There’s certainly no shortage of places to eat, drink and enjoy the best of local and international culture in Melbourne, but when you’re on a deadline and in dire need of sustenance to see you through to encore and beyond, the scope of choice on offer can present more problems than it does solutions.

Below, several GRAZIA approved suggestions for where to drink and dine – and what to order – before you soak up the best on offer in Melbourne’s thriving cultural precinct, Federation Square, with it’s enviable proximity to the National Gallery, ACMI and Melbourne’s labyrinthine inner city. If you’re headed to a show around Federation Square, you’re spoiled for choice. To avoid paralysing indecision over where to refuel before a show, head to the Flinders Lane precinct. It’s there that you’ll find a cuisine to suit all palettes.

Pan-Asian at Lucy Liu
This pan-Asian restaurant is but one of our favourite entities to use the name ‘Lucy Liu’ to its considerable advantage. Another, of course, is Samantha Jones, who exploited Liu’s name in lieu of time spent on the waiting list for a Birkin (see Sex & The City, S04E11, ‘Could Shoulda Woulda’ for more). However, only one of these parties is capable of serving us yellow fin tuna tataki and crispy pork hock pancakes with apple kimchi salad, and it’s to them that we can and will gladly return. Plus, the ability to make bookings means you’ll never have to endure another waiting list again.


A photo posted by Lucy Liu Kitchen & Bar (@lucyliu_melbourne) on

Super fusion at Supernormal
Andrew McConnell’s take on pan-Asian cuisine is everything you’d expect it to be – and then some. The trademarks of the man behind some of Melbourne’s most iconic venues are all on show: the food and interiors are exquisite; the kitchen open for inspection, and the basement – private dining room – comes fully equipped with karaoke facilities. If the Hello Kitty snacks dispensed from vending machines don’t quite cut it for dessert, you’d be mad not to make a beeline for the peanut butter parfait. Super? Without a doubt. Normal? Anything but.


A photo posted by Supernormal Restaurant (@supernormal_180) on