Ben Shewry's Attica, voted number 21 in the prestigious S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2013, is located in the suburb of Ripponlea, a short distance from Melbourne’s city centre. Since opening six years ago, Attica has garnered the attention of top food critics from Australia and beyond. Known for his ethical and sustainable approach to cooking, Shewry is known for foraging raw materials for his dishes from Attica’s own gardens and even on the shore near his home in the Great Ocean Road region of Victoria.
Insider Tip: Book ahead – it’s a hot table in town.
The team behind wildly popular Asian-fusion restaurant, Coda have opened Tonka, serving modern Indian cuisine. Tonka is tucked away in Melbourne’s iconic Duckboard Place adjacent to AC/DC Lane (off Flinders Lane). It was once home to cult late-night venue Honkytonks, which the restaurant is named after.
Insider Tip: Grab a snack or cocktail at the front bar, Thali at Tonka.
Joe Grbac and Scott Pickett, the brains behind Saint Crispin, met while working at two Michelin-star restaurant The Square in London. On edgy Smith Street, their menu adopts influences from abroad, using ingredients such as grimaud duck, foie gras and miso eggplant. Diners can choose between two or three courses or a chef’s tasting menu. The restaurant is named after the patron saint of cobblers, as its site was originally a cobblers’ workshop.
Insider Tip: Have a pre-dinner cocktail and some Snap, Crackle, Pop – crunchy twice-cooked pig skin.
Celebrity chef George Calombaris’ new inner-city hotspot, Gazi, has taken the place of the much-revered Press Club Dining Room. Located in one of Melbourne’s beautiful heritage buildings, the space has been transformed into a modern Greek grill where punters can enjoy Greek bites such as mini souvlaki and lamb ribs with all the trimmings.
Insider Tip: Go for the 10-course Feed Me option (AU$69) for the best of the day.
Ombra is the latest venture from the Grossi family, Melbourne food royalty. Located right next door to their iconic Grossi Florentino restaurant, Ombra is based on the ideals of preservation and enjoyment, serving quality cured dishes. Try the Sicilian anchovies on crostini, smoked octopus and candied pumpkin with goat’s cheese.
Insider Tip: Pop in for lunch or a pre-theatre meal. Each month focuses on a different region of Italy.