Dinner by Heston


As I’m sure you’re all aware – because wow was there a lot of (justified) fanfare and excitement – last year the Fat Duck was in Melbourne for several months while its premises in Bray were being renovated.

(Side note: here I’m going to drop a link to my post about our visit to Fat Duck in Bray – look at those terrible photos though!)

But the Fat Duck couldn’t stay in Melbourne forever, and once it moved back to Bray, the space it occupied was changed into Dinner by Heston, a more casual, relaxed eatery. Unlike the Fat Duck, Dinner is ala carte, and serves dishes that are modern interpretations of historic British food.

Dinner seats

Alastair and I had lunch there at the beginning of the year with the regular eating crew (yes, we had lunch at dinner).

There’s about eight starters on the menu, so we picked the six that seemed the most interesting and shared them. You should’ve seen us rotating these dishes around the table. Nerds.

Meat fruit

Meat Fruit (c.1500) – Mandarin, chicken liver parfait & grilled bread – $38
(C.13th-15th century)

Meat fruit

The meat fruit is probably Dinner’s most famous dish, and while it looked like a mandarin, inside was a very rich and smooth parfait. This is definitely one to share, because while delicious, it was rich.


Roast Marrowbone (c.1720) – Snails, parsley, anchovy, mace & pickled vegetables – $36
(1720 The Cook’s and Confectioner’s Dictionary by John Nott)

Rice and flesh

Rice & Flesh (c.1390) – Saffron, curried kangaroo tail, red wine & amaranth – $38
(1390 The Forme of Cury the Master Cooks of King Richard II)

This was basically like a super risotto ramped up with flavour.

Savoury porridge

Savoury Porridge (c.1660) Garlic & parsley butter, grilled abalone, picked beetroot & fennel – $36
(1660 The Whole Body of Cookery Dissected by William Rahisha)


Frumenty (c.1390) – Grilled octopus, spelt, pickled red moss, chervil emulsion & smoked sea broth – $38
(1390 The Forme of Cury the Master Cooks of King Richard II)


Marron & Cucumber soup (c.1730) – Cured prawn & roast cucumber salad, golden trout roe, sorrel & grilled onion – $40
(1730 The Complete Practical Cook by Charles Carter)

The marron and cucumber soup was my favourite dish – so refreshing and flavoursome at the same time.


After looking at the mains, we decided it would be too hard to share them so choose one each. Alastair and I had the pork belly and the lamb. The other mains were also mostly protein heavy: duck, fish, chicken, and three steak options.

Pork belly

Slow cooked Pork Belly (c.1820) – Spelt, lardo, baby turnip & Robert sauce – $56
(1820 based on Careme’s residency in London)


Lamb & Cucumber (c.1830) – best end of lamb with with roast cucumber heart, sweetbreads, peas, barilla & mint – $56
(1830 The Cook and Housewife’s Manual by Mistress Meg Dodds)


Hard to say which was better – they were both perfectly cooked. Maybe the lamb – I loved the sweetbreads that came with it, but not the peas (surprise surprise).

I did feel that they were quite conventional in comparison to the starters though.

Tipsy cake

Tipsy Cake (c.1830) – spit roast pineapple – $30
(1810 the English cookery book by J.H. Walsh)

Tipsy cake

Dessert was another sharing occasion. When we ordered our mains, we also ordered two Tipsy cakes as they take a while to make. We should’ve ordered three! The Tipsy Cake was sweet brioche with a caramelised cream, served with spit roasted pineapple.

It was pretty amazing and much more special and decadent than it sounds.


Cheese Board – large – $30

We also shared a cheese board, because two Tipsy cakes was more than enough sugar for us.

To finish

And there was a little sweet treat to finish our lunch.


As expected, the food at Dinner was really, really good.

Of course, being a completely different concept and restaurant, it’s nowhere near the crazy inventiveness of Fat Duck, though some of that did seem to seep into the entrees, which are dishes you wouldn’t see anywhere else in Melbourne.

Definitely worth a splurge for a special lunch (or for when your friends casually suggest having lunch at dinner).

Dinner by Heston
Crown Melbourne
Level 3, 8 Whiteman Street
Phone: 03 9292 5777

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hash Specialty Coffee & Roasters

Hash kitchen

Disclosure: We attended and had breakfast courtesy of Hash Speciality Coffee & Roasters and Zilla & Brook.

There’s nothing quite like a Melbourne brunch, and although I no longer keep up with the latest Melbourne cafe openings (who has time? money? energy?!?) it’s still nice to experience a new cafe every now and again.

A couple of months ago, Alastair and I were invited to breakfast at Hash, located in Hardware Street in the city.


Din Tai Fung

Din Tai Fung

So the latest hot opening in Melbourne is Din Tai Fung, which has opened on Level 4 of Emporium. I’m sure we’re all aware of Din Tai Fung – the mega dumpling chain that started in Taiwan over 40 years ago and now has restaurants in 12 different countries. Sydney itself has 7 branches, and the Melbourne one opened only last month.




Disclosure: I attended and dined courtesy of Cecconi and AMPR.

I suppose we’re officially in winter now, aren’t we? Well, let’s pretend that we’re still in autumn (I’d like to pretend that we’re not in winter anyway) as the other month I was invited to Cecconi’s for an autumn menu tasting.

Cecconi’s has been in the city for quite a long time now: apparently almost a decade, so it’s terrible that this was my first visit to the Flinders Lane location. I actually remember the Cecconi’s that was at Crown, quite a long time ago now – Alastair and I ate there with Annette and Terry not long after we moved to Melbourne.

They must be doing something right to have been around the Melbourne dining scene for so long and I was excited to finally pay them a visit.


Hakata Gensuke


I met Alastair for a quick dinner in the city after work one evening. It was a cold night and what better on a cold night than ramen? Not much, I tell you. So we took the opportunity to try Hakata Gensuke.

Fortunately it was early (ie just about 6pm) as I have heard stories about the queues at Hakata Gensuke. Even so, we did wait outside – fortunately while it was cold it wasn’t raining – for about 5 minutes while we waited for seats to become available.


Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen

Ramen noodles

Disclosure: We attended the soft opening courtesy of Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen.

Ramen in Melbourne has been gradually getting better as more ramen focussed restaurants have been opening up.

The latest is Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen (IKR) and a couple of weeks ago I attended the soft opening with Alastair. As you probably know, there are numerous styles of ramen with different regions having different variations. IKR’s style is tonkotsu which originates from the Hakata district of Fukuoka city in Kyushu. Tonkotsu is made from a pork bone base, cooked at high heat for a long period of time until the soup is opaque, milky and creamy.


The Social Kitchen + a giveaway

The Social Kitchen

Disclosure: I attended courtesy of The Fisher & Paykel Social Kitchen & Q Strategies

The other week I headed down to Queen Victoria Market – and not to shop, as most people do.

Instead, I was there for a cooking class at The Fisher & Paykel Social Kitchen, a new venture that’s a dedicated, hands on cooking school located in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Queen Victoria Market.