Free Dating in Melbourne

The Tippler & Co

 

58 Wellington Parade

East Melbourne

 

http://www.thetipplerandco.com/

 

Good place to take a date:

10/10

Isn’t it refreshing when you don’t feel ridiculous for ordering a beer instead of wine, or swapping dishes half way through a meal? The Tippler & Co makes cosmopolitan casual, and shakes up the norms of the Melbourne date restaurants to create something special but incredibly unpretentious. The happy buzz of the bar flows into the restaurant to give it an infectious vibe where you can shape your evening. Whether popping in for a pint or whiling away the evening with tapas and cocktails, you’ll feel totally at home at The Tippler & Co.

 

Good place to meet for a first date:

10/10

With urban lighting and cosily cramped tables creating a city-chic environment for a first date in Melbourne, you won’t stay strangers for long at The Tippler & Co. Sharing dishes are a delightful way to break down the boundaries, whilst the drinks menu offers something for everyone. Start with a pint and if things go well move onto wine or even spirits, there’s really no template for a trip to The Tippler & Co. If you’re hoping to meet the new spark, it’s a great place to visit with friends on a weekend or after work, and the events such as wine tasting bring in an eclectic mix of Melbournians sharing a passion for food and drink.

 

The Tippler And Co

The Tippler And Co

 

Average age:

The Tippler & Co has that cool older brother feel to it that makes people young and old flock to soak up the welcoming warmth of the atmosphere. From work colleagues letting down their hair to romantic couples cuddled in the corner, there’s no fixed clientele and as a result it’s a relaxed space for meeting old friends and new. Turn up in your jeans or get dressed up for a night out, you can dress The Tippler & Co up or down for any occasion.

 

Time of review:

The best restaurants don’t need to try hard. That’s probably why the take it easy and only open for dinner Wednesday to Sunday, and lunch on weekends. Perhaps they’re playing hard to get, but it certainly seems to be working. The Tipple & Co is packed around the clock, so book ahead to guarantee a fantastic Melbourne date.

 

Average cost of a meal and a drink:

The Tippler & Co is refreshingly affordable, and isn’t out to get your money. Pay $10-15 for sharing tapas or if you’re in need of a good feed find mains for around $25. For the range of drinks available alone this place is worth a visit, and the kind hospitality of the staff mean you’ll probably stay longer than you bargained for.

 

Type of cuisine:

Whether you love a juicy bit of meat or prefer a lighter vegetarian salad, the small but well-rounded food menu draws upon European inspiration for great sharing dishes. Favourites include pea and ham hock croquettes, with ginger and date pudding as the cherry on top if you or your date has a sweet tooth. Order dishes sporadically to span out the evening and graze as you natter.

 

Final word:

Coming out top on the Melbourne date restaurants league, FreeAndSingle loves The Tippler & Co because of its versatility for any romantic occasion. Doubling up as a relaxed environment for that nervous first date and a fun venue for Friday nights with your partner after a long week at work, you’ll fit right in here whatever makes you happy. A go-to option for Melbourne dating, the sharing foods, extensive drinks selection, and feel-good atmosphere are a winning combination.

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Esca Grill

 

650 Mt Alexander Road
Moonee Ponds

VIC 3039

 

http://www.escagrill.com.au/restaurant.php

 

Good place to take a date:

10/10

Escape the city centre to the friendly MoPo district for a truly romantic evening that will whisk you both off your feet. If steak, seafood and fine wine are your ideal of special dining then you won’t be disappointed at Esca Grill. The crisp and clean atmosphere is a canvas for you to paint with conversation and good food as the delightful staff make you feel at ease despite the expensive surroundings. Presented with panache, you’ll be sending compliments to the kitchen as well as your date as you tuck into rich and flavoursome dishes accompanied by a bottle of quality wine selected by the Sommellier.

 

Good place to meet for a first date:

9/10

Esca Grill might be a little flashy for a first date in Melbourne, but if that’s your style then you won’t get much better than this. Putting the oomph in upmarket, the focus is on meaty steak and fish and the always-full-wine-glass sort of service that you come to expect from restaurants of such calibre. Premium honest food is emphasised by the open kitchen, where you can find live entertainment with the lightning speed chefs if your date isn’t quite cutting it. However the waiters will soon have you feeling at ease, and after attempting to gracefully guzzle an oyster you’ll hopefully have broken the ice. Expensive but worth every penny, it’s a top choice for fine dining in the suburbs.

