The 10 best dishes in Melbourne 2012 – Bloggers’ picks

My favourite food bloggers share their top dishes being served up in Victoria’s capital

There are hundreds of places to eat, and thousands of options as to what you might eat. So if your time and your appetite are limited, I’ve just made choosing a little bit easier for you.

Melbourne’s bloggers visit heaps of bars, cafes, pubs and restaurants every year, both the spanking new and the long-established, and they have the jump on newspapers that are only able to publish a tiny handful of reviews in any one calendar year.

It is well worth keeping up to date with Melbourne’s food and drink trends via bloggers – we can visit whenever we like (though some twitter police do sometimes have a problem with visiting too soon after a restaurant has opened); we are the general public just like you an, unlike critics, we don’t get our money reimbursed by our publishers – so if we don’t like it, just like Joe Public, we only visit once because we’re not made of money. Plus we have the most up to date photos of menus, you can see the exact dishes that made us drool and we may indeed sell you on visiting a place you would otherwise miss.

I am sure The Age and some of Melbourne’s mediocre magazines will have their end of year wrap ups and try to convince us of what they think is the next food trends for Melbourne. But unfortunately we all know what they are and are hoping for something completely different.  Of course, broadsheet critics aren’t the only people with opinions on Melbourne’s best dishes, so I also cast the net wider.

I asked some of my favourite food bloggers to tell me what their favourite ten dishes in Melbourne are. Here’s what they said.


Melbourne's best dishes 2012

“I was born and raised in Yorkshire (England), where the Dales and Pudding come from, and inspired early on by my Grandfather cooking away in the kitchen. Now, after close to 15 years in New Zealand, I’m here in Melbourne talking about some of the amazing food I’m lucky enough to be served; as well as my locavore desires to cook with and eat the best produce at home.”

Rockwell and Sons on Urbanspoon

    • Pei ModernDutch cream potatoes with mojama and bone marrow

Pei Modern on Urbanspoon

    • Crabapple KitchenMyrtleford buttermilk pancakes with banana, salted peanut praline, whipped Mascarpone & pure Canadian maple syrup

Crabapple Kitchen on Urbanspoon

    • Chin ChinTwice cooked Hopkins River beef short rib with coriander & prik nahm pla

Chin Chin on Urbanspoon

Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio on Urbanspoon

    • Brooks of Melbourne: Chicken parfait, rye bread pillows, blackcurrant jam (almost every dish here is a winner, but this is a perfect reinvention of a dish that appears on almost every menu at the moment)

Brooks on Urbanspoon

Ladro Gertrude on Urbanspoon
Baby Cafe & Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

    • Attica: Flinders Island Wallaby, Bunya Pine, Ground Berry; tied with their Kumara, almond & pyegana.

Attica on Urbanspoon

    • Lau’s Family Kitchen: I could list the entire menu, highlights are- Singapore style prawns, beef brisket, ma po tofu, rice noodle rolls

Lau's Family Kitchen on Urbanspoon

    • Union DiningShared Sunday lunch (changes every week, highlights have been the confit duck with lentils; prawn salad with broad beans and ricotta)

Union Dining on Urbanspoon

Honourable mentions

The Sharing House on Urbanspoon

    • MoVidaQuince Paste Cigar with Whipped Buffalo Milk Cheese (although it’s hard to go past their Slowly Braised Beef Cheek in Pedro Ximenez on Cauliflower Puree)

MoVida Bar de Tapas on Urbanspoon

    • Easy TigerHot & sour fish curry with snake beans & siamese watercress

Easy Tiger on Urbanspoon

Follow on Twitter @bywhatwedesire


The Hospitality Widow


“I’m a freelance food writer who, despite a passion for the finer things in life, is just as happy with a piece of fried chicken and a craft beer. I used to co-own a restaurant with my partner but when we split, so did the restaurant, hence The Hospitality Widow (and no, I didn’t top him off – though I was tempted in those dark months right after …). Check out my up & coming blog

In no particular order:

    • BBQ Pork Belly Sandwich with Pickled Vegetables, Coriander, Hoisin & Kewpie Mayonnaise at Small Victories

