Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or trying to impress on a first date, pull out all the stops by ordering from Melbourne's classiest eateries. Here are five show-stoppers guaranteed to wow your date.
1. The Meat & Wine Co
For upscale modern Aussie dining with an African accent, it doesn't get any better than The Meat & Wine Co. It's easy to see why they've been awarded the Best Steak Restaurant in Victoria – the uber-tender Monte Beef's positively swoon-worthy. Treated with TLC from paddock to plate, the beef is seasoned and basted to perfection. You could also knock your date's socks off with a seafood platter for two. It's loaded up with lobster, king crab legs, prawns and of course a few passion-inspiring oysters. End the meal on a fancypants note with a chocolate and hazelnut fondant paired with fior de latte ice cream.
2. A La Bouffe Bar & Bistro
They've gifted us Champagne and the French kiss, so it's fair to say the French know a thing or two about romance. French cuisine is synonymous with fine dining, and A La Bouffe is a charming spot serving classics like coq au vin, bouillabaisse and steak tartare. There are a few unexpected Aussie tweaks to keep you on your toes though, like the 'kangaroo a la bouffe'. In this house special, a kangaroo fillet is served rare with sweet potatoes, sautéed baby spinach and a poached pear with chocolate glaze and jus. Is your boo a vegetarian? While veggies are often given the short end of the stick in French restaurants, here they're spoilt for choice with dishes like homemade saffron gnocchi and a twice-baked cheese soufflé.
This isn't your everyday Chinese takeaway. RuYi's modern Chinese fare is light, fresh and downright beautiful to look at. You can skip the gallery date and go straight to dinner here, because every plate offers an artful arrangement to chat about. The menu draws from local, seasonal produce and regional influences from all across the People's Republic. You really can't go wrong with the amazing dumplings, particularly the handmade pork wontons in RuYi's signature chilli sauce. And your typical duck dish is elevated to the ranks of haute cuisine by simmering for three full hours in a brimming-with-flavour stock.
4. Mister Bianco
Are you ready to set the mood? Light some candles, pour a glass of Chianti and place an order from Mister Bianco. This is stylish cuisine with all of the zesty flavours of southern Italy. Chef Joseph Vargetto has skills to spare, having worked in the kitchens at Melbourne foodie favourites like Langton's and Mezzo. He's now combined his experience with his own Sicilian heritage to open Mister Bianco. The love of Italian tradition comes through in every dish, whether it's veal in a porcini mushroom sauce or handmade black pepper cavatelli pasta. The menu changes seasonally, showcasing the rainbow of regional produce at its best.
Melbourne has its very own branch of Nobu, perhaps the world's most glamorous Japanese restaurant. Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa combines his native Japanese cuisine with the bright, spicy flavours of Peru. Order a deluxe bento box to treat your date to a game-changing dinner experience. We're talking sashimi salad with a jalapeno dressing, citrusy ceviche and black cod miso to start. There's also a helping of Rangers Valley Wagyu beef with aji panka tomato and corn salsa, and of course it's all elegantly presented. No basic California rolls allowed.
The next time date night rolls around, splash your cash on a fine dining experience to remember. Order directly from Deliveroo and we'll bring it straight to your door, whether it's a taste of Italy, Japan, or elsewhere.