 

Esca Grill Melbourne

Esca Grill Melbourne

 

Average age:

Of course you’ll find your fair share of silver spoon diners in Esca Grill, but it isn’t overly pretentious and the staff gives five star treatment to each and every guest. The dim lighting mutes the restaurant into your own little world on an evening, so you’ll notice only the pleasant hum of the place as you share food, conversation and stories. Dress to impress here for special Melbourne dating.

 

Time of review:

Visit for a midweek lunch if you’d like a slightly less showy sitting, or book a table on evenings from Tuesdays to Sundays. This isn’t the sort of place where you waltz in unannounced for a meal, bookings are essential and ensure that you get a seat in this busy restaurant!

 

Average cost of a meal and a drink:

At $30-$40 for a main Esca Grill might sound very expensive, but when you consider that the menu is made up almost exclusively of steak and seafood then it’s really not that shocking. This restaurant doesn’t really do ‘special’ dishes, as they weave this focus through every dish that they serve up. Meanwhile, the Sommellier has given his all to create a varied and extensive wine list, with a great deal of flexibility in the pricing depending on your budget and knowledge of world vinos.

 

Type of cuisine:

Whilst vegetarian options are available at Esca Grill, it’s primarily a surf and turf paradise. Steak and chips on steroids, you’ll find powerful combinations such as cauliflower puree and pine mushrooms to accompany your juicy joints of meat. Leave room for dessert, with chocolate and cheese complementing the main menu perfectly for a totally indulgent dinner.

 

Final word:

Fine dining doesn’t have to be about weird and wonderful kitchen experiments. Sometimes the traditional favourites are just as fancy as those exotic ingredients and strange techniques. Esca Grill does simple and sumptuous with effortless ease, making it an impressive spot for a blow-out Melbourne date.

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Seamstress

 

113 Lonsdale Street

Melbourne

 

http://www.seamstress.com.au/

 

Good place to take a date:

9/10

Seamstress has put the cool in China Town, and in doing so created a fresh and original option for Asian dining. Finding a balance between quality Asian food and an atmosphere befitting of that special someone can be difficult; most places either charge astronomical prices or fit the greasy spoon category that lacks romance. Breaking away from the cliché, you’ll be impressed with the hospitality of the service, the think-outside-the-box décor and modern twist on classic dishes at Seamstress. Sip cocktails to prolong your visit as you work your way through the a la carte menu, or throw yourself in at the deep end with a sumptuous banquet that will impregnate you with a food baby.

 

Good place to meet for a first date:

9/10

If clothes hanging from the ceiling aren’t enough to get you talking, then you’re probably not meant to be. A quirky bar-cum-restaurant where cocktails and unique Asian dishes are the order of the day, Seamstress stitches a success story for Melbourne dating. A small space that’s practically designed for couples with the small tables drawn close together, tapestry lines the walls and ceilings to give the place a warmth that should rub off on the two of you. If you don’t want to commit to a dinner date just yet, meet for a few drinks at the bar and you might find you stay longer than you bargained for. But that’s ok, the laid-back atmosphere is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat when your tummy rumbles. And you’ll find plenty for hip bars in the area if you fancy moving on to continue the evening.

 

Seamstress Melbourne

Seamstress Melbourne

 

Average age:

The cocktail clientele and Melbournian hipsters give Seamstress a relatively young vibe that will give you kudos if you bring your date here. It may be incredibly cool, but it stays true to the important basics by presenting fresh food, great service and good value day and night.

 

Time of review:

Seamstress has a tight knit layout of tables, and so easily stays busy throughout the week. However if you do arrive on a whim you won’t be tapping your toes waiting for a seat as the cocktails will soon have you feeling relaxed. Great for spontaneous dates in Melbourne, Seamstress is a fun and fresh option for wining and dining.

