Whilst researching places to eat in Melbourne, I was crestfallen to discover that Jamie Oliver’s “Fifteen Melbourne” had recently closed. I was pretty disappointed as I have never eaten at a Jamie Oliver restaurant and he is my all-time favourite chef. Luckily we had Gordon Ramsay’s Maze to console us.
From the ashes of “Fifteen Melbourne” rises “The Kitchen Cat”, which is owned and operated by Tobie Puttock, who has worked directly with Jamie in many different restaurants and projects (including setting up the first “Fifteen” restaurant in London). “The Kitchen Cat” prides itself on offering rustic Mediterranean food, with a heavy lean towards Italian food. Unfortunately, these photos don’t do it justice.
MoVida, located in an artsy graffiti-covered laneway, is a tapas bar/restaurant hybrid. It came highly recommended to us by a local foodie that we met and it constantly rates as one of the top food establishments in Melbourne. It isn’t cheap but the food was extremely innovative and the atmosphere made us feel like we were in a genuine tapas bar somewhere in Spain.
Another great spot that we ate at in Melbourne was Cookie, a popular casual Thai restaurant in the heart of town that also doubles as a beer hall. Cookie was serving the kind of Thai food that I have been yearning for since being away from Australia; Thai with a mod-Australian twist. I wish I’d had time to return to make my way through the extensive menu that consists of sweat-inducing curries, noodle dishes, spicy seafood selections, and various takes on stir-fries. Service was very slow but I’d expect as much in a place this busy. Try and visit at an off time (not sure if there is one!) to ensure you get a table.
Melbourne’s food scene truly stunned and impressed me. The food scene thrives in Melbourne and even with as many restaurants as there are, they seemed to always be busy. The Aussies have high expectations for a good meal and, from our experience, these expecations are met and often excelled. I cannot wait for my next trip to Melbourne.