11 Jul What’s Good Wednesdays: Mauro Callegari
Melbourne’s Best Restaurants Right Now, According to Melbourne’s Best Chefs and Pros, Every Wednesday.
Welcome Chef Mauro Callegari of The Independent, Gembrook – the Argentinian restaurant with Melbourne/London/Buenos Aires inspo that every chef hits up when they get away from the big smoke.
Like #DiningSolo and venues you can bet your house on? Read Callegari’s list below.
Why should you listen to Callegari? Well, he runs The Independent and every chef loves it, so that’s usually enough points on the board, right? But there’s more.
Born in Argentina, Callegari’s kitchen skills developed at home with his mother next door to where Maradona first decided to go pro. After apprenticeships at five-star Argentinean hotels and restaurants, he helped open London’s Conran’s Orrery-Almeida in 2001 under Michelin star chef, Chris Galvin. Melbourne-wise, he’s collaborated with the city’s most respected chefs since 2003 including Marcus Moore at Sofitel and Raymond Capaldi at Fenix.
Check his five best Melbourne restaurants right now in his What’s Good Wednesday List.
1. Fitzroy North – MALAYMAS (Malaysian/Asian)
PERFECT FOR: Cheap Eats / Quick Bite / Dining Solo
WHY: “It’s creative Malaysian cuisine that’s consistent – what we all strive for in this industry. It’s casual and quick so perfect for when I’m on the run or by myself in the suburbs.“
GO-TO DISH: “Indian Mee Goreng – Fried egg noodles w potatoes, chicken, shrimp, and egg.”
2. Melbourne CBD – CUMULUS (Mod Aus)
Perfect For: Breakfast / Lazy Dinner / Talking Shop
WHY: “This is my all time favourite for almost any time of the day. Andrew McConnell is successful for a reason and Cumulus never fails. Across the board, it’s great food, great service and a stellar beverage list. If I’m in the CBD, breakfast here is honest and high quality and fit out affords a casual breakfast, a relaxed dinner, or a productive meeting vibe.”
GO-TO DISH: “Venison Tartare, Foie gras, grain salad and to finish, Madeleine, filled with lemon curd.”
3. Melbourne CBD – GAZI (Greek)
PERFECT FOR: Dining Solo
WHY: “Gazi ticks all the important boxes that I want when I’m dining, especially solo. It’s simple, it’s quality, and they have the best service possible.”
GO-TO DISH: “Chicken Souva.”
4. Coldstream – MELETOS (Italian)
PERFECT FOR: Date Night / Family
WHY: “Well, what can I say about Meletos – they make the best pizza in the Yarra Valley for a start. The venue is beautiful. The views are beautiful. The people are beautiful. It’s a space designed to be comfortable and open – great to take someone here and make them feel special or to enjoy a nice moment away from it all with your family.”
GO-TO DISH: “Wood Fired Calabrese Salami Pizza w San Marzano tomato, roasted red peppers, Shaw River buffalo mozzarella. Definitely mix in a bowl of the Frites w manchego and paprika.”
5. Beaconsfield – O.MY (Seasonal Degustation)
Perfect For: Date Night / Impressing Out Of Towners / $pecial Occa$ion
WHY: “Very impressive. Sure, it’s degustation only, but you wouldn’t want it any other way. The O.MY team grow every vegetable they use on the menu. You can tell as soon as you step in the door that this place is run by a bunch of very talented people. This should be on everyone’s list.”
GO-TO DISH: “They don’t have a menu – it’s degustation only and changes every week.”
That’s Chef Mauro Callegari of The Independent Gembrook (HFG Listed), and this is What’s Good!
Access the local venues that Australia’s best chefs and pros dine at. Hit Hood Food Guide up: