Risotto would have to be one of the hardest dishes to make at home, which is probably why many of us head on out to have it cooked for us! There are just too many things to think about, like whether to use arborio or vialone nano rice, when to add the stock, how to stir so it turns out creamy and not gluggy. Therefore, we've given up the cooking and instead decided to spend our time finding Melbourne's best risotto dishes. Whether you like it creamy, cheesy or vego, we've got this city's best risotto lined up for your eating pleasure.
Tutto Bene | Melbourne CBD
Head on over to Southgate to cosy Italian restaurant, Tutto Bene, and you'll discover a MAMMOTH selection of delicious risottos made with Vialone Nano rice to tantalise your palate. Why so many, you ask? Well, these guys consider themselves quite the experts in the risotto field and, after just one mouthful, we'd have to agree. With everything from quail white wine and thyme to mixed seasonal mushrooms and organic duck with porcini mushroom, Tutto Bene definitely dishes up some of Melbourne's best risotto dishes. In fact, our 'favourite' changed so many times through the course of the evening, that it's pretty safe to say you can't go wrong. And if you like cheese (who doesn't?), you'll be in your element because these babies don't need any added parmesan – they're cheesy enough! First timers, you definitely can't go past the quail risotto, but the mushroom is fantastic too….so is the Italian sausage… Hmm, see what we mean?
Cicciolina | St Kilda
When you mention the name Cicciolina, most people's eyes light up, as this little Acland Street institution has a well earned reputation as one of Melbourne's best Italian restaurants. Waltz on in to find a homely little restaurant that entices you to relax. Survey the art displayed on the back wall while you're waiting for your food to arrive and lap up the friendly atmosphere as you sip your wine. Order the risotto and you'll be served a spectacular dish made with Vialone Nano rice intertwined with a medley of zucchini, peas, almonds and…wait for it – a ricotta and lemon stuffed zucchini flower that rests elegantly on top! Not only is this risotto dish superb in every way, shape and form, but it's absolutely stunning too – so make sure you take a snap for you all your foodie followers, k?
Church Street Enoteca | Richmond
Anyone who has been stuck in traffic on bustling Church Street has either snuck a curious glance at Church Street Enoteca or remembered a delicious Italian meal they had there. It's one or the other. For those of you who haven't yet had the chance to visit this fine establishment, you can rest assured that your risotto (and essentially anything else you order) is going to be cooked to perfection. Order the Gamberi risotto and you'll be treated to a tasteful dish of prawn and shellfish sauce made from lobster tails in a flavourful tomato stock. This subtly sweet and extremely delicious risotto dish is smoothly constructed and made extra special with the addition of fragrant basil. For something a little different, try the Topinambur risotto made with Jerusalem artichokes, fresh mint, burrata and walnut oil – It's amazing! The service here is top notch, so you'll definitely leave with a smile and a full belly from some of the best risotto in Melbourne! That's a promise.
Italian Chef | South Yarra
Located on Chapel Street in cosmopolitan South Yarra, you'll find Italian Chef. Head chef, Simone Garusi, and his team of passionate staff have so much enthusiasm for what they do, it's hard not to order all the dishes they recommend. They also know a thing or two about cooking risotto and their baked pumpkin with baby spinach version is pretty big in the flavour department. You won't find chunks of pumpkin in this Italian speciality. Instead, the baked pumpkin puree forms the base, which is great if you're a pumpkin lover like we are. The yummy risotto is topped with pine nuts and a dollop of ricotta goats cheese to break up the flavours. Ask the friendly staff for their advice on a matching wine and you're good to go!
Marios | Fitzroy
It's 1pm on a Monday afternoon and nearly every table at Marios is taken. That pretty much sets the scene for this homely Italian restaurant that has made its home among the lively atmosphere of Brunswick Street. Visit for one of Melbourne's best risotto dishes – made with chicken ragu and broad beans, just made for mopping up with their amazing complimentary bread. Enjoy chunky chicken pieces amid a medley of broad beans, rice and parmesan cheese. This particular risotto dish isn't as thick as some of the others, but gives you a nice, even flavour all the same. 'Cut the fat' as Mario says, with a rocket and parmesan salad and enjoy a plentiful mid-week lunch or a mouth-watering dinner. Perfecto!
If you love pasta, make sure you check out our round up of the best spaghetti bolognese in Melbourne!
Main Image Credit: Drizzle & Dip