 

Average cost of a meal and a drink:

If you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful Chinese, you might find the prices a little steep at Seamstress. However this restaurant offers such a well-rounded experience with its tempting drinks selection and electric environment that you aren’t just paying for a bowl of egg fried rice. The banquet costs $65 per person, but with 3 courses and 9 dishes you’ll certainly get your money’s worth at Seamstress. Meanwhile, a cocktail will cost you between $15-20, with a refreshing array of options that you might not have heard of before.

 

Type of cuisine:

With cheeky numbers catching the eye such as maple seared scallops and duck rice crepe, Seamstress has put effort into making an interesting menu. A modern take on Asian cuisine, you’ll find it hard to choose from the tempting choices. But that’s where the banquet menu comes in as a solution. If you’re making the bar the focal point of your visit on a Melbourne date, light bites such as sticky pork and kingfish croquet will go down a treat after a cocktail or two.

 

Final word:

Take them on a whirlwind tour of Asia with this thematic bar-cum-restaurant that will really set the tone for a fun and exciting Melbourne date. Seamstress offers something quintessentially different in the welcoming China Town district of the city, and we like its style.

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Cutler & Co

 

55-57 Gertrude Street

Fitzroy 3065

 

http://www.cutlerandco.com.au/

 

Good place to take a date:

10/10

Flamboyant fine dining is a special way to spruce up a date. With its open plan kitchen at the heart of the restaurant, Cutler and Co offer more than just an impressive menu. If you and your date can talk until the cows come home, then treat them to the degustation and settle in for one heck of a food experience. Expertly presented in a comfortable setting that will combine to make the hours slip away, it’s an exquisite option for birthdays, anniversaries and deal-clinchers. From the in house ingredients to the impossible-to-slip-up skilled staff, you’ll find it hard to fault Cutler & Co for a memorable Melbourne date.

 

Good place to meet for a first date:

8/10

It’s all about first impressions. So enter Cutler & Co with your date and cue instant intimacy from the soft glow that warms the otherwise art deco interior. Offering cutting edge, modern fine dining, it’s certainly a venue for showing off your swagger. Star treatment from the knowledgeable staff will ensure a smooth experience from start to finish.  Whilst this all sounds very tempting, we’re not 100% convinced on the eligibility of Cutler & Co for Melbourne first dates. After all, a three to four hour sitting of the degustation menu might be a risky choice if conversation runs dry, although with matching wines you can be sure that the drink won’t. Meanwhile it’s an expensive gamble for a first date and one that you’d be better off keeping up your sleeve for later if things go successfully.

 

Cutler & Co

Cutler & Co

 

Average age:

The chic urban outlay combined with experimental flavours ensures that Cutler & Co has a relatively youthful take on fine dining. Nevertheless, you’ll find families, business partners, couples and friends all schmoozing over sharing dishes and degustations that give it a welcoming vibe despite its high end pricing. As a top choice for special occasions, you might want to make an effort for an evening of wining and dining here when it comes to dress code.

 

Time of review:

Open for dinner Tuesdays to Sundays and lunch during weekends, you’ll find a pleasant surprise for a Sunday lunch as an alternative date in Melbourne. Reservations are recommended, especially if you don’t want to drag your partner around the city looking for a back up plan.

 

Average cost of a meal and a drink:

At $130 per person, the degustation menu doesn’t come cheap. But using the finest ingredients and bringing you combinations that you might never have imagined working, it’s a great treat for foodies. At half the price, the Sunday lunch is a more reasonable option for a regular sitting, whilst a la carte mains will set you back about $45. If you want wine with that, double your budget.

 

Type of cuisine:

Our mothers always said a good restaurant serves the kind of things you couldn’t make at home. Well Cutler & Co undoubtedly ticks that box. With premium sourced ingredients and show-stopping sharing dishes such as roast suckling pig and 1.1kg rib eye, it certainly has the wow factor. You’re likely to be ignorant of at least one ingredient in each dish on the menu, but the staff will be happy to enlighten you. They know their stuff.

 

Final word:

If you have high standards or simply love exploring new flavours and foodie experiences, you’ll be suitable humbled by the brilliance of Cutler & Co. But don’t show your best trick first, save this one for someone who you know will appreciate this restaurant as much as you, and can share the memory with for months to come!

