With travel still off the agenda, we pick five of our favourite local restaurants that will transport your taste buds across the globe. As told by Reyhaan Day
At Curry Room at The Rubens at The Palace you could choose one excellent curry served with basmati rice, a vegetable side dish and roti, but it’s best to go for chef Arun Kumar’s selection of three dishes served together on a thali platter– featuring the likes of Bengal fish curry, Keralan prawn curry, spicy beef vindaloo or butter chicken – to really get the full flavour. Well-picked old and new world wines, alongside your usual Indian beers, are the libations of choice.
Located on Sir Simon Milton Square, Timmy Green from the Daisy Green collection of restaurants features a green-laden indoor/outdoor space with a big terrace – perfect for distanced dining. The antipodean vibe is complemented by dishes strongly inspired by Melbourne and Sydney café culture, with brunch plates including smashed avocado or chilli and maple celeriac toast with poached eggs, tomatoes and greens; and lunch dishes like spicy tuna tostada, sashimi-grade tuna steak, fresh Asian-inspired
salads, and plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.
Located in the Zig Zag building, Ibérica Victoria is set over a striking two-floor space designed by architect Lázaro Rosa Violán. But that isn’t why fans of this stylish spot come here. The bar area is the perfect space for after-work drinks, with refreshing cocktails, fortified wines and beers pairing with pintxos to enjoy before settling into a meal in the upstairs dining room. Opt for a range of artisan cheeses and meats alongside plates of croquetas, gambas, tortilla and larger dishes of Ibérico pork or sharing plates of paella. Finish on a sweet note with churros and melted chocolate or the warming caramelised Spanish rice pudding.
The highly-commended Dammika’s is bringing a taste of Sri Lankan culinary culture to Victoria. Unpretentious but refined flavours dominate here, with dishes made using seasonal British produce; classics like egg and string hoppers, massive dosas and hearty mutton and fresh fish curries have guests leaving satiated and happy – particularly after a few Lion beers, a Sri Lankan staple.
Small but perfectly-formed, Morinoya arrived in Victoria at the end of 2019, specialising in top-quality sushi, gyoza, fresh pumpkin croquettes, and warming katsu curries. Perfect for post-work nibbles or comforting teriyaki plates to heat up long, cold days, guests can choose from a thoughtfully-curated selection of sakes, as well as a small choice of wines.