Small Victories on Urbanspoon

Hellenic Republic on Urbanspoon

    • Tanami Spiced Kangaroo Loin, Fondant Potato, Shallot Puree, Sautéed Broccollini Pumpkin and Chilli at Charcoal Lane

Charcoal Lane on Urbanspoon

    • Fried Haloumi with Pear, Candied Walnuts and Honey Dressing as Arintji

Arintji on Urbanspoon

    • Coke Spider Test Tube at Pierre Roelof’s Desert Night at Cafe Rosamond

Café Rosamond on Urbanspoon

Marmalade and Soul on Urbanspoon

Hare & Grace on Urbanspoon

Rockwell and Sons on Urbanspoon

Swan Street Social on Urbanspoon

    • Roasted Field Mushrooms with Sheep’s Feta, Thyme and Beetroot Relish at South of Johnston

South of Johnston on Urbanspoon

Follow on Twitter @thehosp_widow


Poppet’s Window

Poppets Window

“Poppet’s Window is a Melbourne based food blog for the epicurious and the epicluelss alike. Although Poppet has a reputation for eating around, below are her most memorable dishes of 2012 in no particular order.”

    • Teishoku (set lunch) from Aka Siro, Collingwood

Aka Siro on Urbanspoon

Ora Cafe on Urbanspoon

Phat Brats on Urbanspoon

    • Jerusalem artichoke soup with house cured wagyu bresaola, quail egg, chestnut, celeriac and a side of sherry from Estelle bar and Kitchen, Northcote

Estelle Bar & Kitchen on Urbanspoon

David's on Urbanspoon

    • Beyd bil Zaatar for breakfast (poached eggs coated in Middle Eastern spices with babaganoush, warm flatbread and pumpkin kibbeh) from Bayte, Collingwoods

Bayte on Urbanspoon

    • Salt and pepper kingfish wings with Asian herb salad and nouc cham from Chin Chin, CBD

Chin Chin on Urbanspoon

Rockwell and Sons on Urbanspoon

    • Slow roasted spiced lamb shoulder on the bone with sirkanjabin from Rumi, East Brunswick

Rumi on Urbanspoon

    • Cooked caramel cream dessert from Trocadero, Southbank

Trocadero on Urbanspoon

    • Bottomless curry ($20pp on Sunday) and homemade kulfi Indian ice cream from Horn Please, North Fitzroy

Horn Please on Urbanspoon

Follow on Twitter @fi_bird


The Hungry Excavator

Food Blog Header

“My life as a full-time studying/part-time working student the past 5 years has really shaped me to become particularly passionate about searching the Melbourne food scene for food that are affordable, delicious and more importantly, value for money. Being a Chinese-Malaysian (and hence my affinity towards Asian cuisines), it is evident to see how my list of Top 10 dishes really does reflect who I am and where I’m from.”

– Winston aka The Hungry Excavator

In no particular order:

Pacific Seafood BBQ House on Urbanspoon

Kaprica on Urbanspoon

Pabu Grill & Sake on Urbanspoon

Gami on Urbanspoon

Ume Sushi House on Urbanspoon

Kuala Lumpur on Urbanspoon

Chinese Spicy and Barbie Kitchen (I love dumplings!) on Urbanspoon

Mabrown on Urbanspoon

    • Spicy Cod Roe Butter Pasta, Horoki

Horoki Casual Dining Bar on Urbanspoon

Big Mama on Urbanspoon

Follow on Twitter @winceeee


The World Loves Melbourne

Melbourne's best dishes 2012

“David Hagger is a bald headed man and former punk vocalist with a penchant for finery, convivial dining, and festive culture. The World Loves Melbourne celebrates the world’s most liveable city. ”

    • Caramelised pork hock, chilli vinegar, crisp garlic at Longrain

Longrain Melbourne on Urbanspoon

    • The Steak Burger and The Mexican Burger at Tree of Us

The Tree Of Us on Urbanspoon

Rhone Wine & Tapas on Urbanspoon

Vue de Monde on Urbanspoon

    • Salt and Pepper Crusted Soft Shell Crab w. Green Papaya Salad and Nahm Jim at Chin Chin

Chin Chin on Urbanspoon

    • Slow roasted lamb neck at Shed 5

Shed 5 on Urbanspoon

    • Gravlax ocean trout cured with apple vodka, textures of apple and mustard crème fraîche at The Sharing House

