20 Jun What’s Good Wednesdays: Nick Stanton
Melbourne’s Best Restaurants Right Now, According to Melbourne’s Best Chefs and Pros, Every Wednesday.
Welcome Chef Nick Stanton, the chef behind your favourite friend on a Sunday, Leonard’s House Of Love, and South Yarra’s Ramblr, the restaurant that’s fast become a regular haunt and favourite for many top Melbourne chefs and South Yarra locals.
Stanton hit the nail on the head for those looking for comfort food with Leonard’s House Of Love and now he’s turned his hand to the reliable restaurant you can count on for both quality drinking and dining, and that you’d love to own for yourself.
The vibe of Stanton’s list of Melbourne’s best restaurants right now? Purpose-driven. It’s no surprise he digs venues that intend on nailing a specific mood because that’s how he operates himself. From group catch-ups to date nights and knock-offs, consult Stanton’s list if you know what you want and what you don’t (like trendy venues).
Check out Chef Nick Stanton’s five best Melbourne restaurants right now in his What’s Good Wednesday List.
1. South Yarra – DAINTY SICHUAN (Chinese)
PERFECT FOR: Group Catch Up
WHY: “I go here often. Dainty is my “reliable, delicious Chinese joint” I feel we all have. Their massive portions are what big groups love because you can try a variety of things and not miss out. Try that with two people and you’re screwed.”
GO-TO DISH: “Super Tasty Cold Noodles. Maybe we should name our dishes like this…”
2. Carlton – KAPRICA (Italian)
Perfect For: Date Night / Classic Dining
WHY: “Kaprica offers that full experience you expect from a warm, honest, neighbourhood restaurant. The intimate vibe, the handwritten menu, and the view of the park across the road all add up to create the feel I want on a date. And at this time of year, Kaprica is where you want to be with someone special.”
GO-TO DISH: “Pappardelle with Pork Ragu, or Pizza.”
3. Prahran Market – MAKER & MONGER (Cheesemonger)
PERFECT FOR: Hangover Cure / Quick Bite
WHY: “Anthony is a cheesemonger with the exact dish I want when I’m in a hurry or hungover: toasties. From your classic style cheese toasties to All-American versions to the raclette wheel he heats up and scrapes – people go wild for these guys. Go to the market, grab an epic cheese toastie then head to The Alps for hair of the dog afterwards.”
GO-TO DISH: “Pimento Cheese Toastie, or the Reuben (pictured).”
4. Prahran – WILSON AND MARKET (Cafe, Tuckshop & Wine Store)
PERFECT FOR: Breakfast
WHY: “It’s nice to have a ‘proper’, reliable breakfast y’know? That honest, bankable cooking you’ve grown to know and love rather than covering it in bullsh*t like micro herbs. Melbourne needs to understand that micro herbs don’t make it taste different – take the f*****g things off there. You’re just paying for looks. Get back to the real deal at Wilson and Market.”
GO-TO DISH: “Either the Pine Mushroom dish, or the Proper English Breakfast Feast with all the trimmings – must have two people, though.”
5. Melbourne CBD – FLOWER DRUM (Chinese)
Perfect For: $pecial Occa$ion
WHY: “You can’t buy experience and nothing beats service. Jason Lui just knows how to do it and his Flower Drum is incredible. Reading about it is a distant second to the experience. Receiving traditional, old school, genuine service is really inspiring for a restaurateur like myself.”
GO-TO DISH: “Paspaley Pearl Meat with spring onion and asparagus.”
6. South Yarra – THE GILSON
Perfect For: Business Lunch / Talking Shop
WHY: “Gilson gets that catch-up vibe just right. They’re ultimately a restaurant that does breakfast with a snappy wine list and high-quality dishes from morning to night. The botanical gardens being just there with the French fit out sets a good, professional vibe to talk shop during the day with a touch of sun. Not being in the Melbourne CBD slows your pace a bit, which is a nice change-up.”
GO-TO DISH: “Woodfired Cuttlefish, eggplant, bread, aioli for $17.”
7. Prahran – THE ALPS (Wine Bar)
Perfect For: Drinks / Date Night
WHY: “The top of the game when you want a good drink. Lyndon is always spot on with what he’s pouring and the warm, intimate setting is great to have a few knock-offs in. It’s one of those places where you don’t have to think about what you’re drinking – go there and they’ll nail it for you.“
GO-TO DISH: “Whatever Lyndon says.”
That’s Chef Nick Stanton of Ramblr and Leonard’s House of Love, and this is What’s Good!
Access the local venues that Australia’s best chefs and pros dine at. Hit Hood Food Guide up: