It’s hard to ignore the pressure when it comes to planning out a ripper Valentine’s Day date that’ll tick all the boxes and knock your better half’s socks off. Nothing says ‘I love you’ like planning ahead, so to help avoid the disappointment we’ve rounded up the most romantic restaurants Melbourne has on offer.
Hemingway’s Wine Room
Inarguably one of Melbourne’s most charming wine bars and fine diners, Hemingway’s Wine Room is offering up a feast referencing the man behind their namesake, Hemingway.
Based on one of Ernest Hemingway's most romantic novels, our A Farewell To Arms Valentine's Dinner is a specially designed four-course dinner, bookended by Billecarte Champagne (and with a much happier ending). Expect trio of duck, rock flathead and a stunning filet mignon with a tempura oyster.
Book in at $149pp here.
Agostino, Carlton’s moodiest pasta and wine joint, is doing a $95pp set menu which includes the likes of yellowfin tuna with white asparagus, WA lobster ravioli, Fremantle octopus with peach and 'nduja oil and poached rhubarb with strawberry and diplomatica cream.
Another beauty from Scott Pickett, the ever-charming Estelle is offering up four or five courses plus four different snacks—dishes include fior de burrata, kingfish, dry aged duck breast, porterhouse wagyu and a dessert. Book this charmer here starting at $130pp.
Scott Pickett’s opulent fine-diner set within the Normanby Chambers should be on the top of your list this Valentine’s Day. Begin at Chancery Lane with an indulgent seafood platter to share, guests will then enjoy heirloom tomato consommé, with a choice of Cape Grim rib of beef or John Dory with caviar beurre blanc for mains, plus sides. $150pp. This one’s for the lovers—book here.
We can’t stop talking about Scott Pickett, and for good reason. The restaurateur has resurrected one of Melbourne’s favourite restaurants, and they’re doing a killer Valentine’s Day menu. The Thai-inspired feast will start with a Mango No. 5 cocktail or glass of Rob Dolan ‘Blanc de Blanc’ on arrival before guests work their way through a handpicked selection of Longrain favourites, including oyster, finger lime ma kweng pepper and more.
Book in at $120pp here.
One of the city’s favourite openings from last year has already reached institution status. Head in for a fiery Valentine’s Day feast from the flame-focussed diner. Specials include Firebird’s signature grilled oysters, scotch quail egg, beef carpaccio, crudités, chargrilled squid, roasted duck, wood-fired roasted John Dory, and Chinese broccoli.
Book in for $90pp here.
About as much fun as you can have with Japanese food, Chapel Street veterans Tokyo Tina are of course putting on a Valentine’s Day menu. Guests can expect signature dishes including crab tostada, okonomiyaki, Wagyu beef tataki, Umeboshi glazed duck bao. Then, finish your session with Tina’s white chocolate mousse with mango curd and baked meringue.
Book in at $90pp for lunch and dinner here.
There's no set Valentine's Day menu here, but you don't need it because you'll damn well fall in love with the space as soon as you walk in. Get a healthy serving of the Aqua Pazza oysters, you and your lover won't regret it.
Book ahead here.
Chin Chin is doing a ‘Love Me, Feed Me’ menu of epic proportions for Valentine’s Day, which includes classics like their king grilled prawn and Kingfish sashimi. Book in at $89pp.
There are also several limited cocktails for the big day like the Easy Lover and the Two’s Company—spicy.
A stalwart of St Kilda, and some damn fine Japanese food. There’s no set menu here, just you, your significant other and as much as you want from for their stunning selection.
Book in at Ichi Ni ahead of the day to avoid disappointment.
Ichi Ni Nana
Like the above, but for the north. You won’t find a set menu here either, so let your heart run wild with the menu at Ichi Ni Nana, and with your date, too.
Baby, Richmond’s Baby Pizza is putting on quite the show for Valentine’s Day with a lobster pizza. Say no more. Check out the full Valentine’s Day set menu, which comes in at $55 or $66pp, here.
St Kilda’s Pontoon is turning pink for Valentine’s day, and they’re doing $2 oysters to get that vibe high. Those balling out on a budget can get stuck right into half price Frosé all damn day. Book in a spot for yourself and perhaps that special someone here.
If you happen to be around the inner north, a date spot favourite for locals is Fitzroy North’s Neighbourhood Wine. The retro timber bar is a safe bet for a cosy early evening glass of sparkling and freshly shucked oysters. For something a little heartier, tuck into their French-inspired seasonal menu over a shared bottle of minimal intervention red.
Looking to one up your partner on the gifts department? Suss out an indulgent five-course chef’s tasting menu at Kisumé. You and your lover will score a selection of sashimi, sushi, tempura and more. There's also a special heart-shaped hazelnut dacquoise to finish off the evening with something sweet.
Book in at a bold $165pp here.
Daughter In Law
If a bright pink restaurant doesn’t scream flirty date spot, then the bold menu and disco backing track at Jessi Singh’s Daughter In Law will change your mind. Their Valentine’s Day set menu kicks off with a mango & thyme bellini on arrival, followed up with four sharing courses of Singh’s spin on ‘unauthentic Australian Indian’. We’re talking fried sweet and sour cauliflower, curried bearnaise and tandoori chicken with pineapple and jalapeno chutney. Book at $85pp here.
Jessi Singh, you’ve done it again. One of the restaurateur’s more recent openings is pulling out the Champagne trolley and serving up a six course menu—yes, we said Champagne trolley.
Book in at $90pp here.
