There’s so much good food along this two-kilometre laneway that one hit list just isn’t enough. From Spring Street in the east to Spencer Street in the west, discover more of the best dining in town.
After 20 years, chef Teage Ezard’s dining room is still among the city’s most acclaimed. His artful fusion of French and Asian cuisines is best experienced with an eight-course degustation (including vegetarian and vegan versions!). Only got time for EZARD’s express lunch or pre-theatre tasting menu? It’s still a special experience at this sleek, semi-subterranean restaurant in the Adelphi Hotel.
The Adelphi’s other dining destination is this dessert restaurant overseen by executive pastry chef Jo Ward, one of the city’s true sweethearts. Art and science make sensory love at Om Nom. Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner, and of course afternoon tea, plus supper on weekends. There are even dessert-worthy cocktails, and savoury dishes to help ward off sugar overload.
Tonka Bar & Restaurant
Want to take curry night into classy territory? Make a pilgrimage to Tonka Bar & Restaurant, just off Finders Lane in Duckboard Place. Executive chef is Italian-Indian Adam D’Sylva, whose many claims to fame include first chef at Longrain. Try his Goan curry with Cone Bay Barramundi, school prawns and dill, or duck korma with spiced quince and rhubarb.
You may have seen chef Shane Delia on his own SBS cooking show, Spice Journey. No need to lick the screen – his smart Middle Eastern creations await at Maha Restaurant, just off Flinders Lane in Bond Street. Whether it’s a few mezze, two and four-course grazing options, or five and six-course degustations, this basement establishment is top shelf.
Coda Bar & Restaurant
Tonka’s own D’Sylva is also exec chef at Coda Bar & Restaurant, where he explores the flavours of Asia with innovation and style. From mussels with coconut, betel leaf and prawn to rum roasted pineapple with Thai bail sorbet, it’s a culinary trip. Start your journey with an exotic cocktail like the Chaimillionaire, or the yuzu iced tea mocktail.
This restaurant’s moniker is the real name of Paddington Bear (and his uncle), but there’s not a marmalade sandwich in sight. It’s all about the food of his homeland, “deepest, darkest Peru”, at Pastuso. Head for ACDC Lane, just off Flinders Lane, to taste alpaca, ceviche, quinoa, yuca and Peru’s national cocktail, the pisco sour.
Cecconi’s Flinders Lane
A name synonymous with beautiful Italian meals in Melbourne since 1998, Cecconi’s Flinders Lane hits the spot day and night. How about some Cotechino sausage, eggs and espresso for breakfast? A quick but satisfying plate of pasta for lunch? Maybe some chianti and antipasti at the bar, or a long, indulgent dinner? Every time, it’s a taste of la dolce vita.
Japanese bar HiHou is a smart pre or post-dinner drink option, and genius if you want to make a night of it. Kick off with Nipponese whisky, sake, shochu, umeshu or a cocktail inspired by the Land of the Rising Sun. The menu includes minced lobster, shiitake mushroom and rice puff tempura, veggie gyozas and grilled wagyu rump. Eat, drink, repeat.
Sake Restaurant and Bar
Two-storey Sake Restaurant and Bar goes from premium bento box lunchbreaks to Tokyo-chic nights out, complete with DJ late in the week. Will you graze on sushi and sashimi with a classy Japanese tipple – perhaps something from the 80 urns filled with shochu? Or linger over the eight-course feast, inspired by Japan’s artfully presented kaiseki meals?
Fonda Flinders Lane
These days it’s not about where to find Mexican food in Melbourne, but who does it best. Fonda Flinders Lane is a hot contender, especially at the affordable end of the spectrum. Say hola to some pulled pork tostadas, herbed mushroom quesadillas or fresh fish tacos, and still have coin for a nice drink. Will you go a classic margarita, sangria or beer, or a little loco with a mezcal sour or paloma cocktail?
For more inspiration, check out A foodie’s guide to Flinders Lane – part one.