The talk of the town is that Chapel Street is home to some of the best eateries in Melbourne, and do you want another hot slice of gossip for free? They’re all in Windsor. While everyone’s busy gushing about South Yarra, all it really has is a KFC and like sixteen Sportsgirl stores. Jump on a tram and head a little further south to one of our city’s best food-filled dwellings.
Here are the best restaurants in Windsor.
Affectionately known as ‘Hungry Hall’ to the locals, Hawker Hall is every starving Southsider’s dream. This hawker-style hotspot is ‘open late for hungry people’ and will stuff your gut with a whole range of delicious dishes, like dumplings and buns, roti, satay barbecue, salads, noodles, rice, curries, stir-fries, greens, sweets and drinks galore. Basically, it’s the place you want to go if you want to be too full to wake up in the morning.
Leading the charge in modern fusion restaurants is Tokyo Tina, which has more delicious Asian dishes than you can point a chopstick at. This Japanese-inspired eatery is famous for its karaage fried chicken, pork belly bao, okonomiyaki Japanese pancake and oodles of spiced edamame, plus it has free sparking water on tap!!
Everyone’s favourite Melbourne-esque dining space (often frequented by people trying to impress their out-of-town mates) is Mr Miyagi. Another Japanese-style restaurant, this one if renowned for its cheeky take on classic dishes, including the famous salmon nori taco. Other dishes worth wrapping your lips around include Mr Miyagi’s signature fried chicken, the tempura broccoli, and also the prawn and ginger dumplings. All of it must be washed down by a glass or four of their equally famous frosé.
Another Hawker-style bar that’ll get your taste buds tingling is Hanoi Hannah. This casual dining space is always serving up Vietnamese realness in the form of piping hot pho, Peking duck, curry chicken, rice paper rolls and a long list of whistle-wetting booze. The decor is authentic, the food is fresh and the beers are cold. Name a more iconic trio, we’ll wait.
Named after a luxe little island in the Caribbean, Saint Lucia is a homage to Cuban, South American and Caribbean cuisine. It’s modern and exciting flavours produce a menu full of delicious creative share plates and an extensive list of rum, wine, cocktails. Taking a modern spin on old-school classics, said menu includes dishes like plantain chips and kingfish Ceviche, which are both bursting with fresh, tropical flavours that you could never get from a Mi Goreng Packet. Stop by for a slice of culture.
Another Asian restaurant and bar to add to your Windsor bucket list in Susie Wong. This little number serves fab food and drink in a delicious space. Each dish on it’s modern Asian menu can be paired with one of the divine French and Italian wines on their drinks list, plus you’re simply going to impress the pants off any date you take to this intimate and quirky place (metaphorically speaking).
Because you can never get enough modern Japanese goodness, pop Sash Japanese on your list of must-eats this year. This fresh new NYC-style concept restaurant only strolled onto the scene this year and is boasting dishes like sushi pizza, sushi nachos, poke bowls, sushi tacos and even macaron ice cream sandwiches. They also serve up some sublime cocktails, with Kyle Rose from Chin Chin manning the bar.
Looking for something ultra-ritzy that’ll not only [probably] break the bank but also your fortnight-long two-minute noodle streak? Then there’s no going past the new-look Cali-style Japanese dive bar, Morris Jones. It’s serving up classics like the MJ Cali hand rolls and salmon sashimi, but also innovative goodies like the Surf n’ Turf roll with tender prawns and Wagyu beef with unagi sauce. There are also classics like dumplings, poke and oysters.
So far there’s been almost nothing on this list that isn’t some form of Asian goodness, and we ain’t changing the trend now. Last on this list (logistically, not in quality) is AMOK Restaurant; a south-east Asian dining delight. Serving up modern Cambodian cuisine (AND CHOCOLATE BACON), you could point at the menu blindfolded and be absolutely confident you’d be stoked with whatever you ordered. This includes calamari salad, sticky slow-cooked pork ribs with tangy Asian coleslaw and chilli coriander dressing, and the crispy king prawn brioche roll.
Feeling a bit parched instead? Here are Windsor's best bars.
Image credit: Sash Japanese | Michelle Jarni