Mr Miyagi pizza

6 Fun Melbourne Restaurants

Melbourne is often considered the restaurant capital of Australia though I’m sure that many Sydneysiders would argue this!

The popular Melbourne restaurants are booked weeks in advance especially for Friday and Saturday night dining so unless you want to eat at 6 pm (which we had to on a couple of occasions) make sure you book well ahead.

Eating in Melbourne is fun! Yes, there are some fabulous Michelin starred restaurants but you can’t keep going to these every night of the week. I found that many of the Asian inspired restaurants that are part of Melbourne’s dining scene add a sense of fun…the atmosphere is busy and buzzing and they offer small dishes that can be shared which means you can taste a lot more of the menu!


With popular restaurants such as Mr Miyagi, Hawkers Hall, Shanghai Sally and Tokyo Tina within a couple of blocks, Windsor is the place to head to for a fun dinner! The only catch is that you have to be prepared to queue or eat early!


Hawker Hall

Hawkers Hall is the latest addition to the block!
Since its opening in mid November, it has been very popular, so much so that on the Monday night we went, we had to wait just under an hour for a table! Thankfully there are many watering holes in the street! Leave your name and number and the restaurant will ring you when your table is ready.

6 Fun Melbourne Restaurants

The name says it all….the dishes are from the hawkers huts of Singapore and Malaysia. Whilst you’re choosing one of the extensive range of beers on tap or a cocktail, nibble on some beer food….ninja style fried chicken popcorn disappeared in a second as did the curried potato cakes.

The satay are delicious! The peanut sauce moreish. We also had the roti canai with eggplant sambal and curry sauce. It’s hard to choose what to eat from the extensive menu. No 605, the Penang duck curry with peanuts and eggplant was so good that we should have ordered two dishes for the three of us!

6 Fun Melbourne Restaurants

There’s also noodle dishes, rice dishes, curries, stir fry dishes, salads and greens. You’ll be tempted with the dishes from the coconut bbq pit. I can recommend No 501, the Otak Otak, a delicious salmon cooked in banana leaf with Indian curry and coconut. Another that I will definitely order again.

Deserts are surprisingly good…the banana roti with kaya jam was delicious, the sticky red date pudding with coconut caramel had a hint of spice that took it to another level. Our choice was made easier chatting to the girls at the next table who had tried all the desserts! They picked the two we ordered as the best as well as the milo dinosaur sundae with chocolate biscuit which we didn’t try. Yet another reason to go back!

It’s a fun night out, the food is great and unless you try all 32 beers or all the cocktails, it won’t break the bank! You already know what we’ll have on our next visit.

Hawker Hall
98 Chapel St, Windsor
Tel: 03 8560 0090
[email protected]
Open 7days a week from 11am-late



Mr Miyagi

Mr Miyagi is another restaurant in this part of Chapel St that I love going to.

6 Fun Melbourne Restaurants

6 Fun Melbourne Restaurants

From the nibbles of blow torched endamame with shiso salt to go with a cocktail going by the name of ‘Charlie does Tokyo’ to the pumpkin toast dessert, everything we ate was delicious. The one dish that you shouldn’t miss is the fabulous nori taco. It sounds simple on the menu….grilled salmon belly, sushi rice, spicy cabbage and japanese mayo in a nori taco shell but the taste is so sublime there has to be a secret ingredient!

6 Fun Melbourne Restaurants

The menu had changed from our last visit a few months ago but thankfully Mr Miyagi knows better than to take the nori taco off the menu!

Green tea soba noodle salad with konbu salmon was new to me and one that I will have again. The tasty sesame dressing brilliantly tied together the salmon, noodles, endamame beans and crispy vegetables. Yum!

6 Fun Melbourne Restaurants
We love, love, loved the tuna tataki pizza…rare seared tuna on spiced flatbread with yuzu caesar cream, tomatoes and jalapenos. Another that I know we will order again and again.
The 5 spice slow roasted duck with pickled beetroot and mustard miso in a grilled roti  is always delicious too!

I haven’t even mentioned the fabulous fresh sashimi that you can eat here, the sushi sandwich or the famous sticks.

As Mr Miyagi says ” decision not so important. All tastes good ”
Mr M is right!

Mr Miyagi
99 Chapel St, Windsor
Tel: 03 9528 5999
[email protected]
Open for dinner: Tuesday – Sunday
Groups of 6 people or more must book a private booth otherwise tables are allocated on a first come basis.




In South Yarra, Chapel St changes into Church St and here you will find Kong, another restaurant from the Lucas Group that own ChinChin, Baby Pizza and Hawkers Hut.
The formula is similar….a great atmosphere and fabulous food. Kong is all about the Korean BBQ.

6 Fun Melbourne Restaurants

6 Fun Melbourne Restaurants

I loved the wood roasted ora king salmon with crispy skin, seaweed salad and kimchi and the Tobanjan sweet potato noodles with chicken wood roasted eggplant and coriander. There’s a takeaway menu if you’re feeling lazy and if you live within 2.5kms, delivery is available.

