It seems like there is never a lull in new restaurant openings, and as difficult as it is to pick out the best restaurants in Melbourne, there's something to be said about pointing out the best dishes the city's restaurants' have served up. The 10 best dishes we ate this year are those that are memorable, the dishes that aren't just great products of a kitchen but also make diners want to keep coming back.
10 best dishes of 2016
The perfect meeting of pig and ocean, the spicy soft Calabrian salami is added like a crumbly spice mix to the chilled shellfish and cucumber ribbons on a raft of toasted bread. Lucky it’s become a rusted-on menu fixture at Andrew McConnell’s pitch-perfect wine bar.
It’s probably not fair to highlight the roast chook amid Embla’s cacophony of excellence but this drills down into the essence of Sunday night dinner perfection: an organic free-range bird, perfect golden skin, a wicked amount of garlic and rosemary, gremolata and a plate-lickable chicken sauce. Wildly addictive.
Philippe Mouchel is on a mission to change the mind of anyone who thinks oysters are best eaten au naturel with his bivalve on the shell, encased under clear seawater jelly with a single perfect spinach leaf and watercress cream. Arrestingly beautiful, it’s also terribly delicious.
It’s been a long time since anyone considered soup top of the pops, but Philippa Sibley’s changing all that with her silken, sunshiny carrot and chervil number with roasted scallops and a sweet textural sprinkle of Amaretti crumbs. In a word: luscious.
Jake Kellie does good snackage – the wicked green lozenges of pickled juniper, topped with bronze fennel and lemon verbena powder spring to mind. But the chicken mousse lollipop, a deboned piece of golden-tanned skin-on chook wrapped around chicken mousse and sticky with jus gras, are our new favourite canapé.
Melbourne's best restaurants
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 50 best restaurants.