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Summer's almost is here, which means it’s time to head outside again and take in some Vitamin D for the first time in months.
It also means it’s time to start trying some new things, and Melbourne’s restaurants are just waiting to dish up some fine dishes for you to tuck into throughout spring and into summer.
Here are 20 dishes you should get stuck into this month in Melbourne.
Lobster Roll | Supernormal Canteen
The iconic Supernormal dish is also available south of the river at Supernormal Canteen.
The Supernormal Canteen site is where the Lobster Roll was first created, back when the space was called Golden Fields. The delightful brioche bun is packed with fresh lobster, Kewpie mayonnaise, and watercress. It’s the most upmarket Fillet-o-fish you’ll ever go near.
Crispy Pork Hock Sam | Tokyo Tina
If you find yourself strolling down the top end of Chapel Street hungry, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more healthy helping of protein than the Crispy Pork Hock Ssam at Tokyo Tina.
It’s designed to share, and rightly so. Because there’s a lot of it. The pork hock is served with ssamjang, pancake, ginger, cucumber, and kimchi.
Soft Shell Crab Souva | Gazi
Let’s be honest here, if you’re heading into Gazi you’re most likely going straight to the ‘Souvas’ section of the menu. And the Soft Shell Crab Souva is where your eyes should be looking first.
The souvlaki is filled with crunchy soft shell crab, Kewpie mayonnaise, mint, coriander, and honey.
Spanner Crab Spaghetti | Neptune
Keep the crab party going with the Spanner Crab Spaghetti from High Street date spot Neptune.
Served with parsley and saltbush, it’s the best way to hit most of the food groups in one delicious meal.
Dry Aged Roast Duck | Hanoi Hannah
If you’re tired of tearing into Peking Duck, it might be worth trying it a little differently at Hanoi Hannah’s newest restaurant in Elsternwick.
The dry-aged duck is served with lemongrass, five spice, and crunchy noodles. Check out our episode of We Ate That featuring the dish here.
Cuadril de Cordero | San Telmo
It’s time to get very acquainted with what an Asado grill can do at CBD restaurant San Telmo.
The Cuadril de cordero a pasture-fed lamb rump spiced with coriander and chipotle. Add delicious sides like their Coliflor (roasted cauliflower), and you’re set.
Roast Pumpkin | JAMU
Time to focus on something meat-free.
JAMU’s Roast Pumpkin features a miso glaze and is served with black rice, mizuna, edamame, calamansi, and mustard dressing.
Juicy Pork Xiao Long Bao | David’s
It’s hard to go past the Pork Xiao Long Bao on a visit to David’s. It’s a legendary Melbourne dish.
You’ll get four of these amazing pork parcels, and as per usual with any Xiao Long Bao order, be careful, the soup inside can be damn hot.
Pappardelle Al Ragu D’Agnello | Nonna’s Cucina
Nonna’s Cucina dishes up some amazing hand-made pasta dishes, and the Pappardelle Al Ragu D’Agnello has to be the top of the list.
The pappardelle is served with delicious slow-cooked lamb ragu, San Marzano tomato sauce, and topped off with saffron.
Đùi Gà Chieên Giòn | Jardin Tan
Jardin Tan has to have one of the best surrounds in Melbourne with it being situated smack bang in the middle of the Botanical Gardens.
The French Indochina-inspired menu has classic Vietnamese dishes of French influence and the Đùi Gà Chieên Giòn (fried chicken) is one you should definitely be ordering.
Tagliata Di Manzo | Mamma’s Boy Trattoria
Mamma’s Boy Trattoria in Brunswick is dishing up excellent Italian cuisine, and if you take a glance down to the ‘Mains’ section of their menu you’ll find the Tagliata Di Manzo, a grilled grass-fed scotch fillet (300gm) that’s served with a rocket and cherry tomato salad, shaved grana, and balsamic vinegar.
You won’t be leaving hungry.
Tarte Tatin | Iki-Jime
Yes, Iki-Jime is a seafood restaurant, and they do an amazing job of serving up what could be the best seafood in Melbourne. But, you need to have a look at their dessert menu.
Iki-Jime’s Tarte Tatin is a dish that could just change your life. It’s a traditional Tarte Tatin served with ice cream. The crispy outside and delicious spiced apple make for the ultimate end to a great meal.
OX Pork Chop | Dr Morse
Just outside Victoria Park station, you’ll find Dr Morse, and it’s got something for you at any time of day.
Venture into Dr Morse at night and you’ll find the XO Pork Chop, a delicious piece of pork served with cime de rapa, and orange caramel. Follow it up with their Apple Crumble Spring Rolls and you’re sorted
Bugulama | Yagiz
South Yarra’s Yagiz would have to be one of Melbourne’s most underrated dinner spots.
The menu features takes on Turkish cuisine classics, and the Bugulama should be high on your list.
The flathead is served steamed with pilaki.
Crispy Fried Sichuan Duck | Lucy Liu
Lucy Liu is just off Flinders Lane, the heart and soul of CBD dining, and it presents quite an entrance.
The red neon entrance is unmissable, and once inside you’ll find an array of pan-Asian dishes, and the Crispy Fried Sichuan Duck is definitely a highlight.
The spicy, crispy, perfectly cooked duck is served with a watercress salad and tamarind sesame dressing. Perfect to share.
Werribee Cauliflower Heart | Abacus Bar & Kitchen
Focussing on locally sourced ingredients is a massive part of what makes Abacus Bar & Kitchen so good, and their Werribee Cauliflower heart—sourced from you guessed it, Werribee—is a vegetarian dish you need to eat right now.
The heart is served with roast Dutch carrots, smoked cashew cheese, and leaves.
Son In Law Eggs | Son In Law
If you’ve never had Son In Law Eggs before, you’re in for a real treat at the aptly named Son In Law.
The delicious deep fried eggs are served with sweet tamarind, chilli, and fried shallots. For after your meal we recommend getting stuck into Son In Law’s Cartoon Bao Buns which need to be seen to be believed.
Rosemary & Garlic Lamb Shoulder | Rupert On Rupert
Rupert On Rupert has to be one of the best spaces in Melbourne, especially if you’re looking at hosting an event.
It’s also a great place to grab a feed and a drink after work, and it’s worth perusing the menu for the Rosemary & Garlic Lamb Shoulder from the wood oven. It’s served with salsa verde and boquerones.
Vegan Lasagne | Pizza E Birra
Pizza is in the name, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment a little.
Pizza E Birra has some amazing vegan options, including a massive range of vegan pizzas—but it’s hard to go past a lasagne.
Pizza E Birra’s Vegan Lasagne features zucchini, capsicum, nozzarella, mushrooms, spinach, Napoli sauce, and a rocket balsamic salad with tomato and cucumber.
Bulgur | Tulum
Tulum is definitely a restaurant people should know more about. The Balaclava restaurant is serving up some of Melbourne’s best Turkish cuisine.
Get stuck into the Bulgur, a main of fried eggplant, cumin, sumac, molasses bulgur rice, and a smoked eggplant mousse.
The best news about all these dishes? They're all available at restaurants where you can get a discount with our Urban Feast card.
Read more about Urban Feast here, and pick one up for yourself or a family member.
Image credit: Tarte Tatin | Iki-Jime