Melbourne’s Chef-hatted Restaurants You Need To See To Believe
From local legends to unlikely culinary heroes, these are our favourite chef-hatted restaurants in Melbourne that you need to try before the year is out.
2021 has hardly been the year of dining out and it's safe to say we're all overdue for a killer meal. For chefs and restaurants, being awarded a ‘Chef Hat’ is the highest honour. For restaurant-goers, it means your hitlist is pretty much done and dusted. We've got four months left of the year, you better believe we're making the most of it. So for food with all the frills, tip your hat to these noteworthy chef-hatted restaurants in Melbourne – which ones will you be booking?
Three Chef Hatted Restaurants in Melbourne
A fixture on The World's 50 Best Restaurants list since 2010, Ben Shrewy's Attica is a must-try for all foodies. Serving up inventive tasting menus that push the culinary boundaries, each dish heroes local, underrated ingredients like bunya nuts and murnong. Eclectic, warm and one-of-a-kind, dining at Attica is a truly unique experience, worth more than three hats.
74 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea
The very definition of farm-to-plate, Brae has retained their three chef hats and was awarded Vittoria Restaurant of the Year. Sitting pretty on 30 acres with vegetable plots and an established grove of over 100 trees, Brae uses fresh produce from its own farm as well as that of local producers and growers, to shape their ever-changing menu. Get the full experience and stay in one of their six eco-friendly luxury guest suites. Pure bliss.
4285 Cape Otway Rd, Birregurra, Victoria
Sitting high above the city skyline, Vue de Monde, like its name suggests, consistently takes diners to new culinary heights. Retaining their two hats with inventive, sustainability-focused dishes, Shannon Bennett's mainstay establishment continues to evolve. Be sure to treat yourself to the signature chef’s tasting menu, whilst you take in the 360-degree views of the city.
Level 55, Rialto, 525 Collins Street, Melbourne
Two Chef Hatted Restaurants in Melbourne
The Mornington Peninsula's Pt. Leo Estate is home to Australia's most comprehensive sculpture collection, and two-hatted restaurant, Laura. A gourmet hideaway promising an ultra-luxe dining experience in a gloriously intimate setting. With a choice of four, five or six courses, along with a perfectly paired wine list, diners take a gastronomic tour of the region through each plate.
Point Leo Estate, Merricks, Victoria
Refined, minimal and exact, Minamishima is the epitome of Japanese fine dining. Following the principles of omakase dining, the menu is dictated by the chef and is influenced by the seasons, but expect handcrafted nigiri to make an appearance. Everything that is served up to diners has been meticulously considered, from the fresh, local produce, to the precision plating. Whether you dine at the counter, sushi-bar style, or in the dining room, you are in for a real treat.
4 Lord Street, Richmond
Ten Minutes By Tractor is a must visit for those passionate about food and wine. Named after the convergence of three family owned Mornington Peninsula wineries (each ten minutes by tractor apart), the estate offers some of the truest expressions of the region's varieties as well as inspired dining. Chef Adam Sanderson’s tasting menu celebrates the incredible local produce taken from neighbouring farms, the kitchen garden and ingredients foraged from around the region.
1333 Mornington-Flinders Road, Main Ridge
This special occasion fine diner is known for its thrillingly original modern Australian food. Seating just 36 people, the $160 dinner menu evolves constantly with the seasons and is full of novel ingredients and combinations. The risks pay off, with every dish artfully marrying flavour, technique and artful plating, all of it culminating in their iconic ‘black box’ dessert – a bucket list Melbourne dish everyone should try.
92 Smith Street, Collingwood
When the head chef has stints at Attica and Vue de Monde under their belt, you know you’re in for a wild time. This 16-seat, the degustation-only restaurant is fronted by Mo Zhou, a Henan-born chef passionate about creative cooking and local produce. Those unafraid of the novel will be delighted by his imaginative flavour and textural combinations, with dishes guaranteed to have you deep in thought at the dinner table.
1/166 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Unbound by geography and genre, Clinton McIver and his kitchen continually chase exciting new flavours and textures. In their $220 ‘Sensory’ menu, peak produce meets inspired cooking in dishes like aged cobia with dried strawberry, rhubarb and green almond, or barbecued red fish with Mexican mole, warrigal greens and rosella. Meanwhile, the cosy yet elegant fitout creates instant intimacy while being simple enough to let the sophisticated dishes sing.
