“Their tom yum soup is really good and I usually order the fresh fish ceviche – it has beautiful bright flavors that really wake up your palate before a meal. They also have a wide variety of noodles that are great for lunch.”
Recommended by: Alejandro Saravia, Farmer’s Daughters
When Saravia and her team wrap up a long day, they head to Lonsdale Street for some late-night Chinese food at Ling Nan.
Open until 2:30am on Saturdays, it’s where you’ll find Melbourne’s hungriest hospo workers kicking back.
“We arrive somewhere around 11:30 pm or midnight for dinner,” says Saravia. “Many times we end up setting tables next to other hospitality professionals who are eating there.”
Ling Nan’s signature dish is the XO pippies, however, Saravia also gravitates towards pickled duck tongue and crispy Chinese doughnuts.
“They have seafood tanks so you can choose lobster, crab or fresh fish,” he says. “It’s beautiful flavors with honest service.”
The Carlton Wine Room
Recommended by: Stuart McVeigh, Longrain, Chancery Lane and Matilda
When he’s not on duty as “dad” or “chef,” McVeigh takes his wife to the Carlton Wine Room for a guaranteed good time.
“I would eat there every day of the week if I could,” he says. “It’s relaxed, unpretentious, delicious, flavorful food that you can snack on or eat as big as you want.”
He mentions tripe, Roman-style, as one of his most memorable meals, but more recently the stracciatella with pickled mushrooms, chive oil and potato focaccia has taken over his palate.
“It was just outstanding: it’s a great product and it’s well executed,” he says. “The bread was fantastic and has the perfect amount of acid. They also have great wines by the glass, so I’ll talk to the staff and find out what they recommend.”
Recommended by: Kar Loong Yee, Silks Melbourne
When the last customers have left Silks for the night, this chef de cuisine and his colleagues will take a seat at Longsong Bar for a well-earned drink.
“They only use charcoal in their cooking, which brings me back to my childhood in Malaysia where my parents always used charcoal for cooking,” says Yee.
“I appreciate simple foods, so I order the crispy chicken wings, which go great with a beer.”
By Stasio Citta
Recommended by: Ian Curley, Kirk’s Wine Bar
When you have a bustling bar to attend to and a hectic family life, a night out can’t be left to chance. That’s why Ian Curley continues to book Di Stasio, 20 years after he met his now-wife, Simone Bamford, on a blind date there.
“Now that they’ve opened their Citta location, it’s bigger, better and brighter. It’s very romantic for us,” she says.
With classics like lasagna and bolognese done incredibly well, Curley is only too happy to sit back and enjoy the great service.
“They’re ‘career hospos’ here so you can be sure if they recommend a glass of wine that’s the way to go.”
Visit the city for some of Melbourne’s most iconic eats, from street dining and gourmet pop-ups, to rooftop bars and street food markets. To visit whatson.melbourne.vic.gov.au or follow @whatsonmelb on Instagram Y Facebook.