There’s no denying that Melbourne is the food capital of Australia. Waves of migration have brought people from across the globe to make Melbourne home. This translates into restaurants with amazing food from a vast array of cultures and traditions, using the freshest, locally grown ingredients. Here’s our pick of five can’t-leave-the-menu signature restaurant dishes from Annam, Supernormal, Mjolner, Pastuso and Cumulus Up.
Oxtail Dumplings at Annam
Jerry Mai has well and truly made her mark on the Melbourne dining scene with Annam restaurant. Combining Vietnamese, Thai and Cambodian influences, as well as her many years of working as a chef across the world, Mai has designed a menu that is the perfect mix of traditional and funky. Her oxtail dumplings are truly a new Melbourne classic. The oxtail is braised in sasparilla and the dumplings served in a reduction sauce that beautifully balances the richness of the oxtail. One to add to the list!
Peanut butter parfait, salted caramel & soft chocolate at Supernormal
You haven’t experienced dining in Melbourne until you’ve eaten at an Andrew McConnell restaurant. Bringing together his years working in restaurants across Asia and Australia, McConnell now owns several restaurants across this city. His peanut butter parfait topped with salted caramel and soft chocolate is the perfect ending to any meal at Supernormal restaurant.
Duck waffle, foie gras and prune at Cumulus Up
Cumulus Up (above Cumulus Inc) is an intimate dining room with a bespoke menu of dishes and a beautifully tailored wine list. The highlight for sure is the duck waffle with foie gras and prune jelly. The combination of toasty waffle, rich foie gras and fruity prune jelly is an extraordinary taste. Add a glass of pinot (or a beautifully made negroni cocktail) and you will be counting down the days until you can come back to Cumulus Up.
Roast bone marrow with meat powder and mustard leaf at Mjolner
Mjoner’s menu is a true Viking experience and has blazed a trail into the local food scene. A true highlight of the menu is the roast bone marrow (we are talking huge split bone here), which comes served with a sprinkle of intense meat powder. To create the ultimate finish have the friendly staff serve a flaming whiskey shot served straight from the bone. Food and whisky matching never tasted so good.
Smoked and roasted Bannockburn chicken, with spring onion salsa at Pastuso
Peruvian cuisine has become one of the “next big things” in Melbourne, led by chef Alejandro Saravia from Pastuso restaurant. Of course there are stunning ceviche dishes, beautiful beef and pisco sour cocktails galore. However this is the go-to place for outstanding chicken. Take one bite of this smoked and roasted Bannockburn bird and you will be hooked. The team at Pastuso have hit a home run with this gorgeous dish.