The Sharing House on Urbanspoon

    • Cecina featuring Air Dried Wagyu, poached organic egg and truffle foam at MoVida

MoVida Aqui  on Urbanspoon

    • David Blackmore’s Full Blood Wagyu Hamburger with Bacon, Gruyere Cheese and Zuni Pickle at Rockpool Bar and Grill

Rockpool Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

    • 12 hour roasted mt.leura lamb shoulder, pistachio and green olive tabouleh at Maha

Maha Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Pei Modern on Urbanspoon

    • Korean bbq pork ribs, spicy slaw, chilli gherkin at Huxtable

Huxtable on Urbanspoon

Huxtaburger on Urbanspoon

Follow on Twitter @DavidbHaggar


MoMo & CoCo

Melbourne's Best dishes 2012 - Bloggers' Picks

“Desserts Correspondents MoMo & Coco are devoted to sampling, micro-analysing, micro-photographing and thoroughly enjoying the most exquisite desserts that Melbourne has to offer, whether from restaurants, cafes, specialty sweet boutiques or afternoon teas. In no particular order, the following are our thoughts of 2012’s dessert trends and within each category, two favourite desserts from venues that opened or re-launched in 2012. A more detailed overview will be published on our site in January 2013.”

    • Salted caramel – Trocadero’s “Cooked Caramel Cream,” Circa’s “Salted Caramel Sundae”

Trocadero on Urbanspoon

Henry and the Fox on Urbanspoon
Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio on Urbanspoon

Pei Modern on Urbanspoon
Bohemian Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Brooks on Urbanspoon

Circa, the Prince on Urbanspoon
Bao Now on Urbanspoon
Wonderbao on Urbanspoon

LuxBite on Urbanspoon
Crumbs Organic Bakehouse on Urbanspoon

Mr. Hive Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon
Duchess of Spotswood on Urbanspoon

Epocha on Urbanspoon

    • Home-sweet-home-style cake-oriented cafes –Jam & Cream, Candied Bakery

Candied Bakery on Urbanspoon

  • Themed event afternoon teas – Le Style French High Tea.

Follow on Twitter @ MoMo_and_Coco


Food Rehab: the tastebud diaries

Food Rehab Logo 930x290

“My name is Adrian Briones. Thanks for checking into my site. Life is way too short so let’s get to it. The main aim of my cookbook What The Heck Is Filipino Food? and this blog Food Rehab is to helpintroduce Filipino cuisine and culture to Australia as well as to document my quests in hunting down the Best Breakfast in Melbourne.

    • In my local area: L’ucellino in Yarraville for their simple thin based pizzas. A favourite amongst the locals.

L'Uccellino on Urbanspoon

Perfect Drop on Urbanspoon

    • Dish of the year: the Twice Cooked Lamb Ribs with Chili Jam at Red Spice Road, McKillop Street.

Red Spice Road on Urbanspoon

    • Cheap Eat:s A grilled cheese kransky snag at my local fav – Andrew’s Choice in Yarraville
    • Favourite new bakery: Candied Bakery in Spotswood for their apple pie shakes and crusted brownie pies

Candied Bakery on Urbanspoon

Duchess of Spotswood on Urbanspoon

Follow on Twitter @food_rehab


Amy’s Town


“My name is Amy Collins and I am a lover of food and wine and sharing these experience with great company. I am a freelance food and travel writer and share my everyday foodie experiences on my blog.”

    • Confit duck salad, lentils, sherry vinaigrette and mustard fruits from Union Dining

Union Dining on Urbanspoon

Albert Street Food and Wine on Urbanspoon

Hellenic Republic on Urbanspoon

Estelle Bar & Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Virginia Plain on Urbanspoon

Follow on Twitter @Amys_Town


However, no list like this can ever be definitive, as dishes disappear off menus, chefs change, good kitchens go bad, and new venues come along that dazzle. But I think this is a good place to start. Now, get out there and try them for yourself.

Let us know the dishes that made your 2012 memorable – for better or for worse!


5 thoughts on “The 10 best dishes in Melbourne 2012 – Bloggers’ picks

  1. Pingback: My top dishes of 2012 | eat.MELBOURNE

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