Vibrant, multi-cultural, fresh and original, Melbourne’s food scene is getting the whole world to sit up and take notice.
“It is a city that is always open to embrace new flavours, new concepts and new ideas as long as they are done right or done with professionalism,”
So says Peruvian chef Alejandro Saravia who runs Pastuso, a restaurant in the city’s AC/DC Lane that specialises in cerviche and pisco. Alejandro moved to Melbourne from Sydney a few years ago because he feels the restaurant industry in Melbourne has more stability and depth.
But one of the key differences in Melbourne is that this love of food goes deeper than just going out to eat.
“When I first moved here what surprised me as I met people is they are all involved in food in some way, professional or casual, big scale or small scale,” says Alejandro.
The Victorian capital is home to the hottest table in Australia, Ben Shewry’s Attica that came in at number 32 on the 2017 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, the highest local entry.
“The quality of the produce being grown in the regions and the wines and the distilleries are just amazing.” – Alejandro Saravia
This is the town that cooked up Shannon Bennett’s fine diner Vue de Monde, on the 55th floor of the Rialto skyscraper; Frank Camorra’s MoVida, the graffiti-covered laneway bar booked out months in advance; and it is where MasterChef judge George Calombaris has a whole smorgasbord of venues from the upmarket Press Club to the home-cooked Greek of Hellenic Republic in the northern suburbs.
There is local hero Andrew McConnell – who has Supernormal (for steamed pork buns) and Cumulus Inc (for a steamy date night) – 400 Gradi’s Johnny Di Francesco (former World Pizza Champion) turning out pizzas that you could serve on the streets of Napoli and the fine-dining Chinese of Gilbert Lau’s Flower Drum.
“I have worked in Paris and London, and now Melbourne is becoming one of the best foodie cities in the world,” says Pierre Khodja from Camus.
Camus puts the food boom down to the great mix of cultures. Melbourne has a strong history of immigration from parts or Europe like Italy and Greece, countries that make food a central part of their life.
“I have worked in Paris and London, and now Melbourne is becoming one of the best foodie cities in the world,” – Pierre Khodja
Melbourne is the apex of the Victorian food pyramid, with the regions funneling amazing produce into the city, for the chefs to fry, knead, slice and dice.
“The quality of the produce being grown in the regions and the wines and the distilleries are just amazing,” says Alejandro Saravia.
Pierre Khodja agrees and says the regional produce is key to a Melbourne foodie visit.
“Visitors should go to Mornington Peninsula wineries and Yarra Valley farm gates, they should go to South Melbourne markets. Amazing produce goes through those markets, and they are open late at night and they do cooking classes, there is a lot happening, they are very exciting.”
Tigerair flies between Townsville and Melbourne return every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Commencing 22 June.
Book at www.tigerair.com.au.
Tigerair is Australia’s most on time low cost carrier in 2015 and 2016 and also cancelled the least amount of flights of all the major Australian airlines throughout 2015 and 2016.