If ‘all the world’s a stage’ in Melbourne, then the restaurants of our city are the perfect ensemble cast. With the winter chill increasing, it’s the perfect time to head indoors for some theatre, but first – food. We’ve organised this list by theatre so that you know what’s nearby.
Locanda‘s dramatic design and décor rivals any on-stage production and, with its use of premium Victorian produce, it’s a perfect option for theatre-goers who happen to be foodies too. Make your booking for before 6.30pm and get 20 per cent off your bill when you buy a main meal. Carnivores can choose the milk fed veal with sage, macadamia and butter sauce, but there’s also options like hearty house-made parmesan gnocchi with gorgonzola, glazed pear and walnuts. And if there’s time, the oozy chocolate fondant for dessert.
For a real indulgent start (or end) to your night at the ballet, swan into Siglo. With amazing views of Parliament, St Patrick’s Cathedral spire and the muralled brickwork of Princess Theatre, you almost won’t want to go to the show. With an enviable drinks menu and shareable bar snacks, it’s the perfect pre-theatre indulgence.
Her Majesty’s Theatre
For next level pizza, we can’t go past Tazio, a two-storey, 240 seat Italian pizzeria. If you’re after something a little lighter, go for the antipasto platter with cured meats, or marinated olives with Persian fetta. The team at Tazio are well known for catering for pre-theatre diners – just let them know at the time of booking or arrival when you need to head off.
In the heart of the theatre precinct lies Mezzo, a traditional Italian restaurant and bar. The express pre-theatre lunch runs from Wednesday to Friday, or dinner from Monday to Saturday. But if nothing tickles your fancy on the pre-theatre menu, the full menu is always available and full of classic Italian fare. They’ll cater to any time restrictions, but be sure to squeeze in enough time for a tiramisu. Beautiful!
Known for their sharing dishes, Gingerboy meals are inspired by the vibrant flavours, fun and colour of street kitchens and hawker markets across South-east Asia. Not sure what to order? Tell your waiter to ‘feed me’ and they’ll sort you out. Or head upstairs for pre-theatre snacks, cocktails and people watching before the show.
Melbourne Recital Centre and Melbourne Theatre Company
If you need a quick bite before a show, head to Blondie Bar for selection of small Asian-inspired dishes like the haloumi bao, or visit post-performance and savour more substantial dishes like the slow-roasted szechuan lamb shoulder.
If you’re in a more European mood head to the cosy Script Bar and Bistro, which offers a supper menu with slow-roasted beef ribs cooked in Barolo and vincotto, or a funghi lasagne made with seasonal wild mushrooms. Wash it all down with a glass of chianti. Both restaurants are mere metres from Melbourne Recital Centre and Melbourne Theatre Company.
The Arts Centre
What do you feel like? There’s plenty of options near the Arts Centre. Try contemporary Japanese cuisine matched to a range of premium sake at Hamer Hall’s Sake Restaurant and Bar, with small bites or a shared tasting menu. Or Fatto‘s sophisticated Italian with a pre-theatre menu that includes starters like burrata with vincotto and pine nuts and mains like spaghettini with spanner crab, chilli and parsley.
Need to fill up on a feast before the show? Taxi Kitchen offers a three-course Showbiz menu. This fine dining, modern Australian restaurant and bar is surrounded by glorious views of Southbank, the Yarra and the Arts Centre spire. Fill up and wander across the river for your show.