Singh’s the word this Valentine’s Day, head to the man’s latest venue, the Indian-British curry pub known as Mr Brownie Starting with oysters and Veuve Clicquot, before moving on to a gourmet chicken kebab with Blanc de Blanc. Plus plenty more, of course.
Book in at $149 per couple here.
Fitzroy North’s old faithful, Horn Please is putting on a classic Indian three-courser with a glass of Champagne at $69. Book in your dinner for two here.
Matilda 159 Domain
This one is best described as decadent, it’s also situated just across the road from the Botanic Gardens, which is romantic too, right? Lovers can expect Merimbula oysters, kangaroo tartare, aged Milawa farm duck, Matilda’s famous dressed Fraser Island spanner crab, and more.
Call 9089 6668 or email email@example.com to book.
Everyone loves Hawker Hall, so you’d get brownie points just for the fact you’ve booked here. The food and drink will seal the deal if nothing else does. Expect favourites on the Valentine’s Day set menu like kolo mee with char siu pork, spicy kung pao chicken beef rendang and special fried rice. Banquets range from $55 to $88pp—suss out a booking here.
Book yourself in for dinner for two on the Bomba rooftop for a drink, then head downstairs for oysters, wagyu cecina, roast strip loin and plenty more Spanish-inspired dishes. It’s all part of the four course sharing menu which comes in at $79pp. Book here.
The easiest way to spice things up this Valentine’s Day is with the exclusive set menu at Mejico. Here, you’ll get the likes Mejico's signature tableside guac, salmon ceviche, Yucatan style BBQ empanadas, porterhouse steak with chimichurri and a margarita cheesecake to finish for $75pp.
They also have 260 varieties of Mezcal if you’re feeling indulgent.
Acre Farm & Eatery
Head upstairs for a truly unique experience in Acre Farm & Eatery’s greenhouse. Plated up in front of you at $79pp will Sydney rock oysters, snapper with watermelon and chilli, smoked trout with cucumber, chicken liver pate, flank steak and a triple chocolate trifle to finish.
Book in here.
Cutler & Co
It would be a sin to wax lyrical about romantic spots and not mention fine-dining royalty Cutler & Co, the Gertrude Street institution serving up cracking Euro-Japanese cuisine for over a decade. The intimate surroundings and stellar service is spot on if you’re looking to sweep your sweetheart off their feet. For Valentine’s Day they’re dishing up a decadent five-course dinner menu of yellowfin tuna crudo and Aylesbury duck breast.
Rupert On Rupert
It’s no secret why Rupert On Rupert’s Collingwood warehouse is a favourite spot to tie the knot. Their plant-lined walls and sun-soaked booths ooze seductive charm, plus the list of spritzes and wood-fired pizzas make it the easy choice for a laid-back Valentine’s feed with your partner in crime.
A short stroll from Chapel Street will take you and your date to the velvet and leather upholstered Galah Bar—a stellar pick for suave wining and dining. The impressive cocktail list is inspired by botanical Aussie flavours, with standouts like the gin-based Botanique, layered with lemon verbena and strawberry gum. Double down with a locally-sourced charcuterie board and raclette to share, for a surefire way to your better half’s heart.
Beneath Driver Lane
Cuddle up with that special someone over a late-night steak and whisky in the snug basement of Beneath Driver Lane. The cavernous, candlelit bar is the ultimate Valentine’s Day mood—with the added bonus of a kitchen serving up toasted sangas until 3am, giving you plenty of time to stare lovingly into each other’s eyes.
Whisk your better half away to the Iberian Peninsula for Valentine’s Day (at a fraction of the price), with a snug corner table at Brunswick Street’s Amarillo. Between the stylish interior’s nod to the 70s, the extensive cocktail list and beaut tapas menu, you can happily spend a good chunk of the night throwing back negronis and oysters. Aperitivo runs from 5-7, which means extra coin to spend on that top-shelf box of choccies.
Pt. Leo Estate
Prefer to make a day of it? Head out to Pt. Leo estate for a boujee feast at the gorgeous Laura. There’s a four course and eight course option which you can find all the juicy details on here.
Middle Park Hotel
The charming middle park is jumping on board the love train with a wine-matched three course meal. Ceviche, Ora salmon and O’Connors eye fillet. Damn good, and sure to impress. Book in here at $100pp.
State of Grace
Head to State of Grace this Valentine’s Day for a meal as bold as the venue. If you haven’t already, you’ll fall in love with their barbecued quail. Book in here for $100pp.
This one’s for the boozehounds. Book in for Aperol yellow fin tuna cones, rhubarb, smoked caviar, spiced rum cannoli and lot’s of cocktails—find out what’s on offer the official day of love here.
Neptune Food & Wine
Everyone knows food is the language of love, and Neptune Food & Wine speak it fluently. The low-lit, exposed brick aesthetic is a failsafe setting for a bit of wooing, securely backed up by the seafood-heavy Mediterranean menu and selection of crisp white wines.
The very pink lobster and Champagne-focussed haunt is turning it on for Valentine’s Day. There’s plenty on the set menu here, but do yourself a favour and snag the Snapper Croquette—or share it if you’re feeling generous, it is Valentine’s Day, after all.
Book in here for lunch at $85pp.
Nail that Lady and the Tramp moment with your partner in crime at South Yarra’s Cucinetta. The tiny Italian restaurant exudes romantic charm—complete with candlelit tables, crisp white linen and a hearty Italian wine list. Their Valentine’s Menu will have you both swooning, with three courses featuring their fresh and simple take on Italian cuisine.
Can’t wait for Valentine’s Day for oysters? This fine diner is doing them for $2 every Wednesday.
Image credit: Parker Blain