599 Church St, South Yarra
Tel: 03 94271307
[email protected]
Open 7 days a week from 11am – late. No reservations




If you’re looking for a restaurant in the city, you’ll find plenty of options in Flinders Lane. We’ve eaten at Kappo, Cumulus, Coda and Movida in nearby Hosier Lane but for a fun casual meal try Supernormal.

6 Fun Melbourne Restaurants


We first went to Supernormal when chef Andrew McConnell opened it as a pop up restaurant next to his well known restaurant Cutler and Co in Gertrude Street. It has evolved into an even bigger and better restaurant.

Arrive early so you can have one of their fabulous cocktails at the bar and put your name down for a table.

6 Fun Melbourne Restaurants

Don’t miss the dumplings! The prawn and chicken parcels with a chilli and vinegar sauce were delicious. As was the New England lobster roll. The duck bao twice cooked duck leg shredded and popped into a bao bun with vinegar and plum sauce had us wanting to order more. There’s larger dishes as well….slow cooked szechuan lamb with spring onion pancake and coriander paste was more than enough for three of us

But leave room for dessert!

180 Flinders Lane
Tel: 03 9650 8688
[email protected]
Open 7 days 11am – 11pm Sunday – Thursday, 12pm on Friday and Saturday
Bookings can be made for lunch and for dinner for groups of 6 or more otherwise dinner is on a walk in basis.



Chin Chin

What can I say about Chin Chin that hasn’t already been said. The leader of the pack…the restaurant that started the Asian inspired, shared plate, no booking regime!

Lunch or dinner there is always a queue here. Play smart…arrive early or after the crowd.

6 Fun Melbourne Restaurants

The hardest decision is what to eat….crunchy school prawns with nahm pork pla gapi is  a favourite. Salt and pepper squid with nuoc cham is popular. I always choose the steamed spanner crab dish and the chicken salad with green mango, chilli and coconut dressing  for lunch. The crispy skinned duck pickled cucumber and ginger salad with sesame salt is hard to go past.

All delicious! Go with friends so you can choose a selection of the dishes and share them.

Walk off lunch or dinner by wandering down Hosier Lane and checking out some of the street art Melbourne is known for.

125 Flinders Lane
Tel: 03 8663 2000
[email protected]
Open 11am-late 7 days a week. No reservations


Hiding at the bottom of Duckboard Place, just off Flinders Lane is this fabulous modern Indian restaurant. It’s not just a restaurant. You can also enjoy some of the best cocktails in town at their bar, Thali, whilst grazing on a few plates of Indian inspired tapas in a more casual atmosphere.

6 Fun Melbourne Restaurants

The Tonka lassi…a heavenly mixture of Rum, mango, yoghurt and pistachio topped with honey is a great way to start! From the tapas menu, the pani puri is a winner. Spicey potato, mung beans, date and tamarind chutney fill a crispy pastry shell over which aromatic water is poured.


The soft shelled crab pakora with pickled cucumber, lemon, chilli and mint, the smoked salmon betal leaf, the tuna tartare on a rice papadum and gin cure kingfish with tempered yoghurt and beets are other fabulous dishes.


The smoked salmon betal leaf at Tonka

Then there are the larger dishes …the lamb curry is delicious, the corn fed chicken from the tandoor moreish and don’t forget the fried cauliflower with garam marsala salt and fenugreek and yoghurt.


20 Duckboard Place…just off Flinders Lane
Tel:03 9650 3155
[email protected]
Open Monday – Saturday. 11am-3pm, 6pm-late
Groups of 7 or 8 are asked to have the set menu.

What is your favourite restaurant in Melbourne? 

Other posts on Melbourne that you may enjoy:
A Taste of Melbourne: Lunch at Rice Paper Scissors
A Weekend in Marysville
Not Quite the Twelve Apostles
Slow Food Market in Melbourne

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20 Responses to 6 Fun Melbourne Restaurants

  1. budget jan March 14, 2016 at 7:32 pm #

    Oh what an amazing post. I want to go directly to Melbourne and try them all. I think that Melbourne is the food capital of Australia! Hawkers Hall sounds like my kind of place but they all look and sound amazing. How lucky that the girls next to you at Hawkers had tried all the dessert menu? So much creativeness on display in all these venues! Meanwhile, I’m trying to figure out the ceiling at Tonka. I used to shop in Chapel Street when I lived in Melbourne as a 20 year old. Such a beautiful area. Pinning this to my Australia Board and my Food and Drink Board too I think.

    • Jenny Freedman March 15, 2016 at 4:25 pm #

      Thanks Jan. Melbourne really does have some fabulous restaurants…these are just the ones we went to on our last trip! Hawker Hall was fabulous. The food was incredibly tasty and reasonably priced. Chapel St is buzzing at the moment, especially the Windsor end. I used to shop there a lot too but today it is for the youngies! Food has taken over the reason to go there! Thanks again for the pins. I wish I could find time to follow Pinterest!

