Quarter with my dog and a coffee.
My local is Marion because, breakfast, lunch, snacks, wine, dinner, dessert (any or all of the above and everything else in between), no one does it better. I truly love that place.
If I could change one thing about eating and drinking here it would be the proliferation of cafes just doing the same thing.
But the one thing I hope never changes in Melbourne is our ability to get behind a small local business and make it an icon.
Lune Croissanterie, 119 Rose St, Fitzroy and shop 16, 161 Collins Street, Melbourne, lunecroissanterie.com