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Paul Wilson

There are few Melburnians who love food more than chef Paul Wilson, and fewer still who can create such memorable meals. Prepare to work up an appetite as he tells you the best places to eat and drink around Melbourne, and lets you in on a few secrets on the way.

Having originally relocated to Melbourne from the UK, Paul is to be believed when he describes Melbourne's food and wine scene as 'edgy, fun, locally inspired and very casual whilst being sophisticated.'

Paul is a big fan of Melbourne's incredibly multicultural local produce that allows chefs like him to create authentic food. 'You eat the best Mexican, Spanish, French, Mod Oz and Asian food in the world in Melbourne,' he declares.

The city's eclectic food communities are a big drawcard. The Vietnamese fish markets in Richmond and Footscray are Paul's biggest foodie secrets, but he'll also give you tips on other food pockets.

'Visit Victoria Street, Richmond for pho, Carlton for handmade mozzarella, Chinatown for Peking duck, St Kilda for Mexican, Brunswick for Greek and Middle Eastern delights, and Flinders Lane for cool Mod Oz eateries and bars.'

Paul's top places to eat

Paul Wilson guarantees a good meal:

Dainty Sichuan, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia

Dainty Sichuan

Search high and low for a hotspot (or hotpot) fierier than Dainty Sichuan, a two-level, sweetly decorated space serving a menu of 60-plus specialties.

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Royal Mail Hotel Dining Room

Royal Mail Hotel

Dine on international foods in a very Victorian milieu at the justly celebrated Royal Mail Hotel, awarded two hats in The Age Good Food Guide.

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Cumulus Inc, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cumulus Inc.

This loft-inspired restaurant, hatted by The Age Good Food Guide boasts a drinking bar, an eating bar and regular tables for serious eating.

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Vue De Monde, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Vue de Monde

Climb to level 55 of Melbourne's Rialto tower and find out why Vue De Monde consistently scores three hats from The Age Good Food Guide.

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Acland St. Cantina, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Acland Street Cantina

Kick start your day with a single origin brew and breakfast tortilla or swing by after the daily grind for gluten-free pizza and house red.

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Paul's perfect day of eating

Paul Wilson describes his ideal day of eating in Melbourne:

Stokehouse, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


'A perfect summer day would be spent upstairs or downstairs at the Stokehouse right on the beach. The vibe is cool, sophisticated and friendly; the food fresh and modern Australian.'

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The European, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

The European

'The perfect day in winter would be spent at The European, enjoying comfort food and a red from one of our most celebrated wine lists.'

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Paul's cup of coffee

Paul Wilson admires Melbourne's total coffee obsession. 'Forget cappuccino!' he says. 'It's single origin, 'from what continent, sir?' and baristas and cafe owners are celebrities here.'

St Ali, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

St Ali

'I go to St Ali in South Melbourne. They roast and grind the coffee on the premises and always have several single origins to sample in various manners, such as cold drip or siphon.'

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The hard stuff

For something a bit stronger than a cafe latte, Paul suggests making your way to Victoria's distinct wine regions.

'Melbourne and Victoria's wineries are very close and diverse. For example, you go to the Yarra Valley for chardonnay and sparkling wines, Geelong and the Mornington Peninsula for pinot noir, Heathcote for world-class shiraz, Rutherglen for fortified wines, and the King Valley for Italian wine styles like sangiovese and pinot gris.'

Paul's favourite wineries

Paul Wilson takes you to a few of Victoria's many wineries:

Port Phillip Estate

Port Phillip Estate

'For glamour and quality. '

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T'Gallant Winemakers

Port Phillip Estate

'For countryside and diverse wine. '

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Follow your appetite

To get a taste of the local food and wine scene, this local uber chef points you in the direction of the local good food and bar guides, particularly Time Out and Broadsheet. He also recommends taking the step of talking to the chefs via social media. You could start with him!

Above all, though, Paul reckons you should just jump on a tram, wander about, savour a great coffee, 'or cocktail, tapas, mezze, street food, dumplings, Peking duck, fine wine at The Supper Club, then get up and go out for breakfast and start all over again.'

Paul's best breakfasts

Paul Wilson gets your day off to the best start:

Friends of Mine, Richmond, Victoria, Australia

Friends of Mine

Let breakfast stretch into brunch and onto a late lunch in this bright Richmond spot, recommended by Paul Wilson.

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Paul's dining picks

Paul Wilson