Forget about chasing a Michelin star, chefs across Australia spend their time in the kitchen hoping to be awarded a hat by one of the country’s prestigious Good Food Guide inspectors. So, let’s start with two big-hitters who have secured two stars each. Run by uber-cool chef Shannon Bennett, Vue de Monde’s stylish dining room offers sweeping views of the city from the 55th floor of the Rialto building. With this level of cooking, you know you are in for a treat with the daily-changing seasonal menu and 14-course Chef’s Tasting menu that features luxury ingredients like Tasmanian sea urchin and Western Australian marron. If you really want to splash out, there are three wine matching options available – Benchmark, Prestige and Indulgent. Well-positioned mirrors shine a light on the culinary magic taking place in the kitchen.
Heston Blumenthal’s inventive reinterpretations of historical British dishes were so well received at the Mandarin Oriental in London that he decided to open a second Dinner in Melbourne’s Crown Towers. Available at both lunch and dinner, the degustation menu gives diners a chance to sample the restaurant’s famous Meat Fruit (chicken liver parfait disguised as a plum) and Tipsy Cake – caramelised pineapple that can be seen slowly rotating on the spit-roast. A fine-dining version of a lamington and a vegemite-inspired dessert adds an Aussie twist to proceedings.