Home Iconic bar A reintroduction to iconic Melbourne dinner dishes

A reintroduction to iconic Melbourne dinner dishes


What makes an iconic dish? It’s not just about ingredients, taste or reputation. This is when it becomes a story – a cultural touchstone and a signifier of its birthplace.

Melbourne’s restoration story was cut short when the pandemic forced the city to shutdown. But with the return of meals on the menu, it reminds us of the iconic dishes we missed.

With the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government relaunching its Melbourne Money rebate program with a new midweek target, diners can claim 30% off their meal bill after the fact. Valid Monday through Thursday, it applies to on-site or take-out meals directly from a restaurant and can be used for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks (but not just drinks) with a expense between $ 50 and $ 500.

To get the most out of the industry stimulus initiative, Large format sheet the editors picked some of the city’s classic dishes, from a not-so-humble burger to a homemade Lebanese dish that could only have come from one person.

David Blackmore’s Wagyu Burger in Rockpool, Southbank
You might not associate the humble burger with the stylish Rockpool steak and seafood palate, but then again, this burger isn’t humble. Featuring 100% purebred Wagyu beef raised in the highlands of Victoria, this robust patty is topped with bacon, melted Gruyere cheese and thin Zuni pickle. It’s only available on the bar menu, but at $ 19, it’s one of the best lunch bets in town. Add in cut-fat crisps for an extra $ 10, or slip into a layered salad for contrast. That being Rockpool, an upscale wine list is at your fingertips, with expert cocktails and Australian craft beers to match.

Moreton Bay Insect Spaghettini in Il Bacvaro, CBD
When a single dish has been on a menu for a quarter of a century – adapting to trends and reshuffles – you know it’s something special. No count of Melbourne’s iconic dishes would be complete without Moreton Bay Insect Spaghettini at Little Collins’ Italian mainstay, Il Bacaro. Much in demand since opening, the pasta dish has evolved slightly over the years, but only in the sense of refinement. Today, Executive Chef David Dellai follows a personal philosophy of rustic Venetian cuisine made with fresh Australian produce. This extends to that long-standing balance between juicy Moreton Bay bugs, delicate spaghettini, garlic, chili and arugula. At $ 48, it’s the centerpiece of an unforgettable dinner.

Chicken and rice at Abla, Carlton
Homemade Lebanese dishes have occupied Abla Amad for more than 40 years, with its Carlton outpost, Abla’s, introducing generations of Australians to the rich cuisine of their homeland. Start with his beloved chicken and rice (djaj a riz), an iconic dish that takes pride of place in Amad’s cookbook. Lebanese cuisine. Using a hollow cake pan, she places strips of tender chicken meat around a hearty circle of ground lamb and spiced pilau rice, garnished with crunchy almonds and pine nuts. . It is home cooking as individual as the chef himself.

Slow Roasted Shoulder of Lamb at Cumulus Inc, CBD
An eye-opening experience, involving an unpretentious shoulder of lamb in Spain, inspired owner and chef Andrew McConnell to adapt the small dish in his own one-kilo version at Cumulus Inc.

Slowly roasted in a lemon-garlic marinade, the lamb is dipped in the leftover roasting juice, with almonds and red pepper to finish it off. This is one of the most ordered dishes at Flinders Lane fine dining restaurant, with meat falling off the bones. If it’s been on your to-do list for too long, now is the time.

Pasta with vodka sauce at Capitano, Carlton
This Italian-American style restaurant became an almost instant favorite with locals when it first opened. Chef Casey Wall developed the simple and accessible menu after research trips to his home in the United States – which led to winning dishes such as the beloved Grandma Square Pie. However, it’s very difficult to get past the rich and tangy tortiglioni with vodka sauce, best paired with focaccia smeared with garlic butter.

This article is produced by Broadsheet as the main backer of Midweek Melbourne Money.