Five great places to eat just a step outside South Yarra
The food scene in South Yarra is one of the best in Melbourne. However, when you do take a step into neighbouring suburbs and hunger strikes, remember to stay calm as your taste buds will be in good hands – figuratively speaking.
In fact, in surrounding suburbs like Windsor, Prahran and Armadale you’ll also find some fantastic high-end restaurants, fast food joints and cosy eateries. Here, we pick out five great places to eat just a step outside South Yarra.
Located down the Windsor end of Chapel Street, just a step outside South Yarra, Mr Miyagi is one of the area’s favourite Japanese restaurants. The menu is designed around ‘grazing’ dishes which extend from edamame to tempura broccoli, panfried black pig dumplings and 48hr cooked pork belly. As you would expect from a restaurant named after the sage that was Mr Miyagi, there is some sound advice on offer. Aimed at those who experience a sudden bout of indecisiveness when perusing the menu, are aimed these wise words: ‘Decision not so important. All tastes good.’ Couldn’t be more true.
Boston Sub is another hip fast food joint at the Windsor end of Chapel Street, with a twist. As it says on the tin, this place specialises in subs and also does a mean poutine – a Canadian version of fries topped with gravy and cheese curd. Subs are filled with delicious braised beef, roast veg, pulled pork, confit lamb or bacon as well as coleslaw and other pickled goodies. Also, for all you dessert sub lovers, there is ‘The Wonder’ which is packed with caramel, Murray salt, banana and ice cream. And the twist? Well, open up the cool-room door and you’ll find yourself in the funky hidden bar, Jungle Boy. The tropical theme is a world away from Canadian-style fries but really, whatever. It’s awesome.
Toko is another fine dining Japanese restaurant on South Yarra’s doorstep, the very cool Greville Street in Prahran to be precise. Featuring a cocktail bar, sushi bar and a whiskey room (with an extensive Japanese whiskey list) Toko offers diners the chance to experience the informal style of Japanese dining, known as ‘izakaya’. The sashimi is delightful and watching the chefs making it as well as nigiri and maki rolls before your eyes heightens the whole experience. With its restaurants in Sydney and Dubai receiving much acclaim, Toko’s entrance into the Melbourne market has not disappointed.
Hawker Hall is another popular Asian food haunt located down the Windsor end of Chapel St. Housed in an historic turn-of-the-century horse stable, the restaurant is a food and beer hall that takes its inspiration from the vibrant hawker centres of Singapore, Malaysia and other South East Asian countries. While it certainly does a great job of capturing the taste of South East Asia – with dishes such as Hainanese bbq chicken and crystal skin vegetable dumplings – the space also captures the noise and energy of this part of the world. With room for 160 diners, when it’s packed (which is pretty much always) you’ll feel you’ve landed in downtown Kuala Lumpur.
Rina Cucina is undoubtedly one of Melbourne’s best informal diners. Located in High Street Armadale, it is only a short trip from South Yarra. The lady behind the name is Zia Rina, who started her career in the Abruzzo region of Italy. After working in many of Melbourne’s best Italian restaurants she decided to start her own. And Melburnian’s have been thankful ever since. Set amongst the antique and art emporiums of Armadale, Rina’s Cucina delivers rustic Italian dishes to be enjoyed with honest Italian wines. The a la carte menu delivers delicious meals like piadini with lemon-roasted chicken and pesto mascarpone. In the evening the way to go is to trust Rina’s judgment and order the three-course set menu that changes with the daily produce. You’ll be delighted.