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With chic eateries dotting the length of the CBD grid, Flinders Lane has grown into one of our city’s most famous dining strips. Home to some of Melbourne's top chefs (think Andrew McConnell and Chris Lucas), it's the ultimate stop for pre-theatre dining, special occasions and everything in-between.
Driving in? More than 30 city carparks are offering $5 parking, book ahead to score.
Gimlet at Cavendish House
Old world glamour and modern dining collide at Andrew McConnell's latest endeavour. You'll find Gimet inside the Chicago-style 1920s building Cavendish House. Start your evening at the bar with the namesake Gimlet cocktail, a sweet burst of gin and botanicals. The menu heroes seasonal, Australian produce and the wood fire oven is the centrepiece of the kitchen. Dine on Southern rock lobster in bisque sauce. Or enjoy fresh oysters and the caviar service.
With beautifully executed takes on classic Asian food, Supernormal is a favourite along Flinders Lane. Spot the neon-red cherry and katakana characters outside. They're a nod to the restaurant’s Japanese influence. There’s plenty of inspiration from China too. From pot sticker dumplings to slow-cooked Xinjiang lamb with sesame seed flatbread. Don’t leave without trying their famous New England lobster roll. Or the peanut butter parfait.
Modelled on the dining halls of Asia with a shared eating concept, Chin Chin has been packing in the punters since 2011. Safe bets include the green papaya salad and the braised beef massaman curry. There’s no need to wait in the big queues anymore, you can now book. Be sure to start (or finish) your evening enjoying a cocktail in the basement at GoGo bar, you're guaranteed a great night out.
One of the longer standing Flinders Lane eateries, Cumulus Inc. has been a stalwart of this dining strip since 2008. Taste your way around Victoria, with local wines from the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula. Menu highlights include a ricotta and truffle gnocchi and freshly-made madeleines with lemon curd, good enough to devour. There's no more lining up from dawn to dusk to eat here, book ahead and enjoy.
Just off Flinders Lane, The French Brasserie prides itself on excellent service and an even better menu. Traditional French onion soup sits alongside snails in garlic and herb butter for entrée. Mains (plat de résistance) include a confit duck leg with orange jus, and an eye fillet served with mushrooms. Pair your dishes with a choice of Australian or French wine, bon appetit!
At this Flinders Lane wine bar, Indian food blends with international influences. Chef Jessie Singh is no stranger to this playful style of Indian, also heading up Daughter in Law. Menu highlights at Mrs Singh include 'unauthentic' butter chicken and classic palak paneer. The only thing better than the thali tasting menu is getting it for $25 at lunchtime.
One of four new venues to open in the W Hotel, this high profile eatery is a true day-to-night venue. Chef Adam D'Sylva is a local who sharpened his knives at Coda and Tonka. He sources local ingredients for a multicultural menu with bold takes on the classics and exciting new dishes. Lollo's trademark duck lasagne puts a cool and contemporary spin on the at-home comfort food and is better when shared.
Lee Ho Fook
While not on Flinders Lane, it’s worth veering down Duckboard Place to taste this modern reimagining of Chinese food. Lee Ho Fook means ‘good fortune for your mouth’ and your taste buds are in for a treat at this alleyway diner. The seasonal tasting menu is made for sharing. It showcases Australian produce and winemakers. Try the Wagyu beef noodles or spanner crab with heirloom carrots.
This multi-level hotel is much vibier than your run-of-the-mill pub. Garden State's tiered indoor-outdoor beer garden sits in the centre of the building, filled with lush foliage and ficus trees. A relaxed space serving pub classics. For something a little more upmarket, visit the Garden Grill and feast on Sydney rock oysters and wild mushroom linguine. For a 'disco daiquiri', head to the Rose Garden cocktail bar in the basement.
Meatball & Wine Bar
Rustic brick walls complement sleek concrete floors at the original Meatball & Wine Bar. Bar seating creates an intimate pasta-twirling atmosphere. Feeling creative? Design a DIY meatball dish from a range of balls, sauces and bases. You can't go wrong with a classic combo. Try the pasture-fed Angus beef balls with pappardelle pasta and Italian tomato sauce.
A few doors down from Chin Chin, Kisume serves modern Japanese that is worth a little card splash. Visit the triple-threat venue's premium kaiseki bar for 12 to 15-course menus or head to the ground-level sushi station. Groups of twelve are invited to the chef's table. You'll have your own private chef to take you through an unforgettable omakase degustation.
More Flinders Lane faves
Hazel offers nourishing farmhouse-style cooking in the heart of Melbourne CBD.
Laneway restaurant and bar serving traditional Italian-style pizza and contemporary cuisine.
Last updated on Tue 13 Jul 2021
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