So apparently too much protein is a thing now, especially if your day job mostly consists of sitting on your butt with the occasional tea break (hey, the kettle is probably a good 100 metres away from my current desk location...) Well Listers, as the 2014 version of us would have said, YOLO.
Victoria has some of the best, high-quality cuts around and we ain’t about to let someone else eat it. What kind of foodies would we be? Here are the 50 meat dishes you need in your life right now.
1. The meltingly tender, flavoursome Berkshire Pork Shoulder from Le Bon Ton in Collingwood. Cooked for up to 12 hours, we challenge you to do better.
2. Chin Chin’s little brother, Kong, boasts some unfairly addictive Korean-style fried chicken. Served with gochujang mayo, fresh lemon and shichimi, these are crispy, sticky pieces of glory.
3. Creative, cheerful and calmly fresh – the 8bit Double Dragon with double beef, double cheese, double bacon, pickles, mustard, lettuce, ketchup and 8bit sauce is magnificent in all its artery-clogging glory.
4. Hello Porter Braised Beef Cheek from Bluebonnet Barbecue, how I’ve waited for you. This is the best cheek in Collingwood!
5. Be adventurous and get the Ike’s Special Sumthin’ from Ike’s Rack Shack. It’s guaranteed to be sticky, messy and goddamn delicious.
6.With locations in Caulfield South, Richmond and Melbourne CBD, we apparently can’t get enough of Big Boy BBQ. How does The 2 Meat, a saucy pulled chicken and pulled lamb shoulder with lettuce, tomato and BBQ sauce on a sesame bun sound?
7. Kirk’s Wine Bar is mainly known for cheese and hard to find wines, but if you’re in the area and you’re feeling a bit piggish, their Pork Belly Parcels are crispy, crackling gifts of goodness.
8. Melbourne’s favourite CBD one stop meat shop, Fancy’s Hanks, does a Texan-style Tray with brisket, sausages, potato salad and coleslaw that's impossible to resist.
9. Korean Braised Beef Spare Rib with soft polenta, buckwheat, raw green salad, garlic chips and sesame seeds? Excuse me while I take my lunchbreak at St. Edmonds...
10. Lamb lovers, attention! Marysville might just have the best lamb in Victoria. The Radius Bar and Grill’s 12-hour Roasted Lamb Shoulder with green olive salad and smoked eggplant is definitely worth the drive.
11. Who says meat can’t be healthy? At Chez Dré their Spiced Lamb Jaffle comes with brioche, pine nuts, labneh, fried egg, pickled red onion, roquette and sumac salad. #nom.
12. This list would hardly be a list without Belle’s Hot Chicken! Stick to the script and grab their famous wings. If you don’t want your face to burn off, start with Hot Wings (instead of say, Really F**king Hot).
13. A little more known for their bangin’ cocktails, Nieuw Amsterdam does a killer Nieuw Reuben with BBQ beef brisket, sauerkraut, pickles, cheese and sriracha mayo. These guys are too good.
14. When the meat cravings hit but you’ve already had dinner #firstworldproblems. Head to Boilermaker House for their Charcuterie Plate of cured meats—under the guise of sharing of course.
15. A tiny red entrance hides one of Melbourne’s best Asian restaurants—Lucy Liu. The team’s Roasted Shortrib With Rending Curry, coconut, herbs and pickles has some of the most tender meat in this city.
16. Cookie’s Pork Belly With Dry Red Curry, green beans and green peppercorns is probably one of the best dishes in Melbourne. So yes, we think you should definitely, absolutely, 100% go.
17. Pork crackling just levelled up at Collingwood’s Saint Crispin. The Snap Crackle and Pop is a magical snap-py, crackle-y, pop-ing start to the night!
18. Mr Big Stuff means business, their La Ionica Chicken with rosemary waffle and spiced maple syrup packs one seriously big punch. It’s perfect.
19. We’ll admit, we’re a little smitten with Meatmaiden’s 20-Hour Rangers Valley Wagyu Brisket with a Tasmaian pepper berry rub. We’re probably more smitten than we’d like to admit.
20. Meatmother, the mother of all things meat. We can never fit enough of their juicy offerings when we visit, but absolutely do not miss the Charred Smoked Cheese Kransky with sauerkraut and tomato jam. Is that drool I see?
21. If you thought meat had to be unhealthy, think again. One of Melbourne’s favourite health cafes, Foxes Den, serves deliciously buttery roast chicken with a range of salads or chips! Yes to guilt-free eating.
22. Sher Wagyu, parsley and bone marrow—deceptively simple ingredients go in to make one of the best steaks in Melbourne. Any meat lover should be jumping out of their skin to get to Northcote’s Estelle Bistro.
23. Smokey’s All American BBQ makes some seriously impressive meat feats, but our choice is the Dirty Harry’s 44 Magnum. A hot dog topped with habanero chillies and chilli con carne, this dog will (quite literally) knock you off your feet.
24. Souvlakakias, or small souvas, are best tried at Gazi. Their Duck Souvlakakia with chips, parsley, onion, mustard mayo and poached pear is a juicy sweet ‘n salty combo perfect if you’re an American BBQ lover in need of a brief time out.
