One in every four Australian households comprises one person, so it makes sense that many Melbourne restaurants are ensuring solo doesn't mean FOMO. Here are some at-home dining options with smart menus and sensible portions.
The food is as wine-friendly in iso as it is in more convivial times, and the solo feasts ($50-$65) are colourful and generous. Choose from vegan, pasta, seafood and a lamb shoulder banquet. Sneaky tip: add the 'nduja jaffle ($10) for lunch the next day.
212 High Street, Windsor, 03 9533 2827, neptune.melbourne
The steak is good but the secret green herb sauce and elaborate layered Pommes Anna are the stars of Entrecote's at-home assembly for one ($54.90).
131 Domain Road, South Yarra, entrecote.com.au
Ocean trout with jamon from Bar Lourinha. Photo: Jo Gamvros
A perch at the bar for one has always been a Bar Lourinha pleasure, so it makes sense that they've extended that hospitality to takeaway. The weekend box for one ($55) has included cured ocean trout with artichoke and jamon, and lamb meatballs with pistachio.
37 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, 03 9663 7890, barlourinha.com.au
If you have a hankering for a smashable, juice-to-your-elbows toastie, steak sandwich or blood sausage with devilled egg roll, sharing it is unthinkable anyway. Butcher's Diner also has great half bottles of wine.
10 Bourke Street, Melbourne, 03 9639 7324, butchersdiner.com
279 Japanese cafe
Exquisite musubi (rice balls) are the specialty here and they're available by the piece or as part of creative just-right-for-one bento boxes ($22) along with tempura prawn and vegetables, fried chicken or soy-cured tuna.
279 Victoria Street, West Melbourne, mryum.com/279victoriast
When you feel like fine dining, March by Ides is a fun contemporary option. The five-course menu is priced at $80-a-head and includes salted turnip pasta with truffle and smoked duck broth and the famous saw-it-on-MasterChef Black Box dessert (pictured). Pescatarian, vegetarian and gluten-free menus are available.
92 Smith Street, Collingwood, 03 9939 9542, idesmelbourne.com.au
There are plenty of sensible solo dishes, including nasi katok ($26), a goat curry with pickles and nuts, and beef pho with Chinese doughnuts ($22) but I love the 1.4kg snow crab with crispy egg noodles ($250). The menu says "feeds two to three, or just yourself if you are a machine". Respect to the machines!
338 Bridge Road, Richmond, 03 9428 3526, anchovy.net.au
Plan to order the single-layer bento box ($75) from this basement kaiseki restaurant. As well as seasonal sashimi, the pretty array includes seared wagyu, crumbed chicken and sweet mochi. Order via the reservations tab on their website.
Basement B01, 139 Bourke Street, Melbourne, ishizuka.com.au