  2. Jo March 15, 2016 at 2:10 am #

    I wish I’d had access to this post when we were recently in Melbourne. Still … next time. What a fabulous selection and your photos make me want to head back and visit NOW! I’ve just been on a walk along the North Devon cliffs to a secret hidden-place – a tiny log cabin built in a cliff, called Hawker’s Hut – it was build by a reverend and overlooks the sea via some steep cliffs and was his place of contemplation for writing sermons. Hmm, I wonder if Hawkers Hall has any connection 😉

    • Jenny Freedman March 15, 2016 at 10:25 pm #

      I’m not sure that your Reverend would consider the Melbourne Hawker Hut a place for contemplation Jo unless he was studying the menu! It’s busy and lots of fun. The food is fabulous too as is the food from all the restaurants I’ve mentioned. They’re definitely worth trying when you are next in Melbourne.

  3. Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru March 15, 2016 at 4:09 am #

    I am so intrigued with the food scene in Melbourne. It just keeps outdoing itself. Melbourne restaurants keep kicking things up a notch and these are no exception.

    • Jenny Freedman March 15, 2016 at 10:27 pm #

      Melbourne restaurants have always drawn us to the city Betsy. There are so many fun restaurants with fabulous food to choose from. Melbourne has some fabulous coffee shops too but that’s another post!

  4. Rachel Heller March 15, 2016 at 2:17 pm #

    You make me want to go back to Melbourne just to eat! Hawker Hall particularly calls to me because I loved eating at hawker halls in Singapore but the quality of the food was a bit hit or miss. To get that sort of food but know that the quality would be consistently high would be wonderful.

    • Jenny Freedman March 15, 2016 at 10:29 pm #

      The quality at Hawker Hall is excellent Rachel! I’m sure you’d love it and the other restaurants I’ve mentioned. You may jsut have to plan another trip!

  5. Sue Reddel March 18, 2016 at 7:30 am #

    Haven’t been to Melbourne, yet, but you certainly make a compelling case with these restaurants. I loved the cute little box the taco is in from Mr. Miyagi and Tonka looks amazing too. Guess Melbourne needs to get to added to the ‘Must Eat There’ list. Thanks!

    • Jenny Freedman March 20, 2016 at 10:53 pm #

      As a foodie, you would be in heaven in Melbourne Sue. From the little coffee shops hidden in the city’s lanes to fabulous lunch time cafes and then to it’s many restaurants, Melbourne has so much to offer. These are just six…all fabulous of course but there are many more I could have written about. Yes…one definitely for the ‘Must Eat There’ list!

  6. Denis Gagnon March 18, 2016 at 9:16 am #

    You certainly make a great case for Melbourne restaurants. I have not been to Melbourne in many years since I used to visit it several times a year back in the 80s and early 90s. It had excellent restaurants then and it is pleasing to see that it is even better now. Thanks for a great post!

    • Jenny Freedman March 20, 2016 at 10:57 pm #

      You would find Melbourne a very different city now Denis. It is still food centric but the game has been lifted a notch or three. There are so many fabulous places to eat…these were just six but there are many more waiting for you!

  7. Irene S. Levine March 18, 2016 at 9:52 am #

    What a great smorgasbord of delicious plates! I hope I have the opportunity to visit Melbourne and visit some of these gems.

    • Jenny Freedman March 21, 2016 at 10:24 am #

      These are just the tip of the iceberg Irene. We are lucky that in Melbourne there are so many fabulous places to go.

  8. Joy @MyTravelingJoys March 21, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

    Delicious post, Jenny! Lucky for me, I’ve been to all of these except for Tonka, which I’ve also heard good things about. One possibly to add to your list for next time is Ladyboy in Richmond. It’s got streetart on the walls and Chinese umbrellas hanging from the ceiling in back. The crispy chicken ribs (wings) w/ spicy siracha mayo were delicious! As a foodie, I have loved living here in Melbourne! 🙂

    • Jenny Freedman April 28, 2016 at 2:08 pm #

      You definitely have to go to Tonka Joy…it’s one of my faves!! I look forward to trying lazy Boy on my next visit. All of a sudden, after we’ve moved from Richmond, there seems to be a swathe of new restaurants openings here. I can’t wait to try them!

  9. Kaaren Provence April 13, 2016 at 5:01 am #

    Thanks for the great post. We will definitely check these restaurants out when we come next year. Would you recommend a restaurant that is kid friendly over another?

    • Jenny Freedman April 28, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

      Hi Karen. Great you’re coming to Melbourne. it really depends on how old your children are. Tonka may be a little upmarket for them but the others will be ok if they like asian inspired food.

  10. Dara Lin April 19, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

    Nice list Jenny. I live in Ultimo and I am planning to go to Melbourne. I will add this list of restaurants to the list of the places that I will visit. Your list will be of great help to improve my travel experience and the food looks delicious. Nice photography by the way. It did really attract me.

    • Jenny Freedman April 28, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

      Thank you for your lovely comment Dara. I don’t like to waste a night when ever I visit a city so good food is important to me! Hope you have a great time!

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