The Age Good Food Guide 2015: the (culinary) rise of Richmond



If you want to find Melbourne's dining epicentre, it's the CBD, according to the latest edition of The Age Good Food Guide. But Richmond is dining's rising star neighbourhood, with four new restaurants entering the 2015 Guide, ranging from the Korean-inspired Kong, to gourmet cafe Feast of Merit, to chef-driven restaurant Mr Jennings.

Richmond's burgeoning dining scene is responsible for 16 entries in The Age Good Food Guide 2015. It's equalled only by St Kilda, also with 16.

The city centre remains Melbourne's fine dining heart, with 89 entries in the Guide, and a further 20 entries from neighbouring Southbank. Our foodiest suburb, judging by the number of entries it has in the Guide, is Fitzroy, with 22 entries, plus another 10 in neighbouring Fitzroy North.

"Melbourne's top eat streets remain Flinders Lane in the city and Smith Street which spans Collingwood and Fitzroy, both have continued to bloom," said Good Food Guide editor Janne Apelgren, "but the Bridge Road and Swan Street in Richmond are definitely spots to watch."

Here's a guide to Richmond's dining hot spots, as reviewed in the 2015 The Age Good Food Guide. Click on each restaurant name to read the full review:


Baby Cafe & Pizzeria
Chin Chin and Kong's Italian cousin offers a raucous night out.

Bouzy Rouge
A Moroccan souk meets Arabian harem meets game-park safari tent at this eclectic Portuguese/Spanish restaurant.

The Grand
A cosy Italianate space within the faded exterior of an old landmark hotel.

NEW Consider Kong the Korean answer to Chin Chin: a kimchi-driven casual canteen.

An easy place to enjoy traditional Italian food with a savvy Melbourne twist.

The Meatball & Wine Bar (Epicure review)
It's all about the balls at this second outpost.

Meatmother (Epicure review)
A smokin' barbecue joint serving craft beers and bourbons.

Mister Jennings
NEW Ryan Flaherty, of Estelle and England's Fat Duck, opens his first solo venture, and it's is as personal and passionate as you might dare to hope.

A night out at this moodily lit, elegant French restaurant with its intricate food is not for rushing.

Osteria La Passione

There's no menu but the seasonal Italian food is guaranteed to be of comforting authenticity.

Romulus & Remus
NEW A former golf driving range is transformed into an inviting, warm, warehouse-y Italian restaurant.

Royal Saxon
This lively, all-things-to-all-carousers gastropub remains a popular haunt despite hyped and pumping local competition.

Union Dining
Nicky Riemer's pairs seasonality and dependability with flair at this European dining room.

The stalwart steakhouse celebrates 50 years of service this month.

Gourmet cafes

The Fair Food Store

This sweet and bright corner-store local offers a simple menu based on tasty produce in clever combinations. So tangy pickled onion might lift broad bean and pea smash with ricotta, and house-smoked ocean trout comes with bread-and-butter pickles and apple and dill salad.

135 Church Street, Richmond, 9429 6008

Feast of Merit

NEW The Middle Eastern menu at this cosy-industrial social enterprise cafe is built for sharing. At lunch, that means generous salads (maybe asparagus, green beans, fennel and verjuice; or roasted Dutch carrots, mint, freekeh, harissa and preserved lemon), with profits promised to go towards alleviating third world poverty.

Richmond 117 Swan Street 03 9428 8480

Top Paddock

There's never a dull moment at Top Paddock: no surprise, really, given the classy fitout, great 5 Senses coffee, and busy kitchen. Chilli scrambled eggs with mush-rooms and feta are luxe, blueberry and ricotta hotcakes sublime, and soft-shell mud crab on a brioche roll never disappoints.

658 Church Street, Richmond, 9429 4332

The Age Good Food Guide 2015 will be available for $10 with The Saturday Age on August 30 from participating newsagents. It can also be purchased in selected bookshops and online at for $24.99.