He came. He saw. He conquered. Chef Andrew McConnell’s dominance in the Melbourne food scene includes his various restaurants such as Cutler & Co, Cumulus Inc, Moon Under Water, and Luxembourg Bar & Bistro. With such an outstanding presence that has influenced dining experiences all over the city, we couldn’t think of a better person to take us on a local’s tour through Melbourne.
Quality vs. quantity: an age-old debate. For Chef Andrew McConnell, however, he embraces both. He’s been voted “Victoria’s Best Chef,” received numerous “Two Hats” awards from the Age Good Food Guide, and been presented “Best New Restaurant” for several of his restaurants.
To call the life of a chef busy would be an understatement. Yet, somehow Chef McConnell finds the time to juggle four completely different restaurants and continue to renovate or open new restaurants each year. When he’s not thinking of a new menu, working on a new project, or collaborating with his team, this is where this local and admired chef recommends spending your time in Melbourne.
1. Rise & shine
107 Grey Street Street Kilda
ANDREW: Order the brekkie burger – fried egg, Istra ham, chorizo, melted cheese, Jekyll relish & rocket – it’s the perfect hangover cure.
2. Escape from the city hustle and bustle
ANDREW: Some of Australia’s best wineries and beautiful beaches sitting side by side? There’s nothing else that needs saying about the Mornington Peninsula. But throw in amazing local produce, small, friendly towns and a wonderful family environment and you’ve got an escape that’s only an hour and a half out of town.
3. Time for lunch!
I love Pho 264
264 Victoria Street Richmond
ANDREW: It’s my favourite cheap eat and the perfect pick me up in Victoria Street Richmond. A must for lovers of Vietnamese food.
4. Stroll through a local street market
The Queen Victoria Market
Corner of Victoria Street and Elizabeth Street
ANDREW:On the edge of the CBD (Central Business District) the Queen Victoria market is a great place to experience the vibrancy of Melbourne. I especially love walking through the cool terrazzo floor halls of the deli section. Here you can compose the most perfect picnic with smoked meats from the Polish store, local game at the Chicken Pantry and the best of cheese and cold cuts.
5. City art scene
Corner of Flinders and Russell Street
ANDREW: My first ever cinema experience was at the Forum theatre. I remember vividly the tram ride into the city and was awe struck by the grandeur of the interior complete with Romanesque friezes and night sky frescos. Today, the Forum is home to Melbourne’s film and comedy festivals and is an active venue for live bands. Check out the local gig guide to find out what’s on.
6. A cozy and intimate dinner
361 Little Bourke Street
ANDREW: I’m happy to eat whatever the chef recommends at Tipo 00, their pasta is incredible!
Want more recommendations on Melbourne’s best eats? Check out our Destination Guide: Melbourne Restaurants!