By WENDY HARGREAVES
Melbourne might be more famous for hidden laneways than sweeping vistas, but our city has some brilliant places to eat with a view. Here are my five favourites.
- Rooftop bar at King + Godfree, cnr Lygon + Faraday sts, Carlton
- With a magnificent view across the Carlton rooftops and plane trees to the Royal Exhibition Buildings and the CBD, Johnny’s Green Room is a perfect spot for an afternoon snack or after-dinner cocktails. It’s a far cry from the original Johnny’s Green Room, a notorious all-night pool hall and diner frequented by students, artists and gangsters. Now it’s a stylish playground with comfy banquettes and brollies for shade. It’s only two storeys up, but the city skyscrapers look close enough to touch. And every Monday this summer will be a pizza party – just $15 for a classic Neapolitan thin-crust pizza and an icy cold pot of draught Peroni.
- 3 Southgate Ave, Southbank
- Pure South has one of the best views on the Yarra, facing north-west across the river to the CBD, grabbing every ray of sunshine all year ’round. Grab a window seat in the casual diner downstairs (open daily 7am-10pm) and watch the constant ebb and flow of people across the bridge from Flinders Street Station, or take the fancy option and head upstairs to the restaurant, offering a stunning view through the plane trees up the river. Pure South’s menu lives up to the name, with a single-minded focus on produce from Tasmania, King Island and Flinders Island. Philip Kennedy and his team always make you feel welcome.
- 1/10 Aquatic Dr, Albert Park
One of Melbourne’s best Chinese fine-diners, Sun Kitchen sits in prime position on Albert Park Lake with stunning water views towards the city. The menu is a greatest hits parade of Cantonese dishes, along with Sichuan specialities and traditional Chinese hot pot, but there’s an unexpected weekend treat during November. Sun’s Chan Kwok has teamed up with award-winning pastry chef Jo Ward to create Melbourne’s first yum cha high tea ($68pp). With free-flowing Jansz NV Premium Cuvee, mocktails and tea, the spread ranges from dumplings and spring rolls to a three-tier cake stand carrying some of the most colourful, creative desserts in Melbourne. Sun’s high tea runs every weekend until December 1 from 1pm-4pm. Book your tickets here.
- 30 Jacka Blvd, St Kilda
- A window seat at Stokehouse is always special occasion, no matter what the weather is doing on Port Phillip Bay. Watch the colourful promenade along the beach on sunny days, or marvel at the beauty of rain storms rolling across the water from Williamstown to Brighton – it’s always stunning. Order the fish. And the king prawn tacos. And leave room for Stokey’s famous Bombe Alaska (pictured). Or ask your waiter for tips. They’re among the best in Australia.
- 55th floor, Rialto Tower, 525 Collins St, Melbourne
- Not everyone can afford Shannon Bennett’s luxe-priced Vue de Monde, but you can still enjoy the million-dollar view over a drink and a nibble at Lui Bar. There’s even a lunch time counter meal (Thursday to Sunday) offering a main meal and a glass of wine or beer for $39pp. Or head up the elevator for a sweet hit of Nutella doughnuts (six for $16).