Unless you have the metabolism of a nine-year-old, and the finances of a Kardashian, you never stand a chance against Melbourne's ferocious dining machine. The openings just don't stop and ain't nobody got time to keep on top of what's what. Except us, that is. So behold, our eat-and-destroy list – a guide to Melbourne's best restaurants.
Part beef hall, part street food market, Hawker Hall is inspired by the cheap-as-chips restaurants of Kuala Lumpur, with a definite Melbourne touch. Executive chef Benjamin Cooper's menu flits from beer food and dumplings and buns, through to roti and satay, noodles and salads, and curries and stir fries. Two people can barely scratch the surface, which is why this rowdy joint is best tackled with a crew.
Southern-style fried chicken has nailed the eating zeitgeist, but the crew at Belle’s Hot Chicken have turned it into an extreme sport. If you want to simulate the experience of having your head blown off, head straight for their "really fuckin’ hot" chicken. It has a body count. Thankfully, you can cool off with the wine list, that cracks out unexpected moves in the orange/low intervention arena.
This friendly neighbourhood wine bar was a notorious gentlemen’s club in its former life, but there’s nothing insalubrious about its current incarnation. Take your time perusing the 20-page wine list, and settle into a long lunch or weeknight dinner with the bistro-style menu.
We're not going to lie, the murky Yarra River isn't a pretty picture most days, but there's something about looking at the inner-city skyline by the railway line at Arbory that makes you proud of this city. Pull up a seat, order a rosé to go with your cheeseburger and soak in the view.