1121 High Street, Armadale
A sleek yet industrial setting within an old factory, it’s easy to settle in for the evening at the elegant Cutler and Co. With a focus on top-quality produce and a great fine dining experience, the menu is designed to share, with simple and seasonal modern Australian dishes.
55/57 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Two Chef Hatted Restaurants in Melbourne
Wickens at the Royal Mail Hotel is a two-hatted paddock to plate sensory experience with an everchanging menu that plays on locally grown and foraged flavours. Relying heavily on produce harvested daily from the hotel’s organic kitchen garden and boasting a world-class wine list from the impressive 28,000 bottle wine cellar, you'll never want to leave. À la carte or degustation, Wickens at the Royal Mail Hotel is destination dining at its finest.
98 Parker St, Dunkeld, Victoria
The name Flower Drum is synonymous with Melbourne hospitality – the 45 year old Cantonese institution even has its own Wikipedia page. Around a sumptuous grand dining room weave experienced waiters who greet their regulars (politicians, high profile chefs and celebrities among them) like old friends. Signature dishes such as the deftly carved peking duck, mud crab xiao long bao and quail sang choi bao are mainstays decade after decade, as is the wallet-busting premium live seafood cooked to world-class perfection.
17 Market Lane, Melbourne
Acclaimed chef Tomotaka Ishizuka’s ultra exclusive, hidden basement restaurant embodies the ultra-seasonal ‘kaiseki’ style of Japanese dining. Seating just 16 guests, everyone is served a 11-dish tasting menu displaying luxe ingredients, exceptional technique, and wow-inducing plating. Complex yet restrained dishes are a masterclass in Japanese perfectionism, changing day by day in accordance with the freshest produce on offer.
139 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Located in the up and coming suburb of Yarraville is one of Melbourne’s most exciting and innovative restaurants. Serving a degustation menu to only 25 guests a night has given chef-owner Julian Hills more space to flex his creative muscles, with the results speaking for themselves –weekends are usually booked out months in advance. Adventurous diners are bound to love the genre-bouncing playlist and novel drinks list (think wattleseed espresso martinis and toasted rice kombucha) before they even get to the food, which includes adventurous bites like trout roe and black garlic macarons or blue cheesecake with tamarillos.
83b Gamon Street, Yarraville
When a dining experience kicks off with a ceremonial Champagne trolley, you know you’re in for a good night. And in the opulent setting of Grossi Florentino, they really pull out all the stops. Crystal chandeliers hang elegantly from the ornate ceiling and ancient murals decoratively line the walls. This has Italian romance written all over it. The food is exquisite, serving traditional comfort plates with a touch of decadence. This is a dining experience like no other.
80 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Atlas isn’t your typical restaurant. Chef Charlie Carrington’s ambitious project changes its menu entirely every four months, creating a new degustation that celebrates a different country’s cuisine. The result is a thoughtful, exciting experience that takes you around the world without leaving Melbourne. Previous iterations have included Israel, India, China and Lebanon, but right now they’re bringing it home with an Australia-inspired set menu that highlights native ingredients and the wonderful diversity of our multicultural dining landscape.
133 Commercial Road, South Yarra
Fiery Indian cuisine with a refined and contemporary touch is what you can expect from this CBD mainstay, tucked off one of Melbourne’s most iconic laneways. The luxe white tablecloths won’t be pristine for long after you devour Tonka’s glorious saucy and succulent dishes. The lamb curry with roasted coconut and black cardamom is hard to pass up or try something from one of the Tandoor ovens, like the whole spatchcock or Petuna ocean trout.
20 Duckboard Place, Melbourne
A true Melbourne institution, sleek and chic Coda is widely agreed to be one of the city’s best. Always buzzing with its own special brand of energy, not only is this the place to be seen on a Friday night (or any other night for that matter) – but you’re guaranteed a brilliant meal in the process. Trust us, the yellow fin tuna alone is worth the wait.
141 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Made your way through the top chef hatted restaurants in Melbourne? Discover more dining inspiration with our picks for the best Japanese, Greek, French and Italian restaurants in town. Looking to rebalance the budget after splashing out? We’ve got you covered with these great cheap eats and BYO eateries.
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