25. You’re halfway down this list, obviously, you’re a bit keen on meat. Get the Smoked Meat Platter from South Melbourne’s Meatworks and enjoy a foodgasmic range of smoked pulled brisket, sticky lamb ribs, pulled pork, braised beef ribs, housemade BBQ sauce, tomato relish and chilli.
26. Traditionalists will cry in distress, but Massive Weiners’ Kraut Wiener with all the basics and tangy sauerkraut is tasty enough to deserve a spot on this list. Don’t make the terrible mistake of getting a small (aka little pecker).
27. Home to one of the best steaks in Melbourne (legit, indisputable), Entrecote’s signature Hopkins River Porterhouse is served with frites and coated in sauce Maison au beurre et aux herbes (aka best friggen sauce you’ve ever had with steak, ever).
28. It’s certainly not a meal for one (believe us), but Cumulus Inc’s Whole Slow Roast Lamb Shoulder to share is something out of a meaty filled dream.
29. The king of souvas, Jimmy Grants’ Mr Papadopoulos with lamb, their addictive mustard aioli, chips, onion and parsley has the ideal sauce to meat to pita ratio. We’d like the recipe, please?
30. Feast of Merit’s Half Milawa Free-Range Chicken with yellow Iraqi spice, white bean and tahini sauce is a feast you absolutely should not chicken out on!
31. With all the BBQed meats you could possibly ever need (it’s almost excessive… almost) The Gem Bar and Dining encourages a DIY kind of ordering. Go overboard—it’s worth it.
32. One of Melbourne’s finest casual diners, The Grand Trailer Park Taverna, is home to some of the best beef patties in this city. You can’t go wrong with the menu here, but the Atomic with premium Aussie beef patty, American cheddar cheese, caramelised onion, chilli cheese kransky, streaky bacon, BBQ sauce and truffle cayenne mayonnaise is a strong contender for best burger in Melbourne.
33. For pork with a difference, Wonderbao’s Braised Pork Belly Gua Bao with pickled mustard, a king-hit of coriander and crushed peanuts is a refreshingly light pork-y snack.
34. Not all chicken parmigiana is created equal. The Railway Club Hotel’s parma is topped with Virginia ham, cheese, piping hot Napoli sauce, fat chips and a garden salad—classic perfection.
35. A cosy bar in Fitzroy’s North, the brilliant Tramway Hotel team sell Smoked Chicken Wings by the pound (can you think of a better idea?!) Served with ranch dipping sauce and your choice of sweet baby rays BBQ or spicy sauce, you may find yourself smashing through a pound… or three.
36. For a duck fit for a king head to Cutler & Co. The Dry Aged Duck Breast, petit sale leg and glazed Japanese turnip is a mouth-watering fusion packed with herbs and spices. Pure delish.
37. Rockwell and Sons do a Fried Chicken Sandwich with buttermilk dressing, iceberg and hot sauce…um, is this news of the day or what?
38. Sometimes you just gotta stick to the classics, and the Station Hotel boasts some of the finest steak in Australia. The 200g Victorian Farms Tenderloin had us dreaming of beef for weeks.
39. At Up In Smoke, the smoker runs overnight so when dinner diners arrive at 6pm, the meat you see is all the meat you get. Come early to avoid tears over their fall-apart Beef Short Ribs.
40. Featuring gourmet snags from around the globe, we can’t go past The Snag Society’s Aussie with sweet beetroot relish, creamy goats cheese and pickles.
41. The B.East’s Filthy Burger is filthy good. With a beef pattie, jack cheddar, B.East chilli paste, pickled red onion, cos, tomato, tomato sauce and smoked jalapeno aioli… we’re thinking about how long it takes to get to Brunswick and back.
42. They might serve burgers in an old train carriage, perched on a nameless Collingwood roof, but Easey’s isn’t just a gimmick. Their Easey Cheesy with a beef patty, American cheddar, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, ketchup, mustard and mayo, stands for itself (and some).
43. Pastuso—where you can get Lamb Neck From The Spit served with Uchucuta Andina. Don’t worry, we didn’t know what that was either. Rest assured Listers, it tastes like heaven on lamb.
44. PolePole’s menu is essentially split into two sections: ribs and not ribs. Needless to say, we’ll be recommending the Sticky Goat Riblets with chipotle and cumin glaze with pickled watermelon.
45. The Korean Fried Chicken Food Truck. Need I say more?
46. Newly opened Royal Stacks has a stack to offer. We can’t go past the Prince Harry (cheeky) with a beef patty, butter lettuce, American cheddar, swiss cheese and horseradish, shallot and gherkin mayo sauce.
47. If you’re not mildly obsessed with Senor BBQ’s chorizo, you soon will be. This Argentinian food truck is worth hunting down.
48. Smokin’ Barrys, a meat extravaganza on four humble wheels. From pulled pork to beef brisket, and citrus BBQ chicken to pork ribs—jump in the line and patiently await this smokin’ hot meal.
49. An institution in Queen Victoria Market, the loveable Bratwurst Shop & Co makes grilled bratwurst hotdogs to your liking. Sauces, bread type and spice level are all up to you. Go nuts.
50. Lil Nom Noms is definitely not American, but we love their Vietnamese-style Grilled Lemongrass Pork just as much. Order it in a bahn mi slider or skewer on the go.
Need more BBQed food? Check out Where To Get The Best American Food In Melbourne.
Image credit: The Gem by Gareth Sobey for The Urban List