Navi Food Image by Ed Sloane | Source: Concrete Playground

Culinary Scene: Nine of the Best Degustations in Melbourne

Melbourne is undoubtedly at the heart of the culinary scene in Australia. Home to some of the most exquisite degustation menus, the city’s range of fine-dining restaurants extends far and wide. Take a seat at one of these tables and encounter the talents of specialty chefs creating set menu masterpieces. Whether you’re a fine-dining aficionado or celebrating a worthy occasion, here’s a guide to the best degustations in Melbourne.

Attica

Location: 74 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea 3185

Beautiful, rare and unique ingredients define Chef Ben Shewry’s innovative and creative cuisine. Rated number 20 in the World’s Best Restaurants in 2018, the restaurant’s degustation menu explores pure flavours in a myriad of tastes and textures. The wildly imaginative food includes the likes of honey ants, emu liver, and saltwater croc ribs – the thoughtful use of native ingredients creates a story behind every dish.

Cecconi’s

Located: 61 Flinders Lane, Melbourne CBD 

Melbourne CBD’s most well-known lane plays host to a modern-day classic Italian restaurant with degustation to die for. The Olimpia Bortolotto creation features everything you’d expect from Italian fine dining – elegant, slick decor, relaxed atmosphere and incredible food. Explore an extensive degustation menu in Melbourne featuring antipasti like mushroom and fontina arancini and truffle mayo. Mains stretch from oysters, scallops and calamari to potato gnocchi and beef & pork ragu.

Katori Japanese

Location: G01/850 Whitehorse Road, Box Hill 3128 

If you’re after a premium Japanese degustation in Melbourne, you’ve found the place. Known for its delicious grilled Saikyo miso-marinated black cod, Katori provides an elegant ambience and intimate setting. Enjoy a set degustation menu of the finest Japanese and Yakiniku cuisine paired with Japanese-infused cocktails. Scan the menu to find assorted premium sashimi (Japanese toro, NZ scampi, catch of the day), truffle sushi, an Australian Wagyu platter and Fogura Ishiyaki Binbinbap to name a few.

Navi

Location: 83b Gamon St, Yarraville 3013

This modern Australian Degustation in Melbourne is the perfect example of a contemporary tasting menu that meets an intimate dining experience. Chef-owner Julian Hills’ dishes are creatively ‘wild food’-inspired. Continuously on the hunt for new ingredients, the menu is an ever-changing adventure through Australia. Diners are treated to gourmet specialities like a kangaroo with shio-koji and muntries, Murray cod with bee pollen garam, and rainbow trout with pickled wild blackberries.

Atlas Dining

Location: 133 Commercial Road, South Yarra 3141

Far from a typical fine dining restaurant, Atlas dining takes you around the world without leaving Melbourne. Chef Charlie Carrington’s menu gets an entire refresh every four months, creating a new degustation that celebrates a different country’s cuisine. Everywhere from the USA to India and China have been represented in the past. An Australia-inspired set menu is a restaurant highlight, showcasing the best native ingredients in a diverse dining atmosphere.

Vue de Monde

Location: 525 Collins Street, Footscray 3000

Residing upon the 55th floor of Rialto Towers, Vue de Monde is the ultimate modern Australian degustation with views of Melbourne’s cityscape. Playing the line between food and art, each plate is a delicate masterpiece of native ingredients. Shannon Bennett’s creative cuisine includes dishes like marron curry, macadamia tofu with caviar and lamb rib. The open kitchen allows diners to witness the culinary genius at work as he develops exciting flavours and all manner of texture combinations.

Sixty Smith

Location: 60 Smith St, Collingwood 3066

A delicious 7-course degustation menu, warm atmosphere and stunning service, what more could you want? The trendy venue creates a relaxed vibe with exposed timber, statement pendants and flowing greenery. Home to one of the best degustations in Melbourne, the menu is crafted from seasonal ingredients designed for grazing and gorging. Choose from dishes like spicy lamb meatball, mushroom croquette and pork belly to pair with a signature-crafted cocktail.

Kekou

Location: 396 Bridge Road, Richmond 3121

Kekou lives in a 120-year-old building, epitomising historic charm, on Richmond’s trendy dining strip. The Eastern-inspired tasting menu is full of rich flavours. The small bites will have you wanting more – imagine pork and prawn wontons, and kingfish sashimi. The larger dishes include appetising creations such as glazed beef ribs, crispy duck, Asian stir-fry and beef cheek curry.

IDES

Location: 92 Smith Street, Collingwood 3066

A thrillingly original modern Australian menu that evolves with the seasons. Full of novel ingredients and risqué combinations, every dish wonderfully marries flavour, technique and artful plating. The brainchild of former Attica sous chef Peter Gunn enjoys 12 glamorous courses in the sophisticated, intimate venue. The signature “Black Box” dessert is a must-have.

If you’re a fine dining fan from another state, have a look at The Best Degustations in Sydney and The 5 Best Degustations in Perth

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