We’re incredibly lucky to be living in a city that’s got such a vibrant food and drink culture. I mean, is there anywhere better in the world for a memorable foodie experience than Melbourne?
We’ve teamed up with our friends at Citi—those wallet-saviours who are helping us get more out of life, while stressing less about money—to bring you the Melbourne venues who are well and truly going for it, delivering us the city’s most cutting edge hotspots for drinking, dining, and getting our dessert on.
So, without further ado, here are our picks of the city’s best chefs, bakeries and cocktail gurus who are really going for it. Prepare to pick your jaw off the floor.
The Chef: Darren Mercaldi at Meat Fish Wine
Meat Fish Wine’s super-central location (it’s on an upper level of the QV building) has recently come to our attention due to the show-stopping creativity of Head Chef Darren Mercaldi. With a career that’s included stints at Circa, Nobu and Ladro, Darren’s expertise spans a wide range of cuisine and cooking styles, meaning that Meat Fish Wine’s menu has certainly stepped things up a gear since he came on board. Think surprising flavour pairings such as salmon with carrot and miso puree, kangaroo loin with quince and wild parsnips, duck prosciutto, and an incredible honey crème brûlée that comes with honeycomb and smoked milk gelato, which tastes like nothing we’ve ever tried before!
If you want to experience Meat Fish Wine at its ground-breaking best, our tip is to book a table at Meat Fish Wine on the first Wednesday of each month, when you’ll be served five completely new courses that have been created in Darren’s test kitchen. Tip #2: Meat Fish Wine is part of the Citibank Dining Program, which means if you have a Citi card, you can get a free bottle of wine with your meal. As if you needed another reason to go.
The Cocktail Guru: Grant Collins at Om Nom
Cocktails are one of Melbourne’s specialities, but when it comes to being creative with liquor, Grant Collins’ new cocktail menu at Om Nom cocktail and dessert bar simply *has* to be one of the top revamps of 2016. Situated within the Adelphi Hotel, this buzzing drinking den is all about showmanship. You’ll be treated to ‘breathable’ mojitos, nitro-frozen salted caramel espresso martinis, smoked marshmallow-infused Pina Coladas and aged Bloody Marys that really pack a punch. If only we could drink them all…
The Bakery: Lune Croissanterie
There are bakeries, and then there’s Lune Croissanterie. Since relocating to an epic Fitzroy warehouse, Lune has upped its game when it comes to all things buttery, flaky and stuffed with fruit, cheese, bacon, and chocolate. As well as classic croissants that taste oh-so-good dipped in a café au lait, you’ll find drool-worthy cronuts (the lemon curd is a hit each and every time) and a smorgasbord of savoury options, too.
Again, these guys have a test kitchen—aka. the Lune Lab—that’s constantly pumping out mouth-watering mash-ups and cutting-edge creations. Did someone say carbonara croissants? Lunchtime = Sorted.
For more information about the Citibank Dining Program, check out their website.
Looking for more outstanding venues? Check out Melbourne's Most Jaw-Droppingly Beautiful Cafes!
Editors note: This article is sponsored by Citi and proudly endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.
Image credit: Meat Fish Wine by Griffin Simm for The Urban List, Om Nom supplied