September 13, 2017Posted by Bethany Larson Bloch
Like the influx of varied cultures that now populate Melbourne, some of this city’s top-notch gastronomic experiences are a beautiful blend of cuisines that mix Australian produce with Asian ingredients and techniques. Expect robust dishes with a complex layering of flavors, rich aromas and incredible fare full of heart – which is ultimately what dining in this food-centric city is all about.
There is often a long wait, but that doesn’t deter anyone from joining the Chin Chin bandwagon, which has everyone falling for their refreshing kingfish sashimi and the satisfying caramelized sticky pork served with chili vinegar and a sour herb salad. Can’t decide? Go for the chef’s choice “Feed Me” menu, a feast for the entire table.
Neon-lit Magic Mountain Saloon is a fun, relaxed morning-to-late-night concept that combines Thai and Australian flavors. The breakfast menu is all about comfort food; think coconut and lime chicken noodle soup and toasted crumpets with sweet pandan. Lunches and dinners are more inventive: try the hot-and-sour baby snapper, king prawn salad with green apple, and lemongrass and curried soft shell crab.
It may not look like much from the outside, but step into this basement restaurant and let your senses be overwhelmed. Coda serves up refined, Vietnamese-influenced fare. Our writer, Amelia Chia‘s, must-haves are the aromatic roasted yellow duck curry and succulent Crystal Bay prawns with chili jam.
Supernormal is a stunningly executed space with plates influenced by Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul. The cavernous dining room incorporates playful features such as a Japanese vending machine and a basement karaoke room. An entrée that ticks all the right boxes is the pan-roasted John Dory with burnt butter, wild watercress and shaved kombu.
Rice Paper Scissors is fashioned after Southeast Asia’s hawker centers. There’s a convivial ambiance and rich, flavorful plates designed to share. Kick off dinner with a delicious Asian-inspired cocktails, like the Thai Sangria (pineapple, mango, Thai herbs and white wine). The sticky pork belly drizzled in tamarind caramel sauce and chargrilled Wagyu beef are heaven on a plate.
About The HUNT Melbourne Writer: Amelia Chia is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in international publications including Harper’s BAZAAR, Elle, Buro 24/7 Singapore and The Collective. When not burying her nose behind a laptop or keeping up with social media trends, she can be found indulging in one of her four main interests — fashion, beauty, food and travel.