While most of us have been slumming it with a six pack of chicky nugs in the drive-thru of an outer-burb Hungry Jacks, Melbourne’s elite have been throwing down hundreds of dollars per person for a single meal, and that’s without drinks. So, in the name of equality, we’ve scoured the city to find the ritzy dining institutions in question, so that you’ve got a list to give to Mum and Dad next time they offer to take you out to dinner on your birthday.
Here are Melbourne’s fanciest restaurants.
Coming in at tenth on our list is cheap and cheerful Japanese restaurant, Minimishima, who price their omakase (chef’s selection of dishes) at only $150 per person. You can also choose to pair your food with sake and wine for an additional $90 and pretend it’s not how much you pay for nine whole McChicken meals.
Cost: $150 per person (excl. drinks)
9. Estelle By Scott Pickett
Feeling up for some fine dining in Northcote? Then you have to drop by (a.k.a book six weeks in advance) Estelle by Scott Pickett. Their seasonal seven-course tasting menu includes dishes such as smoked wallaby and black rice, veal sweetbreads, fermented truffle and lemonade fruit. And the whole experience will only set you back $160.
Cost: $160 per person (excl. drinks)
8. Press Club
Owned and run by Masterchef-host-come-blacklisted-soccer-fan, George Calombaris, Press Club offer Greek eating experiences ranging from a two-course lunch to an eight-course dinner, which in this article, is the only one we care about. Featuring lamb magiritsa, potato kleftiko, octopus and crumpet on its menu, this $180 dinner is an absolute steal. Even with its additional $110 ‘beverage journey’.
Cost: $180 per person (excl. drinks)
You haven’t lived [in poverty] until you’ve had the eight-course tasting menu at Ezard. Featuring Japanese inspired oyster shooter, steamed scallop dumplings, twice cooked pork belly and a dark chocolate sphere, you’ll be throwing your $180 at the waiter to try it. Especially for the $120 wine pairing option.
Cost: $180 per person (excl. drinks)
6. Flower Drum
Flower Drum in the CBD is sixth on our list with its Chef’s Six Course Signature Banquet. This exxy dinner includes baked crab shell, blue cod in spicy salt, peking duck and grain fed eye fillet with sichuan sauce, just to name four of them. A dinner like this at the Flower Drum will set you back a whopping $200 per person, $75 for matching wines and $40 if you want to upgrade your beef main to Blackmore’s Wagyu porterhouse (why the hell not, right?).
Cost: $200 per person (excl. drinks)
As featured on Josh Thomas’ Please Like Me, Lûmé is an expensi-sorry, sensory experience like no other. It’s menu option, The Road, offers their most ‘immersive and considered’ experience and literally includes fourteen friggin’ dishes. Nothing tastes as it seems or could possibly have the healing properties its price tag suggests, but the whole thing comes in at $210 so it better be bloody good.
Cost: $210 per person (excl. drinks)
Next time you’ve come down with a bad case of the ‘offensively rich’, take a trip to Brae in Birregurra when you can blow all your money on one dinner. Each day the set menu is decided by what’s ripe and in bloom in their on-site organic fruit and vegetable garden (classic), so you never quite know what you’re in for. Except for the bill, that’ll be $240 plus $145 for wine.
Cost: $240 per person (excl. drinks)
3. Vue De Monde
Once you’ve secured your table six months in advance and counted down the 180 days until the ritziest dinner of your life, you’ll pull up to a flash restaurant in the CBD. Here you’ll be treated to Vue de Monde’s chef’s tasting menu with no less than sixteen courses. These include emu egg salad, rusty wire oyster, beer and fennel bread, and lamington poached pears and Gumnuts. The whole thing will set you back between $230-$275 per person.
Cost: $230 - $275 per person (excl. drinks)
Over in little Ripponlea lies extravagant eatery and award-winning restaurant, Attica. Here we recommend the Extended Tasting Menu with aged Santa Claus melon, smashed avo on toast, chewy carrots, wattleseed damper and whipped emu egg with quandong. All ten courses will set you back a measly $260, plus an additional $185 for wine.
Cost: $260 (excl. drinks)
1. Dinner By Heston
For a dining experience that’ll cost you three cars and an inner city townhouse, you can’t go past the Chef’s Ten Course Table Menu at Dinner by Heston. Here you’ll be treated to a myriad of overpriced goodies including hay smoked kingfish, roast quail and the famous plum meat fruit. Sure, it may taste alright, but it can’t be better value than eighteen tandoori chicken Crust pizzas??
Cost: $375(!!!!!) per person (excl. drinks)
If these prices are a touch too high for you, this list of Melbourne's best cheap eats under $10 might be useful.