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Melbourne is a culinary paradise. Unfortunately for me at least, this means it’s difficult to make a decision on where to eat. There’s too many options, flavours and types of food to choose from. It’s a 1st world problem to be so spoilt for choice.

When it comes to food, I like to change it up and this means trying new foods from different cultures. The following restaurants are ones I have been to on numerous occasions for different reasons but the one thing they all have in common is great food.

1. Lemnos Taverna (Greek)

Lemnos Taverna is a traditional greek restaurant that has everything there is to love about Greek dining and food. The staff are friendly and the food is tasty. The restaurant is family oriented so if you have kids it’s a great option and if you don’t the restaurant is large so there are great spots for intimate conversation.

If you’re in a group of 4 or more you should definitely go for one of the banquet options. I have tried the banquet as a pair and it’s a huge amount of food. I think we probably only downed half the food that was brought out.

A better option for two is to go for either a meat platter or a seafood platter depending on what you like. Both a super fresh and the produce is the best. The perfect amount of food for two.

Top menu pick

Everything is delicious but for something different try the Florina Special. This flaming capsicum, garlic and feta entree will leave you wanting more.

Lemnos Taverna The open fireplace at Lemnos Taverna

2. Shou Sumiyaki (Japanese)

Shou Sumiyaki is a DIY Japanese grill and is probably the most expensive on the list but the experience and the food makes it well worth the money. I would recommend booking a table in one of the booths as there are some traditional, low-set Japanese tables that can get pretty uncomfortable if you’re not used to them.

The restaurant specialises in fine cuts of Wagyu beef and they are served to you thinly sliced to be self-grilled on a traditional charcoal BBQ. In true Japanese style, everything is impeccably presented and the dipping sauces are awesome.

There are also some great seafood, pork and vegetable options to chuck on the grill and others that come out ready to eat. Order slightly more than normal as the portion sizes are fairly small and that way there’ll be plenty to share.

Unless you’re highly resistant to wasabi and enjoy slimy raw octopus I would avoid any temptation to order the octopus and wasabi salad.

Top menu pick

Shou Sumiyaki is famous for its Wagyu and for good reason. Try the Wagyu Rump for a tender taste sensation.

Shou Sumiyaki Wagyu Beef at Shou Sumiyaki

3. The Local Taphouse (Australian)

The Local Taphouse is one of my favourite pubs in Melbourne. Not only do they have great pub style food but they also have more boutique beers on-tap that you can shake a stick at. They regularly change the beers and there are brews from all around the world. In short, if you like beer then this is a must visit.

The food here is awesome too. I usually go for the parmigiana, I pretty much get one at any pub I go to and the one here is great. Other classic pub dishes include, fish ‘n’ chips and a hearty beef burger.

Top menu pick

The fries here are as good as I have had anywhere. Served with aioli, super crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

The Local Taphouse Beer rainbow at The Local Taphouse

4. Dainty Sichuan (Chinese)

If you don’t like spicy food then you can safely skip reading the following. Dainty Sichuan is not for the faint of heart but if you’re into hot sichuan peppers and an interesting dining experience then you should definitely give it a go.

The restaurant offers two menus the first being for the self-controlled hotpot where you order raw foods and cook them in the tasty broth. There are a wide range of options on this menu and you can avoid the spice if you want to. I wouldn’t recommend the spicy broth, it is very intense. Order the stock broth as it will be good relief from the other spicy dishes on the second menu.

Food from the second menu contains traditional sichuan style dishes many of which will smack you in the face with spiciness. Sichuan pepper is different to normal chilli in that it kind of numbs your mouth and leaves you tingling rather than reaching for a glass of milk.

Top menu pick

The chef’s special chilli chicken will literally leave you in a sichuan pepper daze.

Dainty Sichuan Chilli Chicken at Dainty Sichuan is anything but dainty

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