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Our Favourite Melbourne Dishes: Part 1

Whether you’re living in Melbourne or just visiting - this is the list for you. We’re biased towards the north side because well, it's better ;) .

5. Turmeric Cauliflower @ Lucy Liu

23 Oliver Lane, Melbourne 3000

A CBD favourite for almost 10 years now, Lucy Liu meshes a number of Asian cuisines, a typical Melbourne laneway entrance and neon lights and comes up trumps. Head chef Jenna North does a turmeric cauliflower with sesame tofu dressing and furikake which hits all the right notes and is the perfect appetiser before the bigger stuff. Broadsheet doesn’t list this one as a stand out but trust us, Broadsheet got it wrong. 

4. The Chicken Schnitzel @ Marquis of Lorne

411 George St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

Our favourite meal at probably our favourite pub in Melbourne. It’s an old enough pub to have been built with gold rush money but it’s had a recent touch up and boy did they nail it. Rock up at anytime past 7 on a Friday night you’ll find the punters spilling onto the footpaths in every direction away from its cosy ground floor. One set of stairs leads you to a private dining room and another puts you on top of a rollicking rooftop – the perfect place to knock a few back after work and let the worries leak away. Just be weary of the bathrooms if you’re claustrophobic. Jacob Swain (also of Builders Arms) leads the charge in the kitchen, and he doesn’t put a foot wrong in compiling this pitch perfect chicken shnitty paired with slaw and salsa verde. The highlight at a place with no shortage of them.

3. The Olive Bread @ All Are Welcome

190 High St, Northcote VIC 3070

OK, not technically a dish in the true sense of the word, but an absolute must buy in any case. Known to all locals and plenty more abounds, All Are Welcome is a tour-de-force in doing the simple things perfectly. Anything you choose from this café slash bakery is a pretty safe bet but the olive bread is the coup de grâce. Our Saturday morning routine rarely deviates from a walk to AAW for some quality takeaway coffee and supplies followed by scrambled eggs with avo, Meredith goats cheese, Supper Supply EVOO and olive bread whilst doing The Age crossword. Whatever floats. 

2. Stracciatella @ Zsa’s

202 High St, Northcote VIC 3070

It’s barely believable how bloody good this dish is. The delightfully supple texture is what elevates it from merely fantastic to truly breathtaking. Strac isn’t really supposed to be the standout on any menu but it’s always the first locked in when we go to order at this Summer favourite located at the top of Ruckers Hill in High St, Northcote. It’s one of your typical Melbournian share-a-plate affairs but Zsa’s oozes class, from its rustic European décor to its scintillating Stracciatella – did we mention that one yet?

1. The Steak @ The Royston Hotel

12 River Street, Richmond 3121

The Royston is one of those pubs tucked cosily away from any main street that reminds you that the Richmond pub scene is more than just questionable crowds, obnoxious top-40 pop and multi-levelled monstrosities. The perfect place to break things up midweek, pull up a seat around the bar and you’ll hit your rhythm pretty quickly. If it’s a Thursday, it’s blasphemy to even consider anything but the steak, and if it’s any other day, you think a bit harder about it but still pick the steak. There are plenty of great cuts of meat doing the rounds in the Melbourne pub scene but none better or more consistent than the Royston’s. It’s one thing to produce a mouth-watering steak but it’s another to produce it day-in-day-out without ever wavering from the high bar so brazenly set. Our tips: book early, and don’t be afraid to sub out the chips for the hasselback potatoes.