The Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Melbourne

Updated 7 months ago

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The line between fine dining and not-fine dining used to be very clear. The former had tablecloths, suited staff and maybe even a dress code for diners. The latter was more relaxed. Things have been different for a while now. But the fine diner’s charged, special occasion atmosphere has stuck, and continues to differentiate it from wine bars, bistros and the like.

If you’re partial to pushing the boat out on special occasions, you’re in the right city. Melbourne has many singular fine diners. Some, like Gimlet and Attica, have ranked among the world’s best dining experiences. Others, like Enter Via Laundry and Chae, continue to push the envelope by highlighting underrepresented cuisines. Whether you’re after an intimate degustation among the gum trees or a ritzy feast in an opulent diner, this curated guide has a spot for you.

  • One of the most remarkable dining experiences in the world. And it’s right here in Melbourne.

  • Gothic vaulted ceilings, stained windows and solid granite columns define this grand brasserie, in the former Melbourne Stock Exchange. Order freshly-shucked oysters from the raw bar, top-grade beef and cheese from the roving trolley.

  • Rough-hewn stone walls, high ceilings and golden accents set the mood at this subterranean Japanese diner. Take the glass lift underground for charcoal-cooked Wagyu, delicate sashimi and exciting detours into Chinese cuisine.

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  • Just 20 diners a night are admitted to this inimitable Indian restaurant, where owner-chef Helly Raichura cooks vibrant banquets faithful to regional Indian cuisines using top-quality local produce and native ingredients.

  • The hushed, reverent atmosphere here is well suited to owner-chef Koichi Minamishima's awe-inspiring knife skills. He works with both local seafood and fish flown direct from Toyosu Fish Market in Tokyo to produce his peerless sushi. This is the best Japanese restaurant in Melbourne.

  • A bold, contemporary diner dedicated to cooking with fire and smoke, from the owner-chef of Estelle and Saint Crispin.

  • Take one of 34 seats and put yourself in the hands of Clinton McIver and his degustation-only menu.

  • At this singular Korean restaurant, chef Jung Eun Chae cooks, cleans and serves for just six guests at a time – in the living room of her home. If you can score a hotly contested booking, expect a serene, wholesome meal underpinned by homemade ferments, including booze.

  • Vue de Monde translates to “worldview” in French – and that’s just what you’ll get at this celebrated fine diner. Perched 55 floors above the city on the Rialto Building’s former observation deck, it boasts an impressive 360-degree vista from Docklands to the Dandenongs.

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  • The flagship of celebrated chef Andrew McConnell’s restaurant empire is a lesson in refined elegance. From the leather booths to the chic front bar, it’s a perfect spot for a special occasion. Experience McConnell’s renowned fine-dining experience with the degustation.

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  • This restaurant celebrating nature, native Australian ingredients and craftsmanship hides on a quiet residential street.

  • An acclaimed, set menu only fine-diner featuring punchy, technique-driven dishes.

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  • This is one of Melbourne's best Japanese restaurants. It's certainly its most ambitious. There's a New York-style sushi bar at street level, a pumping izakaya-style basement and an upstairs private dining room – Kuro – for intimate kaiseki-style meals.

  • White-jacketed waiters delivering discreet, attentive service and a consistently excellent menu have made Rinaldo Di Stasio's intimate dining room a pilgrimage for lovers of fine Italian food. The seasonal set menu is an excellent way to dive in.

  • There aren’t many Melbourne restaurants left where they’ll open the door for you, pull out your chair and fold a napkin on your lap. Impeccable service is a fine backdrop to a three-course meal of traditional Italian decadence.

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  • Settle into one of Melbourne's best farm-to-table fine diners just 45 minutes from the CBD. Wildly inventive degustations featuring produce from the restaurant's own Cardinia farm take place in a moody and sleek dining room. And out the front is a bottle shop where you can buy a bottle from its list of Victorian wines.

  • An elegant Australian steak restaurant championing sustainable, grass-fed beef sourced from the likes of Blackmore Wagyu and Cape Grim. Various cuts are dry-aged in house, enhanced by a selection of classic sides, raw seafood and pasta. There's also a tome-like wine list to rival any in the country.

  • Venetian elegance, New York energy and Melbourne nostalgia collide at restaurateur Chris Lucas’s lavish brasserie and grill. Settle into the grand dining room for charcoal-fired bistecca, show-stopping tiramisu, quintessentially Italian cocktails and lots of tableside theatrics.

  • Andrew McConnell's signature flair is all over this grand bar and dining room, from the exacting service to the comforting European dishes. It’s named after the classic cocktail, and the calibre of drinks here speaks to that. You’ll find us at the marble bar, Gimlet in hand.

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  • Perch at a dedicated yakitori table for succulent chicken skewers, or retreat to the private dining room for an omakase experience where high-end Kobe beef is the star. It’s from the Wagyu Ya and Niku Ou team.

  • Only 32 diners a week get into this tiny, four-seat kaiseki restaurant. Secure a booking and you’re in the capable hands of co-owner and chef Hansol Lee, who worked at revered Melbourne restaurant Kenzan. Each night he delivers a delicate, multi-course, seafood-led set menu – and decent banter.

  • Led by a former Vue de Monde chef, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel’s glamorous 80th-storey restaurant eschews a set menu for the flexibility of à la carte. Come for vegetables cooked with love, a focused wine list, sharp cocktails and, of course, the views.

  • Gaea is a degustation-only restaurant with room for just 16 guests. There's an intense focus on local ingredients, expressed through eccentric riffs on classic European techniques. You might find anything from cured wallaby to brined and charred dandelion flowers served with a pumpkin puree made from fermented pumpkin juice.

  • An intimate, 12-seat omakase bar, where no two meals are the same. Experience 20 or more individualised courses while being entertained by the chefs' playful banter. Expect top-quality seafood that might be squid, sea urchin, salmon roe, King George whiting or bluefin tuna.