As the year starts to wind down I think it’s time to look back at my favourite meals in 2013. It’s been another year of over indulging but when I recollect where I’ve eaten there’s a clear top ten restaurants in Melbourne for me. As always, this list only includes those restaurants which I have actually been to in the past year, so your favourite may be missing, but there are only so many places a girl can eat at in a year. Let me know what should be on my wish list for next year.
Dinner for our wedding anniversary was the perfect excuse to finally visit Attica. The setting is unassuming but chef Ben Shewry’s food is adventurous and exciting. Sure there’s the famous potato dish, but the real highlight for me was the King George Whiting which almost melted into the paperbark it was rolled in.
2. The Commoner
The Commoner was my number one restaurant last year and visits this year only confirmed how much I love this place. The food is simple, honest and delicious and dinner in the back courtyard with the wood fired oven going is not to be missed.
3. The Estelle
I’ve heard The Estelle described as Vue De Monde for the middle classes which made me laugh as this probably makes The Estelle right up my alley. I love the quirky shop front setting in Northcote and the clever, witty food.
4. Shandong Ma Ma
I’m seriously dumpling obsessed and Shandong Ma Ma is doing some of the best dumplings in town in a shopping centre in Chinatown. Try the Melbourne dumpling, you won’t be disappointed.
The reinvention of Press Club in favour of the more casual Gazi is great news in my book. I love the simple chicken souvlaki and have happy memories of tucking into thick slivers of Turkish delight here.
6. Mixed Business
I may be biased because it’s in my new ‘hood, but my favourite cafe of the year was Mixed Business in Clifton Hill. I’m yet to order a bad dish off the menu here and the specials board which changes daily keeps things interesting for regulars like me.
Get your Argentinian BBQ on at Piqueos, a cosy but chic Carlton restaurant. From the empanadas to the steak with chimichurri – it’s all top notch and tasty.
8. Saint Crispin
This new Smith Street restaurant is the slightly cheaper and more casual sibling to The Estelle so of course I loved it. Start with Saint Crispin’s take on puffed pork chips and end with a breathtaking deconstructed dessert. The wine list is also a worthwhile distraction.
9. Easy Tiger
My favourite place for modern Thai food that is bursting with flavour. Chef Jarrod Hudson shows white boys can cook Thai food and cook it damn well. Don’t go past the son-in-law eggs.
10. Nama Nama
The most sophisticated place to have a cheap lunch in the city Nama Nama keeps me coming back with its cool Japanese fit out and thick wriggly noodles. I’m also slightly besotted with Nama Nama’s cool upstairs bar, Hi Hou.
If you’re interested here’s my list last year of my top ten Melbourne restaurants.