Looking for an intimate hideaway for dinner à deux? Enjoy good food, wine and romance with your sweetheart in these softly lit retreats.

Heartling

Melbourne's most exclusive dumpling restaurant has arrived. With space for just eight diners, you'll feel very special when you nab a seat at Heartling. The focus here is on 'slow' dining - a meditative food experience that allows you to savour every flavour. Choose the seafood or plant-based menu, then indulge in a series of hand-crafted, heart-shaped dumplings. Splurge on dessert, you won't be disappointed.

The Terrace

Planning a brunch outing? Treat your date to Melbourne's version of Monet's Garden and soak up glorious views at The Terrace. Located in the lush Royal Botanic Gardens, this newly relaunched spot serves refined breakfast dishes, cult-status hotcakes, fresh summer cocktails and top-tier iced coffee. Keep the romance going and book a sail on the pond with Punting on the Lake.

A couple walking beside a pond in the gardens
The Terrace

No35

Take your date to dizzying heights on the 35th floor of the Sofitel. At No35, you can enjoy sweeping views of the city at any time of day. But it's particularly beautiful at night. Indulgent fare includes deluxe lamb rack, stracciatella risotto, seared duck breast and truffle tortellini. Save room to split a dessert – the cheesecake with dulce de leche is a must-try.

TuanTuan Chinese Brasserie

Carlton’s TuanTuan has a Parisian-chic interior, but the cuisine is Hong Kong comfort food. Take a seat at your table for two in the courtyard, next to the Shanghainese mural and central spotlit tree. Don’t miss out on the signature snow buns, with beef or crispy pineapple. Go Macau-style with pork and seafood on rice, or try congee with abalone and chicken.

A couple eating dinner in a restaurant beneath a large tree
TuanTuan

Victoria

Love the Gippsland-themed fare at Farmer's Daughters? Get a taste of the whole state at the team’s new venue, Victoria. The sharing menu is a love letter to local farmers and producers, with dishes cooked over woodfire in the open kitchen. Flit across the countryside with smoked duck served in duck fat gravy, 600 gram rib-eye, rosti with Bass Strait scallop and more. Stake out a spot on the all-weather terrace to take in romantic riverside views.

Society

Whether it’s your first date or 10th anniversary, Society promises a night to remember. Melbourne’s new supper-club has been brewing for four years and the doors are finally open. Statement crystal chandeliers twinkle above as lamplight glows on curvaceous booth seating. Sip caviar-topped martinis in the lounge before succumbing to Japanese-inspired or Euro-style cuisine.

A woman walking through a contemporary wine cellar in a blue dress.
Society photo by Tom Blachford

The European

At the old-world European, wines are French or Italian and the menu is an elegantly Euro melting pot. Start as you wish to continue, with caviar, blinis and champagne. Share chateaubriand for two, then lean back in your bentwood chairs to make room for the grand finale. Meringue bombe alaska or a selection of cheeses from the cellar.

Ototo

If discreet fine dining with dramatic Japanese flair is on your wish list, enter the world of Ototo. Dark and moody, lit by a rosy ribbon of light overhead, it’s tailor-made for clandestine catch-ups. Take your seat by the bar and watch as expert mixologists shake up custom cocktails. Indulge in seasonal set menus, rock oysters with ponzu, deluxe sashimi and fiery dishes fresh from the grill.

Two women sitting at the bar at an underground restaurant with a red sculpture ribbon light overhead.
Ototo

Eureka 89

Eureka! We've found Melbourne's most glorious views. Eureka 89 soars 300 metres above sea level. Time your visit to watch the sun set over the glittering city skyline as you embark on a five or seven course chef's menu. With a seasonal modern Australian menu, you'll always be served art on a plate. Try delicate dishes like yellowfin tuna and smoked beetroot or Victorian-grazed beef paired with local wines.

Tipo 00

Take the pressure off date night, and settle in for an evening of pasta and wine at cosy Tipo 00. Feed your appetite for the good things in life by starting with freshly shucked oysters and chef-selected salumi. Move on to sophisticated but hearty house-made gnocchi with braised duck. Finish with the famous mascarpone tipomisu for a sweet treat with bite.

A jar of chocolate fudge being poured on a brownie.
Tipo 00

Vue de Monde

With those bewitching 55th-floor views to distract you, your eyes might wander from your partner at Vue de Monde. But don’t worry, they’ll be busy admiring the menu at this fine dining icon. Australian ingredients star in dishes like oysters with native citrus, and chocolate soufflé with billy tea ice cream.

Aru

The wood-fired hearth sets the tone at Aru, from the pan-Asian cuisine to the room’s sensual warmth. Intimacy is on tap too, with fellow diners draped in shadows cast by clever spotlights. Fire-tempered dishes emerging from the open kitchen include small plates of torched salmon. Share barramundi with buttermilk dashi, and scorched passionfruit pavlova for dessert.

Woman eating a desert with a cocktail
Aru

Matilda

Flames from the open kitchen heat body and soul at Matilda, a meat-lover’s celebration of Australian cuisine. Beguiling mood lighting softens the decor of timber and leather, fuelling appetites for big flavours. Wood fire, charcoal and smoke create magic to enhance sirloin, barramundi and duck. Even the potatoes are hay-smoked and dessert might be apple tarte tatin.

Hemingway’s Wine Room

Ernest himself would have felt right at home at Hemingway’s, a seductive homage to Europe’s wine bars. Bar shelves lined with bottles and books lend a bohemian vibe, while the brasserie’s red leather banquettes are pure Paris. Choose the prix fixe menu to splurge on delicate crab cake entrées and Wagyu filet mignon. Follow with your choice of dessert or cheeses from the trolley.

Melbourne's best Valentine's Day restaurant specials

Fuumi Fuumi

White chocolate raspberry rose cake with a bouquet of roses.

Her Melbourne

3-course menu: spanner crab, duck frites, Wagyu eye fillet. Matched wines or Champagne.

Kisumé

Multi-course menu: ocean trout, kingfish, Wagyu brisket, yuzu sorbet with honey dew.

Yakimono

Cocktail on arrival, kingfish sashimi, BBQ sake king salmon. Optional bouquest of fresh roses.

Grill Americano

Indulgent 5-course meal includes: handmade pasta, specialty beef, seafood and classic desserts.

Chin Chin

‘Love Me, Feed Me’ menu: spanner crab, clams, tiger prawn, pork rib eye, lobster, scallops, oysters.

400 Gradi

Enjoy a traditional margherita pizza in the shape of a heart on the 14th of February, $25.

Ishizuka

10-courses include lobster, snow crab and Wagyu beef, plus an individual take-home castella cake.

Luci

Includes octopus, roasted spatchcock and a special live musical performance.

More date-night restaurant ideas

Nomad

Upbeat restaurant on Flinders Lane, serving contemporary cuisine with Middle Eastern accents.

Tippy-Tay

A colourful Italian restaurant at the Garden State Hotel.

Gimlet at Cavendish House

An elegant cocktail bar and dining room from renowned chef Andrew McConnell.

Arbory Afloat Balearic Beach Club

Melbourne’s original floating bar is back, inspired by the exotic Balearic Islands.

Romantic bars for a date-night drink

Lui Bar

Look out over Melbourne from above the clouds at this luxurious bar on the Rialto's 55th floor.

Patsy's

A vegetarian bistro inspired by Mediterranean wine culture.

Willows & Wine

A West Melbourne bar offering books, cheese and wine.

Juliet Melbourne

Below Punch Lane, Juliet's serves wine and cocktails in a rustic basement bar.

Last updated on Tue 24 Jan 2023

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