Melbourne/Sydney restaurants for a work lunch
Got a business lunch and clients and/or colleagues to impress? Short of ideas, but armed with a budget? Fortunately we live in particularly culinary cities with quality produce and selections to match. And whatever the occasion, restaurants in both capitals stand up to a wide range of tastes. Our selection includes some of the tried-and-tested old-faithfuls, as well as some of the more recent additions.
1 Hosier Ln
(03) 9663 3038
The queues in the evening haven’t dwindled after a 10-year tenure on the Melbourne restaurant scene, which suggests that MoVida still has it. Tapas-style dishes with an Australian edge, there’s something on the menu for everyone: the gluten-free, vegan and the strictly carnivorous.
80 Bourke St
(03) 9662 1811
The days of long lunches in power suits might be a thing of the past, but this Melbourne institution has it covered should you need to impress someone accustomed to fine dining. Classic Italian fare served with all the napery and trimmings of tunic-wearing waiters, and best enjoyed if the company’s paying.
19 ACDC Lane
(03) 9662 4556
A new player in the recent culinary quarter around Flinders Lane, Pastuso has opened to rave reviews. A Peruvian grill, cevicheria and pisco bar pack a punch, and the share menus allow for an informal vibe when passing dishes to important clients. Or for more intimate occasions book the private dining room with wine-lined walls for parties of 10 to 32.
122 Russell Street
(03) 9654 5923
The sister restaurant to Carlton’s The Town Mouse, Embla is a wine bar primarily, with food designed to suit the curious wine list. Perfect for those Friday lunches that can kick on into the afternoon without a care.
Customs House, Circular Quay
(02) 9999 9999
Want to see the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge as part as your lunchtime vista? Café Sydney’s location at Customs House gives a vantage of both major Sydney landmarks—perfect for international guests who can boast about the experience. We recommend the multi-tiered seafood platter.
(02) 9240 8000
Possibly one of the most impressive places to take a crew for midweek lunch, you can expect modern Australian cuisine with a view over the Harbour. While the building has been there for half a century, Bennelong has a new lease of life with a new team and menu and less formal dining than its predecessor.
57 Macleay Street
(02) 9332 2344
Meeting with a heavy-hitter with a meat aversion? Look no further than the trendy Yellow. All dishes are vegan-friendly with classic dishes reinterpreted in meat-free alternatives. And you can always run down the stairs for a cheeky Harry’s Café de Wheels pie once you’re done.