Southbank is one of Melbourne’s most prized possessions, and for good reason. The area is a melting pot of people from all walks of life, which brings with it cuisines from all walks of life (sort of like Melbourne, in a nutshell).
This truly is the place to wine and dine, and appreciate the twinkling city skyline against the Yarra River. So, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the best restaurants in Southbank that you need to check off your bucket list.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
This spot really does live up to all the hype though, we think because of such a unique voice that comes out through each dish. Undoubtedly, the most well-known menu offering is the Meat Fruit; a mandarin, chicken liver parfait with grilled bread. Another favourite is the Roast Pork Chop, with smoked hispi cabbage, pickled onions, cider & Robert sauce. For a sweeter alternative, the smokey pineapple Tipsy cake is as pretty as it is good to eat.
Experience Japanese fine dining that stays true to the origins of the cuisine, while bringing something very elegant and new to the table.
Nobu understands that simplicity is sometimes the best, and this is truly exemplified through their iconic Hiramasa Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno, Tuna Tataki with Ponzu dressing, or their Beef Tataki with Ponzu and Garlic Chips.
Meat Wine & Co
Meat Wine & Co is an all-rounder. With just really great steak and a wide selection of wine, what’s not to love?
The most luxurious of all steak cuts, the Rib-Eye, is the softest most buttery thing you will ever put in your mouth. This is paired beautifully with the rich peppercorn or mushroom sauce. Meat Wine & Co’s Mac & Cheese is also stupidly good; made of rigatoni, charred cauliflower, Monterey Jack, Parmesan, truffle, and a panko crust—this one will blow you away.
Located atop the sparkling Crown Casino atrium, The Conservatory is Melbourne's most luxurious and indulgent restaurant and buffet, open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea. It also boasts stunning views of the Yarra, has light and bright lavish decor, which makes the dining experience feel all the more special.
Rockpool Bar & Grill
Another killer on our list is Rockpool Bar & Grill. With locations in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, Rockpool has made a name for itself, for its uncompromising selection of premium sourced beef from Australia’s best producers.
The wine selection is also outstanding, showcasing a range of different wines from multiple vineyards, featuring large and small producers. The venue offers a luxurious yet relaxed environment, where you can savour your meal with wine in hand.
Yet another Japanese restaurant on our list, but hey, we just couldn’t leave this one out.
Koko offers a ‘Hagi’ teppanyaki set, which features a starter of Amuse-Tsuki Dashi, a specially curated selection of sashimi; Australian beef tenderloin, tiger prawns, scallops, calamari and salmon; seasonal grilled vegetables, rice and miso; and to finish it off is an icy green tea ice cream.
Inspired by neighbourhood bistros in Paris, Bistro Guillaume offers the quintessential French experience, brought to you by acclaimed chef Guillaume Brahimi. In this vibrant yet casual setting, enjoy French delights such as duck confit with haricots and preserved lemon; Lakes Entrance John Dory with caper and raisin vinaigrette; Portarlington mussels, crème fraîche and pomme-frites; or the half Bannockburn chicken and Paris mash. Enjoy the views of the Yarra while you savour these exquisite delights.
Saké Restaurant and Bar
We’ve talked about this restaurant a lot, and for good reason. Saké is located in the iconic Hamer Hall and looks out onto the riverwalk.
Some fabulous menu options include their beautiful sashimi platter, hiramasa kingfish and popcorn shrimp with yuzu dressing. The restaurant serves premium Japanese saké and shochu varieties, alongside colourful cocktails using the very best ingredients, house-made syrups and an extensive range of wine and beers.
Gradi At Crown
Another addition to the 400 Gradi family, is Gradi at Crown.
Acclaimed chef Johnny De Francesco was crowned World Pizza Champion in 2014 for his Margarita. You know this means that you have to try the works of the masterful pizzaiolo that give us an unforgettable Napolean style pizza experience.
Long Chim Melbourne
Long Chim presents a fusion between traditional Thai classics, with modern interpretations of the cuisine.
Each dish is beautifully crafted; some of which include the hot and sour seafood soup, the roast duck fried rice, and the heavenly soft shell crab with chilli black pepper coriander.
Red Emperor is traditional Chinese cuisine that has been brought into a modern setting.
This restaurant has been around for more than 23 years, but it has still found a way to remain relevant. Indulge in your Yum-Cha cravings, which run throughout the day, or settle into a delightful a la carte meal for dinner. The restaurant also features an alfresco terrace which overlooks the Yarra River.
At The Atlantic, you can expect nothing short of an impeccable culinary experience from beginning to end.
Located in Crown Casino, this waterfront seafood restaurant offers an indulgent menu of fresh, local and sustainably-sourced seafood. Taste your way through their Atlantic Seafood platter, freshly shucked oysters or the seasonal market fresh crab.
Hopscotch is Melbourne’s favourite urban beer bar.
They’re pouring 36 different flavours from the tap (yes we did say 36), an extensive cocktail and wine menu, and the best bar food around. Whether you’re pale, stout, dark, lager, Kolsch, wheat… they have them all. And if you’re overwhelmed with all the choice, tasting paddles are available for you to select four beers that will tickle your fancy.
ENA Greek Street Food
ENA is Southbank’s answer to authentic Greek street food.
The restaurant specialises in using simple, high-quality ingredients, and letting the freshness of these ingredients shine. yet top Their quality meats are cooked to perfection on a rotisserie over a coal fire pit, which can then be paired with fresh chips, chargrilled pita and dips.
The Merrywell is a Southbank classic. This all American diner-inspired burger joint offers great burgs, shakes, sandwiches, rings as well as a plethora of other non-burger inspired things.
The vibe downstairs is comfortable and more cafe style, while the upstairs level is transformed into a casual nighttime bar setting at night. One little stand out would actually have to be the killer milkshakes; they look like they were taken out of a 1950’s diner commercial.
If you're looking for a little inspiration, here are all the awesome things to do during the weekend in Melbourne.
Image credit: The Merrywell | Griffin Simm