While you may not be able to splash out on dinner at an expensive restaurant too often, these dining rooms at lunchtime serve the same quality with a better-priced set menu.
Here are five restaurants in Melbourne’s CBD offering lovely, great-value lunches.
For many years Rosa Mitchell has served robust Sicilian dishes, and at her Kitchen on Punch Lane she continues to plate up hearty southern-Italian comfort food. Lunchtime from Tuesday to Thursday sees a regularly changing menu of two courses and a glass of wine for $35 and three courses plus wine for $45. Think flavours such as casareccia pasta with pork sausage and silverbeet, or slow-cooked lamb with peas, mint and parsley.
22 Punch Lane, Melbourne
(03) 9662 2883
During the evening there’s a no-bookings policy at Bar Lourinha on Little Collins Street, but at lunchtime, it will secure you a spot in advance. That makes it easy to eat from its Menu del Dia and be back at work for the afternoon. The menu – three courses for $30 plus $5 for a glass of cava, manzanilla or lager – may have a choice of oysters or lamb croqueta; chicken migas; roasted morcilla on lentils; and the decadent chocolate silk, dulce de leche and coconut.
37 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
(03) 9663 7890
The refreshed version of Brooks – after management and chef changes late last year – is vibrant with a contemporary approach to French food. Mix this with a staff that has years of high-end experience, and you’re in the safe hands of some of the best in the business. The menu changes regularly – perhaps it will feature chicken liver parfait and pickled onion, or duck leg, braised red cabbage and salt-baked kohlrabi. The two-course lunch with a glass of wine for just $39 – three-courses is $50 – is quite simply, terrific value.
115/117 Collins Street, Melbourne
(03) 9001 8755
The lunch offer at contemporary diner Pei Modern on Collins Street is called Eat Pei Quick. Chef Florent Gerardin understands when time is of the essence, and has designed a clever menu for time-poor city folk. He whips up two courses and coffee for $39 – or three-courses for $49 – that could see ox tongue with celeriac remoulade, or duck breast, purple cabbage and crosne. The menu also covers pre-theatre tables in the evening.
45 Collins Street, Melbourne
(03) 9654 8545
Stokehouse City on Alfred Place has just revamped the room downstairs to [Stoke] Bar & Kitchen but upstairs, Stokehouse City Restaurant is perfect for the diner looking for a more structured experience. The Quick Lunch menu is two courses for $49 and three courses for $59 with a seasonal menu that may include sweet-corn veloute, slow-poached egg, smoked cheddar or Ora king salmon with pine mushrooms, roast chestnuts and celeriac cream.
7 Alfred Place, Melbourne
(03) 9525 5555