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The Hardware Societe

 

120 Hardware Street
Melbourne

 

(No website)

 

Good place to take a date:

9/10

A way to a person’s heart is through their belly. There are plenty of great restaurants for fine dining and evening meals in Melbourne, but what about for breakfast? Hardware Societe has hit the spot for endless fans who return time and again to get their favourite breakfast fix. Whilst it may not be romantic in the traditional sense of the word, the menu reflects an infectious love of food and fresh produce that you won’t be able to resist. So whether you’re planning a weekend itinerary with your date or roll out of bed to your bellies rumbling, this is an impressive brunch spot for Melbourne dates.

 

Good place to meet for a first date:

8/10

Play it cool without compromising on the wow factor with a visit to Hardware Societe. If you don’t want to take the leap with formal first date dressed up in your dinner jacket, this is a great place to suss out if a second date might be on the cards. Surprise them with the location for a smashing breakfast or lunch, and it’s a pleasant walk to get there which leaves plenty of time to talk. In fact, unless you get in early you’ll probably find yourself chatting in the queue for a while too. The service and menu is worth it though, and thankfully it’s won’t break the bank for those uncertain first dates in Melbourne.

 

Hardware Societe

Hardware Societe

 

Average age:

The word has spread through Melbourne and no one can argue with a great breakfast, can they? You’ll find a mismatch of ages and groups at Hardware Societe that give it a relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere. Turn up in your joggers or put a little effort in to look your best, there’s really no dress code and the focus is purely on the food.

 

Time of review:

Get in early unless you want to be queuing for upwards of half an hour. This isn’t the sort of place where you book a table a week in advance, it’s first come first served generally speaking. Having said this, the bubbly ambience will soon lift you up as you enter the restaurant and on a relaxed brunch visit it’s a good excuse to span out your Melbourne date

 

Average cost of a meal and a drink:

Expect to pay around $20 for a brunch dish at Hardware Societe, but with that you don’t get your standard eggs on toast. With market-fresh ingredients and impressive presentation, this eatery puts an extravagant twist on breakfast classics. Hardware Societe boasts a reputation that precedes it, so you can be sure that you’ll get your dollar’s worth on date here.

 

Type of cuisine:

From classic breakfasts to sumptuous European dishes like baked egg and chorizo, you’ll struggle to choose from the menu at Hardware Societe. If you’re a little on the late side of the morning, they also put on a lunch menu, with favourites such as salmon and pork belly satisfying diners. Just wanting a snack or a coffee? Choose from a tempting array of sweet treats that go great with a mocha or cappuchino for a visit during your lunch break.

 

Final word:

We all love a dinner date, but if you’re wanting to mix things up or surprise them the next morning with a special brunch, Hardware Societe hits the nail on the head. A laid-back café-cum-restaurant that lets the menu do the talking, you’ll find avid conversations and the smells of the kitchen engulf you in a comfort blanket for unique daytime dates in Melbourne.

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The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant

 

Tramstop 125

Corner of Normandy Road and Clarendon Street

South Melbourne

 

http://www.tramrestaurant.com.au/

 

Good place to take a date:

9/10

If Melbourne date restaurants were judged on novelty alone, The Colonial Tramcar would surely come top. Regardless of the obvious attraction that it’s a historic tram turned into a restaurant, the cosy ambience, great good and excellent service truly do run like a well-oiled machine. Feel like royalty as you embark on a first class culinary voyage that is sure to be one for the scrapbook. A great anniversary, birthday or first date experience, the staff give you a star treatment whilst the set menu is suitably sophisticated. All of this comes with a price tag though, which is why it’s a one off treat for you and your partner that you’ll want to make the most of!

 

Good place to meet for a first date:

9/10

Inject a little magic into your first date in Melbourne with a mystery dining tour on the Colonial Tramcar. Step into the wonderfully atmospheric carriage and get comfortable in the velvet booths for a vintage experience that they’ll never forget. Novelty comes at a price, but if you want to show that special someone your fun side it won’t disappoint. The conservation should never stop rolling as you take in the passing sights, the chintz surroundings and the delicious dishes. With a variety of lunch and evening sittings available throughout the week, all you have to do is pick the right time to ask them out on a date!

