Another crop of new restaurants has set up shop in Melbourne, bringing fresh ideas and bold new flavours to the city. Here are the five we’re most excited about adding to our list of regulars.
The Recreation, Fitzroy North
This ingenious hybrid venue encompasses a bottle shop, wine bar and bistro, allowing you to choose a bottle of vino off the thoughtfully stocked shelves to enjoy alongside your meal. Just quietly, we’ll take this approach over a wine list any day. The food here is worth getting excited about too, the menu bursting with a mouth-watering selection of French-inspired creations. Try the chargrilled calamari for something lighter or, if you’re feeling more indulgent, make a beeline for the smoked duck and mushroom tortellini.
Tommy Ruff Fish Bar, Windsor
This family run fish and chippery opened its third arm in Windsor late last year, bringing delightfully traditional serves of ocean goodness to the inner-city. The space is sleek, modern and warm and the menu is full of old favourites (like beer battered barra and deliciously crisp, salty chips) and more sophisticated offerings (such as the panko crumbed calamari rings, prawn tacos and seafood chowder). Take your friends or family and dig in.
Azabu Juban, Yarraville
Lovers of Japanese cuisine will adore this new addition to Melbourne’s culinary scene. The menu is small but encompasses all the traditional favourites, serving high quality produce with minimalist flair. Think melt in your mouth gyoza, crispy karaage chicken, fresh sashimi and perfectly charred beef teppanyaki. The drinks menu is also strictly traditional, offering a handful of Japanese beers, a smattering of sakes and an impressive collection of 26 Japanese whiskeys. Kanpai!
Pierre Khodja’s fourth Melbourne restaurant is a nod to his roots, serving up a delectable collection of Algerian dishes. If you’re not familiar with the cuisine, imagine Middle Eastern spices, slow-cooked meats and bold flavours. There’s slow cooked goat with caramelised onions and apricots, steamed lamb with sultanas and rose water, roast carrots with caraway and honey, and peach tart with anise caramel and blueberry ice-cream. It sounds delicious, doesn’t it? The good news is it tastes even better.
✨Do believe the hype ✨Chef Pierre Khodja is doing some seriously special stuff here at Westgarth newcomer @camusrestaurant -- eat the quail! Eat the goat! And *definitely* take the advice of @onetui and eat this Turkish delight soufflé. Amazing service, great space. Thanks for having us @zillaandbrookpr #northcote #melbourne #food 📸IMAGE: @camusrestaurant ✨✨✨
Long Chim, Southbank
David Thompson’s fourth instalment in the Long Chim collection has found a home in Melbourne’s Crown Casino complex and boy, is it delicious. The philosophy is Thai street food – fragrant, bright and punchy, the menu is extensive, and the service is impeccable. Try the expertly stuffed betel leaves - bursting with a sticky-sweet muddle of roasted coconut, dried shrimp, peanuts and chilli; the sumptuous and deeply satisfying mashed prawn curry; and the chilli-laden Chang Mai larb - if you think you can handle the heat.