There's no denying it, Australians love their lamb – from roast to ribs, shanks to stews, cutlets to curries, we have a national obsession with the meat.
Melburnians are no different…we've lost count of the number of restaurants and cafes that have a lamb dish as their most popular! That's right, we love our lamb here in Melbourne.
So where to find the city's best? Read on dear Urban Listers, for we have indulged in a carnivorous feast across town to bring you this list of the best lamb dishes in Melbourne.
GG RESTAURANT – ROTISSERIE MEATS
Tucked away in East Melbourne, GG Restaurant is a classy yet relaxed restaurant, wine bar and function venue serving up delicious European inspired food. Of all their dishes, GG's are perhaps best known for their rotisserie meats and it's no wonder because hot damn, they're goooood. You'll be treated to a variety of meats cooked over the coals; however the lamb is our favourite of all. It's so juicy, tender and flavoursome that.even Sam Kekovich (the Australian ambassador for lamb) says it's some of the best lamb in Melbourne….now that's saying something!
CUMULUS INC. – WHOLE SLOW ROAST LAMB SHOULDER TO SHARE
Oh Cumulus Inc., our love for you knows no bounds. The sleek and chic Flinders Lane restaurant has been our go-to for ages, thanks in part to their so-good-you'll-dream-about-it whole slow roasted lamb shoulder…hands down one of the best lamb dishes in Melbourne! The perfect winter lamb dish, the meat is so soft that it falls right off the bone without you even trying. Don't be surprised if you stare in awe when it arrives at the table – countless visits later, we still have the same reaction!
BIG BOY BBQ – SAUCY LAMB RIBS
Rrrrrriiiiibbbbssss! There's nothing like pulling up a chair, putting on a bib and getting your hands dirty devouring some ribs! So who does Melbourne's best ribs? Big Boy BBQ is right up there with their saucy lamb ribs being an absolute standout. Whether you order a half of full rack of lamb ribs, Big Boy BBQ will leave you in no doubt that some of the best lamb ribs in Melbourne can be find right in their Caulfield or CBD outposts. Make sure you order some sides to complete the whole deliciously messy lamb ribs experience!
At TUL, we love a good meat pie! That said, we forego the traditional footy meat pie and instead focus our stomach attention on something a little gourmet….Piper Street Food Company's Moroccan lamb pie! One of the tastiest lamb dishes in Melbourne, Piper Street's stellar lamb pie is available at Hams & Bacon providore. Stop by on the weekend to stock up on some, before hiding in the kitchen and eating them all for yourself. Yep, they're that good!
THE SWEETWATER INN – DAMPER ROLL WITH PULLED LAMB AND BEETROOT BBQ SAUCE
Masters of the rock & roll bar, and all the delicious bar food that comes along with it, South Yarra's Sweetwater Inn get our vote for best pulled lamb roll in Melbourne. They take a gloriously soft and fluffy damper roll and fill it with juicy, saucy and perfectly sweet pulled lamb, along with beetroot BBQ sauce. God, it's good. Sure, the rest of the Sweetwater Inn menu is awesome but nothing has us drooling quite like the pulled lamb roll. Best devoured whilst swigging a whiskey sour!
MEAT ME – LAMB GYROS PLATE
A round up of the best lamb dishes in Melbourne wouldn't be complete without mentioning Oakleigh's Greek precinct – impossible! While it's a very close race between all the meat and souvlaki joints in the area, Meat Me on Eaton Mall get the nod with their lamb gyros plate. Essentially it's all the ingredients that you'd find in a regular rolled up gyros laid out on a plate – perfect if, like me, you're prone to making a mess and having your gyros spill and drip all over the place (I seriously don't know how I manage to make such a mess….)
FEAST OF MERIT – 12-HOUR SLOW COOKED LAMB JOINT WITH HARISSA
New to the Melbourne restaurant scene, Feast of Merit is a restaurant with a conscience with all profits raised going directly towards YGAP's various fundraising efforts both in Australia and overseas. It gets better though…not only is Feast of Merit a business that truly gives a damn, they also deliver incredibly tasty, locally sourced meals, including their 12-hour slow cooked lamb joint with harissa. It's such a good combo – the lamb is super soft and tender while the harissa gives the dish the perfect amount of kick! Believe us when we say we'll be going back for more.
TONKA – AVANI'S LAMB CURRY WITH ROASTED COCONUT, BLACK CARDAMOM AND WHITE POPPY SEEDS
It's no secret we love Adam D'Sylva's restaurant exploits – we frequent Coda and Tonka at every available opportunity. However, it's Tonka's lamb curry that's in the running for best lamb dish in Melbourne. Served with roasted coconut, black cardamom and white poppy seeds, the Avani's lamb curry is a unique flavour sensation. It's quite a dilemma really because on one hand it's so good, you'll want to devour it in record time but on the other, you'll want to take your sweet time in order to savour every bite. Oh #firstworldproblems!
FRIENDS OF MINE – SHREDDED LAMB SHANK WITH ORGANIC QUINOA, GIANT COUS COUS, RED PEPPER SALSA AND DUKKAH
Part of Friends of Mine's new menu (as in so new we had this for lunch and had to add it in at the last minute!), this dish combines shredded lamb shanks with quinoa, cous cous, red pepper salsa and dukkah for a modern take on a Melbourne winter favourite. We predict plenty more lunches at Friends of Mine are to follow...and we'll probably be ordering this each and every time!
YIAYIA ATHINA'S PLACE – ARNI ME PATATES STO FOURNO (ROAST LAMB WITH POTATOES)
Because really none of Melbourne's best restaurants hold a candle to my yiayia's cooking! Roast lamb and potato perfection, right here people!
Image Credit: GG Restaurant