 

Colonial Tramcar Restaurant

Colonial Tramcar Restaurant

 

 

Average age:

You don’t have to remember the 1920s in order to visit this antique train. The period décor is brought into the future with sterling service and classic menu choices that make it popular amongst Melbournians and tourists alike. Get dressed up to the nines and enjoy the photo opportunities in the quirky cabins as you make your way thorough Melbourne; dress code is smart casual and so allows for plenty of flexibility.

 

Time of review:

As a star attraction of Melbourne, expect to find the Colonial Tramcar packed with passengers throughout the week. You’ll need to book your tickets to avoid disappointment! Sittings include lunch, early dinner and late dinner, giving you plenty of opportunity to organise a jam-packed day of fun for your Sydney date around the Tramcar experience!

 

Average cost of a meal and a drink:

Prices of the sittings vary considerably from $85 to $140, and whilst it might sound like a hefty figure to fork out, you get a lot of bonus for your buck. The set menu is a definite people pleaser, whilst the prices include drinks to quench your thirst along the way. Plus, how many Melbourne dates involve riding in 1920s tram car whilst tucking into a three course meal? Only the one, we can assure you!

 

Type of cuisine:

From steak to pannacotta, familiar favourites grace the menu of The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant to ensure that everyone’s a winner with this set menu. Sure, it might not be the most adventurous selection of dishes, but there’s only so much novelty that one restaurant can handle and the focus here is of course on the unique setting. Reliably good food and wine makes it worth the price.

 

Final word:

Take them on a whirlwind tour of Melbourne for a truly memorable date that will hopefully get the wheels rolling on your route to a relationship. Ideal for show stopping first dates or special occasions with your partner, it’s an eccentric dining experience that every Melbournian should try at least once.

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Osteria La Passione

 

486 Bridge Road

Richmond

Melbourne

 

http://www.osterialapassione.com.au/

 

Good place to take a date:

9/10

Passion is the buzzword at this quaint Italian restaurant, making it a suitable setting for Melbourne dating. A small, independent restaurant that changes its menu faster than a chameleon in a washing machine, the focus is fresh, market produce straight to your plate. If you’re the adventurous sort and don’t mind being surprised with whatever the chef fancies presenting in front of you, Osteria La Passion is an exciting option. You’ll feel like you’ve been greeted by an old friend as you’re seated in what looks more like a dining room than a restaurant; the host prides himself on a personal approach to cooking. So much so that you can even bring your favourite wine to accompany your dinner on most days of the week.

 

Good place to meet for a first date:

8/10

Carmine the host will soon make you feel comfortable on that nervous first date. Sitting in the amicable setting of his humble sized restaurant, you’ll feel quite at home as you embark upon the journey of getting to know one another. The express lunch is a safe bet if you aren’t quite sure how successful the meeting might be; plus at only $25 per head for two courses and a glass of vino you might even feel like paying for your date. A sophisticated twist on Italian cuisine, Carmine’s love of organic fresh food is infectious… is that a hint of romance we detect in the pasta? The only downside is that if you’ve happened to find the perfect match who’s palate is particularly fussy, you might have a bit of a nightmare with the get-what-your-given menu selection.

 

Osteria La Passione

Osteria La Passione

 

Average age:

Just like your own family, Carmine draws in a community of diners of all ages. From family meals to romantic occasions, his simple but special space is popular with Italian lovers throughout Melbourne. If you want fresh, authentic Italian cuisine, you won’t find more honest and quality cooking than at Osteria La Passion

 

Time of review:

Osteria La Passion is closed on Mondays and Sundays, then open for dinner throughout the week. With only 35 seats, you’ll find a pretty intimate atmosphere whenever you choose to visit, and a lively ambience during the express lunch service on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

 

Average cost of a meal and a drink:

The restaurant is now finally licensed to sell alcohol, though Carmine sticks to his flexible roots and allows BYO Tuesday to Thursday. The express lunch is very reasonable at $25, but the evening prices are considerably steeper at $55 for a 3 course degustation menu, $85 for 6. Nevertheless, you can trust that Carmine knows exactly where every ingredient comes from, with an unwavering control on quality that expresses itself elegantly through his daily hand-crafted menu.

