My top 17 Melbourne foodie spots – Dani Valent

Alice In Frames aka Alice Zaslavsky featured me in her Chef’s Secrets column for The Weekly Review. In it I present my top picks for dining out in Melbourne:


I review restaurants for the Sunday Age, including brunch spots. I was charmed by Glass Den in Coburg, a sprawling cafe in the old gatehouse at Pentridge Prison.

Their Bluestone Benedict (slow-cooked beef on housemade roti) set me up for the whole day. I love grabbing a stool at Market Lane (Prahran Market) for coffee, a croissant and shopping list rationalisation.

I live in Balaclava and I love Hannah: great coffee, good tunes and excellent blow-out weekend specials. One more? Miss Ruben in Ripponlea does ace baked eggs.

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A date

You want to feel cosy and tucked away, especially for winter dates, so Trattoria Emilia is perfect. It’s off Flinders Lane and they do traditional Modenese food (from the north of Italy).

The newly opened Philippe ticks all the date-night boxes too: French food in a CBD basement den is the very definition of romance.

Sometimes dates work better in more boisterous venues: think about Mr Miyagi (hip Japanese in Windsor) or Supernormal (Flinders Lane, where seats at the bar with a view of the kitchen offer heaps of talking points).

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Quiet dinner

Home is always good! My favourite winter meal is a minestrone with buttered leeks which I make in my Thermomix in 20 minutes.

Otherwise, even busy restaurants are usually quiet early in the evening, which makes them a good option for sneaking in and out with the kids.

I love Supermaxi in Fitzroy North for pizza, House of Hoi An for Vietnamese in Windsor and Mankoushe in Brunswick for Middle Eastern.

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To see & be seen

I’m not so big on being seen but I love having a champagne or three at Bar Di Stasio and admiring the absolute artistry of the waiters there.

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A fancy dinner

Vue de Monde is great at the moment: there’s an authentic connection between their gardens at Burnham Beeches and the food served 55 floors up in the Rialto.

I also like Press Club because it’s exuberant and fun, and ESP where Scott Pickett uses classic technique to create expressive modern dishes in a super spunky dining room.

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A big group

I would chat to the guys at the Grosvenor Hotel, where they can sort you out for charcuterie, burgers and a swag of pizzas in the cocktail bar, do a whole suckling pig, or cater a bespoke dinner in a private room.

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Read the original article here.


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