There is no shortage of bars and restaurants in Melbourne – if anything, the weekend doesn’t provide adequate time to try them all. The only logical solution to this is to start putting those quiet weeknights to work. For midweek celebrations and off-peak explorations, we’ve rounded up four of our favourites at Crown.
Drawing on her experience in Bangkok restaurants and techniques learned from her mother and grandmother, chef On Saengyojanr brings classic Thai cooking with a twist to Ging Thai. The substantial menu is headed by house specials like the chargrilled chicken satay with radish pickle, and a fragrant fish curry with snake beans. To get the best of everything, go for the set menu, which pairs Thai favourites like crying tiger beef salad and pad see ew with curries and satays. Besides the menu, there are also a few Thai-influenced cocktail twists – like the Lauguerita, which combines tequila and passionfruit with the sour bite of tamarind.
Despite the pedigree of owner and chef Guillaume Brahimi (he got his start under heavily decorated French chef Joël Robuchon, and led Sydney Opera House fine diner Guillaume at Bennelong for over a decade), Bistro Guillaume is modelled on classic French bistros: casual, welcoming neighbourhood haunts that let the food speak for itself. Brahimi’s Parisian-influenced menu makes for a slightly more sophisticated midweek meal, but it’s mainly French classics done very well – steak frites (porterhouse with fries and bearnaise), escargot with butter-and-garlic persillade, and Roquefort cheese soufflé are among the staples. If you’re celebrating something, or just want a more lavish weeknight meal, opt for the multi-course set menu and a bottle from the wine list, which includes French and Australian drops.
The first thing you’ll notice about Silks is the sophisticated atmosphere. The space resembles a Chinese mansion , with antiques through the main dining room and five private dining rooms, as well as that eponymous silk in the form of a Mongolian tent. The restaurant adds contemporary shine and locally sourced produce, meats and fresh seafood to Cantonese classics. Weekdays, opt for yum cha – a $59 chef’s selection that includes dim sum like steamed crab and beetroot dumplings, and char siu pork puffs, plus a glass of wine.
Nobu has become a sort of status-symbol Japanese restaurant – the kind of place that everyone knows, simply because it deserves its lofty reputation (and having Robert De Niro as an investor doesn’t hurt, either). At the Southbank outpost, Nobu continues its modern take on Japanese cuisine fused with Peruvian flavours and techniques, seen in dishes like the signature tiradito – thin slivers of marinated white fish or scallops – and jalapeno-spiked yellowtail sashimi. Nobu also offers an upgraded take on the lunchtime bento with bites like black-cod miso and seafood ceviche, while the upstairs bar area is for the more casual Tanoshi Hour: a pared back menu designed for drinking and socialising.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Crown. Patrons must be over 18 years old to consume alcohol and may be prohibited from the casino or any Crown property for any reason. Crown practices the responsible service of alcohol. See Crown website for entry conditions and for more information.