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An interior shot of a table setting in front of a full length wi
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Six fancy food and drink experiences you can only have in Victoria

Victoria is home to some of the country's best fine diners – from the bay to the CBD, there's something for every occasion

By Time Out in association with Visit Victoria
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There are some things you just can't mimic at home no matter how hard you try, and one such thing is a fine dining experience fit for royalty. We're lucky in Victoria to call ourselves home to a plethora of fine diners that provide exceptional service, seasonal produce and memorable experiences all throughout the year.

During winter we’re bringing you guides to our state’s wondrous road trips and staycations, in line with Visit Victoria’s 'Stay close, go further' call-to-action. Rediscover all the natural beauty, one-of-a-kind stays, covetable dining experiences and memorable holidays Melbourne and Victoria have to offer. To help you do that, we’ve tackled road trips and unbeatable mini-breaks you can have right here in Melbourne.

From an esteemed Japanese chef's specially-curated omakase to views of glittering bays or shimmering city lights, these venues have it all and they're in our very own backyard. 

Six fancy food and drink experiences you can only have in Victoria

Food at Lake House, Daylesford
Food at Lake House, Daylesford
Photograph: Mark Chew/Visit Victoria

Lake House

Restaurants European Daylesford

Helmed by husband and wife tour de force the Wolf-Taskers, the Lake House calls the shores of the idyllic Lake Daylesford home. Six sprawling acres of country gardens make up the property that provides accommodation along with a top notch restaurant that attracts people from all over the country. The Cape Cod bones of the house boast floor to ceiling windows and an abundance of natural light, and the food itself is a seasonal set a la carte menu that spruiks produce from the venue’s own farm, Dairy Flat Farm. Its wine list is impressive and extensive and it’s easy to spend at least half a day wining and dining here.

Food at Flower Drum
Food at Flower Drum
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Flower Drum

Restaurants Chinese Melbourne

The epitome of first class service, this long-serving Chinatown stalwart shows off Cantonese cuisine and hospitality in a way that no other in Victoria does. Flower Drum's waitstaff stand to the sides and move around accommodating guests almost telepathically, banquet options are on offer but so is an extensive a la carte menu (you’ll want to try the pearl meat), and another impressive wine list with varietals from across the globe await. 

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Food at Vue De Monde
Food at Vue De Monde
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Vue de Monde

Restaurants Melbourne

Vue de Monde was the vision of acclaimed chef Shannon Bennett and is now steered under the direction of ingenious chef Hugh Allen. Take the lift up to level 55 at the top of the Rialto Tower and feast your eyes on panoramic views of Melbourne and be treated to some of the finest service in the country. The degustation menu itself is a playful and nostalgic take on all things Australiana and Vue de Monde’s cellar is known to be one of the best in the country. And it’s one of the only venues in Australia to have a master sommelier that will assist you with your wine requests. 

Chef Koichi Minamishima at Minamishima
Chef Koichi Minamishima at Minamishima
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Minamishima

Restaurants Richmond

The lights are dimmed down low and chef Koichi Minamishima serves up his omakase (or chef’s choice). Intimate just about sums this Japanese fine diner up, and we’re convinced it serves up the best sushi in town. The sommelier here has also worked at Flower Drum and beverage pairings can take the form of a sake match. If you're seated at the counter, even better so you can be one of 12 that gets to watch the experts at work, slicing protein with exceptional precision.

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Food at Laura Melbourne
Food at Laura Melbourne
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Laura

Restaurants Merricks

Set amongst the backdrop of Pt. Leo Estate’s impressive sculpture park (hello, giant KAWS statue) and the glittering blue waters of the Western Port Bay on the Mornington Peninsula sits Laura. The restaurant sits pretty cordoned away from the larger bistro and boasts a seasonal menu with a minimum of two courses and a maximum of eight. Pt. Leo Estate also produces its own wines which can be sampled at Laura, and there’s even an option to have a non-alcoholic beverage pairing if you’re the designated driver, too.

Sardine Eatery and Bar East Gippsland
Sardine Eatery and Bar East Gippsland
Photograph: Jessica Shapiro

Sardine Eatery and Bar

Restaurants Modern Australian

Sardine does what you’d expect: the team source some of Gippsland’s finest, fresh seafood and serve it to patrons in their small, unassuming restaurant. The namesake sardines are served whole, charred with finger lime and coriander, while the true treat could be the charred octopus with chorizo and just the right amount of lemon aioli. Mains to try include a crisp roasted fillet of fish served with celeriac and black garlic and two tempura oyster morsels that steal the show. If you want to take a break from all the seafood, the pork belly cooked in apple cider with savoy cabbage is a real winner.

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