WHERE do you go when the stomach beckons for a late-night feast? Diane Leow finds you the best, and cheapest eats in town.
Melbourne has been hailed the most liveable city in the world, yet some have the misconception there isn’t much to do once the sun sets. While shops usually do close by 6pm (unless it’s a Friday night), Melbourne bars and restaurants come alive at dusk. Here, we feature some of the most popular late night eateries in town, within an international student’s budget of course.
204 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Ling Nam’s a hidden gem in Chinatown. While not as renown as other establishments like Crystal Jade, Shark’s Fin House and Westlake, Ling Nam consistently delivers decent Chinese food. Service is brusque although the more experienced service staff tend to be more patient, offering advice on the best dishes of the day. Try their Pipis in XO Sauce and order a side of Chinese doughnuts to mop up the remaining sauce. You won’t regret it. If you’re after some comfort food, they serve congee with various ingredients as well. There’s a cover charge during the weekends though.
209-211 Russell Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
It’s midnight, you’re craving roast duck and you only have ten dollars on you. Where do you go? Minh Xuong on Russell St of course. Rows of roast ducks and slabs of roast pork bellies gleam under incandescent lamps at the front of the restaurant. Like most places that serve roast meats, you’ll be given a generous portion of roast meat on a bed of rice with a few stalks of vegetables on the side. Service is fast so you won’t be hungry for long. Minh Xuong can also accommodate large groups as they have tables on two levels.
177-183 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Stalactites, the 24-hour Greek restaurant that started out as a family business more than 30 years ago is a Melbourne institution. Conveniently located on the corner of Russell and Lonsdale streets, it’s a popular destination for folks looking for a greasy hearty meal after a big night out in the wee hours of the morning. Choose from a variety of soft, warm flatbreads, deliciously moorish dips and meats on the menu. Saganaki (a Greek cheese dish) and souvlaki are also available of course.
Oz Doner and Chicken Kebab
18 Racecourse Rd, North Melbourne, VIC 3051
If you hail from Asia, you know the best eats are often found in the most obscure places. Oz Doner and Chicken Kebabs, located along Racecourse Road in Flemington, is one such place. Car wash by day and kebab store by night, the joint is impossible to miss with its fluorescent lights and signs. Juicy chunks of meat, fresh lettuce, tomatoes and sauces of your choice tightly encased in a wrap and toasted. Ask for Jalapenos for an extra kick. Best way to eat these babies is to peel away the foil as you go and have plenty of serviettes nearby because it can get pretty messy. Also, the proprietors are rather cheeky, often playing tricks on you while you wait for your kebab. You have been warned.
Roast Duck Inn (formerly Oriental Inn)
29-31 Carrington Rd, Box Hill, VIC 3128
Roast Duck Inn will remind you of a typical family-run restaurant in Hong Kong. The food is unpretentious and wouldn’t look out of place at the table of a Chinese family. The claypot tofu or salted fish fried rice will instantly, gastronomically transport you to Hong Kong.
305 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
195 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
No meal is complete without something sweet so we included Dessert story. Most of the franchise’s stores open till late, even on weeknights. Their tofu puddings are silky and smooth, and their mango snow ice dessert will cool you down on a warm evening. Either way, this is the place to satisfy your late-night sugar cravings.
What are your favourite late-night haunts? Let us know in the comments section below!