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To secure a table at some of Melbourne and Victoria's best restaurants you'll need to book well ahead: from weeks to months. Forget spontaneous school-night celebrations, these are for the special-occasion file. Get out your calendars and get planning. Trust us, these memorable meals will be well worth the wait.

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Melbourne

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Restaurants

Osteria Ilaria

Joining the ranks of pasta-obsessed sibling Tipo 00 but casting the net wider with sophisticated Italian bistro fare and a stellar wine collection.

Restaurants

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Expect the unexpected and have a meal to remember at Heston Blumenthal's eponymous fine diner at Crown, the chef's first restaurant outside of the UK.

Restaurants

Minamishima

Immerse yourself in the art of sushi with okamase (chef's selection) from sushi master Koichi Minamishima. This is one for the special-occasion file.

Restaurants

Spice Temple

Once you've tried Neil Perry's two-hatted take on Chinese food in the seductive surrounds at Crown you'll find it hard to go back to lemon chicken.

Restaurants

Ezard

Chef Teage Ezard combines the East and the West with verve and creativity, making this two hatted restaurant a must try for any visiting gourmand.

Restaurants

Tipo 00

Wrap your fork around pasta made with passion and the restaurant's namesake, fine-grade 'tipo 00' flour, at this modern Italian pasta bar in the CBD.

Restaurants

Attica

Australia's best, ranked #32 on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list and named Restaurant of the Year by the Good Food Guide 2018.

Restaurants

Cutler & Co.

You can't argue with two hats from the Good Food Guide and three stars from the Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide.

Restaurants

Vue de monde

Your bucket list is not complete without a reference to dining at Shannon Bennett's Vue de monde at least once. It's a Melbourne fine dining institution.

Restaurants

Flower Drum

Create a special occasion so you can head to Flower Drum for novel Cantonese fare that garnered two more hats in the Good Food Guide.

Restaurants

Saint Crispin

Make an ordinary night a special occasion at Smith Street's Saint Crispin, much-lauded winner of two hats from the Good Food Guide.

Restaurants

Coda

From Movida's Mykal Batholomew and Longrain chef, Adam D'Sylva, this hatted eatery ticks all the right boxes without taking itself too seriously.

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Destination dining

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