Well glued to our sofas, we had plenty of time to dream of life after confinement. And how much we want to say goodbye to him – hopefully for good this time.
What’s the one place you can’t wait to go after all of this is done?
That’s a question we asked 16 of Melbourne’s big names, from Mayor Sally Capp to famous street artist Rone, to chef and restaurateur Andrew McConnell (whose restaurants, unsurprisingly, feature prominently in this review. story). And Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Creative Director Pat Nourse, who submitted a beautifully short and unspaced list of over 20 restaurants, which almost got our website going – he loves Melbourne.
Find their preferred location (s) below.
Andrew McConnell, chef and restaurateur behind Trader House restaurants (including Cutler & Co, Supernormal, Marion and more)
As far back as I can remember, I have dined at Flower Drum. Anthony and Jason Lui run such a well-oiled machine, with the best service and Chinese food in Melbourne. I love a long celebration of lunch in their classic dining room.
Sally Capp, Lord Mayor of Melbourne
It is almost impossible to name just one thing that I look forward to doing when restrictions ease, as I am desperate to return to all of my favorite spots around Melbourne. I was however delighted to learn that one of our most legendary rooftop bars, Madame Brussels on Bourke Street, will reopen with new owners. This is one of my favorite places in the whole city for its view and iconic decor. It also proves Melbourne’s ability to regenerate and pirouette through the toughest times. Bring the rosÃ© champagne.
Mimi Elashiry, social media star and model
While this is a wonderful place to make a date or go with a group, it is the place I most often visit on my own. The Napier neighborhood is close to my heart not only because the food and service is beyond beauty, but because I have spent many evenings there, alone, by the window, reading, holding a newspaper or working from my phone, thinking about life, ordering a seasonal dish or plate of the day and a glass of wine. In my little corner by the window, I sit for hours. Watching the trees overlooking Napier Street, watching them go from flowers to fall leaves. Twigs bare to bright green.
Nazeem Hussain, actor
Live comedy shows in the city at Basement Comedy and Comedy Republic. I can’t wait to do comedy not through a laptop screen. Also, Lankan Tucker. I crave good Sri Lankan food, and these guys do it really well.
Zara McDonald, co-creator of Shameless Media and Shameless Podcast
Well, I just can’t walk past the local pub, can I? The Mount Erica is without a doubt the best pub in Melbourne, and it’s the first restaurant I rushed to book. I have spent the last few months dreaming of sitting in their beer garden with a glass of pinot and a big old cutlet. And if I allow myself a second notable mention: Tipo 00. There is surely no better Italian in Melbourne.
Michelle Andrews, co-creator of Shameless Media and Shameless Podcast
Ooooooh, I should say Cumulus Inc on Flinders Lane. Zara is my brain’s confidence when it comes to finding new good restaurants and ever since she asked me to eat at Cumulus, I’ve wanted to kiss her feet (okay, not quite them. feet, maybe his knees, or something). Roasted shoulder of lamb has a place in my heart and I can’t wait to take my sister Claire there as a post-pregnancy treat (including a stop at the Trinket Bar for a cocktail).
Pat Nourse, Creative Director of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
Just one? Easy.
AboveConseilAnchoisAruBarAmericanoVilleVinBoutiqueChaeChanceryLaneCittaDainty EnterViaLaundryEmblaDuFermierFranceSoirGrayandGrayGimletGerald’sHeartbreaker HopeStRadioIgniLulu’sMiznonMrWest SeafoodWtreetumiSineBtreetumi.
If I could also list the places I want to try, rather than the places I want to go back to, I could also say AuterraBarMerendaDom’sMassiLaCantinaLeneSocietySpensley’sSuperchidoTedesca Yakimono.
Melissa LÃ©ong, Chef judge and gastronomic writer
While I have now fully embraced becoming a Melburnian for better or for worse over the past few years, I was born in Sydney and I truly miss the beach. To that end, what excites me the most is getting in the car with a fully loaded picnic situation and driving to a beautiful location on the Great Ocean Road or around the Mornington Peninsula, for a snack, a swim and a little sun.
Ghita Loebenstein, cinemas manager at Acmi
You can’t just pick just one, so my list is made up of all of my âoldâ favorites: a fine drink and something delicious from my favorite Marion or newcomer McConnell Gimlet; a sit-down coffee at my friend Cibi’s, who kept me caffeinated during blockages one to six; an actual class at Gertrude Street Yoga; a drive and a swim at Seaford Beach when it warms up; a gig somewhere small and sweaty (but socially distant); and of course, a film in Acmi cinemas as soon as we reopen.
Ben Shewry, chef and owner of Attica
Last year I was bragging and joking with my homie [rapper] Adam Briggs that we have the best this and the best that here in Melbourne. And when she got back from Sydney, I took her to visit some of my favorite places to eat, like Kalimera Souvlaki Art in Oakleigh, Straits Cafe in Wantirna South, and Che Desserts in Springvale. Adam moved nine months ago, and we haven’t had a chance to visit these wonderful places due to the blockages – so I can’t wait to do them all in one day with him soon!
Banoffee aka Martha Brown, musician
I can’t wait to go see a show. Being annoyed by the number of people jostling in front of each other. I am even excited by social anxiety! I can’t wait to hide in a toilet stall on Instagram because I’m overwhelmed. It will mean real life. The real life of consuming art to create art. To feel FOMO if you choose not to leave the house. The reality of life is that there are choices. I can’t wait to have more choice and, in return, to be able to do work that is inspired by it
Matt Bax, artist and owner of Bar Americano and Grau Projekt gallery
Di Stasio Citta. I can satisfy everything I have missed over the past months / years with just one booking. He ticks all of my boxes: great food, drinks, art and, most importantly, conversation.
Kate Reid, founder and co-owner of Lune and Moon
There is one place in particular where I just have a good evening. It’s my secret on the south side (not so secret after that). Gauge Bistro in Ormond was first introduced to me by one of my best friends from the days of aerospace engineering. This has been our regular catch-up point for almost two years now. The food is classic bistro style; the inspiration of the menu goes around Western Europe. The wine list is exceptionally considered – if Zeth really lets you choose what you drink. (The last time I had dinner – it was August 5, the night we went into lockdown six – when I asked for a Negroni, Zeth told me I would drink what we got. ‘gave!) Although the food and wine is fabulous, I really go for the service. Zeth is the next level. OMG, can’t wait – I’m booked for Friday night! Attention south side …
Eddie Perfect, Tony Award-nominated writer, performer and composer
I desperately want to hug my mom and dad in the Victoria area. I should point out that my parents live in the Victoria area. I don’t have a weird geographic hug fetish where I force my parents to travel to the Victoria area for hugs. And theater. I would like to see theater. Any theater. I miss the Melbourne Theater Company, Malthouse Theater, live comedy, live music, musical theater. Melbourne is a city of culture – I won’t feel like I used to until live entertainment is back in our lives.
Jung Eun Chae, chef and owner of Chae
Chef Tobin Kent offers a unique dining experience, fueled largely by the produce he grows himself on his two-hectare property. I admire his passion for regional cuisine, his meticulous attention to detail and his unwavering desire to provide a quality dining experience. I myself am passionate about running a restaurant that showcases the beauty of nature. Once the Covid restrictions are relaxed, I would love to have the opportunity to dine at his quaint restaurant, Moonah, and share our common enthusiasm.
Rone aka Tyrone Wright, artist
I can’t wait to see my family in Geelong. But what I’m really looking forward to is going on a road trip with no real destination in mind. Just drive for adventure. So many amazing little towns all over Victoria.