 

Type of cuisine:

Although you’ll find the standard antipasti and pasta dishes throughout the week, Carmine experiments with Italian cooking with a focus that lies more on the flavours than the boundaries of the cuisine. So if you’re looking for a reliable pizzeria or classic favourites, you might be safer sticking with a chain restaurant. However open yourself up to new experiences and you’ll be sure to have an intriguing Melbourne date.

 

Final word:

If the words organic, fresh and adventurous turn you on, then Osteria La Passion is has a passionate buzz that is sure to energise your date in Melbourne. Irresistibly intimate with something new to offer on every visit, Carmine speaks the language of love through the medium of sublime Italian cooking.

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The European

 

161 Spring Street
Melbourne

 

http://www.theeuropean.com.au/

 

Good place to take a date:

9/10

How do you like your eggs in the morning? I like mine with caviar….never did the song go. But that’s just one of the delectable breakfast dishes available at The European. One of the most popular spots for breakfast in the city, The European makes a good alternative Melbourne date idea. Or even an impressive option for the morning after a successful date. Not that FreeAndSingle readers break the rules… The European is also ideal if you’re looking for a pre-theatre or after-show spot to chow down a few nipples and cocktails, giving it plenty of versatility for any occasion.

 

Good place to meet for a first date:

9/10

Be charmed by the oldy-worldy entrance of dominating wooden doors as you enter this restaurant, and the elegant simplicity of the décor evokes a subtly nostalgic feel of European bistros and cafes blended into one, modern take. On an evening, mood lighting descends an intimate curtain over the restaurant as the kitchen indulges in richer flavours typical of a bistro. Accompanied within the wine it’s quite divine. Meanwhile, outdoor dining on the rooftop makes is a great chance to soak up the positive energy of the sun for a (hopefully) positive Melbourne dating experience. Just make sure you bring your sun cream!

 

The European Melbourne

The European Melbourne

 

 

Average age:

Whilst you’ll inevitably find the odd pretentious European connoisseur here, the overall clientele is remarkably chilled out. Find a healthy mix of couples, groups and families on your visit to European; spaced over three floors the restaurant has plenty of room to breathe for relaxed Melbourne dates where you can hear yourself think. Whether you’re dressing up for the theatre or dragging your sleepy selves out of bed for a hangover brunch, you’ll soon melt into the crowd at The European.

 

Time of review:

The European is renowned for outstanding service even on the busiest of Friday nights. Whether sipping cocktails on the rooftop bar or tucking into a three course menu indoors, you’ll find attentive staff and a great atmosphere. The staff tends to be very accommodating if you have a surprise up your sleeve that you need a little help with pulling off, but book well ahead for weekends. Check out their events page for a quirky list of occasions including Bastille Day and Degustation evenings that make for a great excuse to organise the next date…

 

Average cost of a meal and a drink:

The European tows the line skilfully between expensive fine dining and affordable bistro eats. You’ll be so bowled over by the quality food that by the time the bill arrives you’ll wonder how the prices are so reasonable. The wine list pulls up the average with an imported cellar that ranges far and wide, but you can easily keep the price down on your visit to The European.

 

Type of cuisine:

From Spanish baked eggs for breakfast to creamy pies with crispy crusts, The European’s menu draws inspiration from all over the continent to create an eclectic menu that is sure to satisfy all. Nose to tail eating is a unique addition to the menu, with premium air dried beef bringing something special to all those meat lovers. Meanwhile you’ll find a breath of fresh air in the wine menu, and the chance to sample French, Spanish and Italian wines to accompany your one pot or paella.

Final word:

The European has managed to evoke an essence of the continent that captures the rural loveliness of Italy, the Parisian café couture of France and the casual dining of Spain all in one. Its focus on a diverse menu with simple presentation and décor allows you to create your own memories of Europe through the senses. As a result it’s a firm favourite for Melbourne dates.

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Eau de Vie

 

1 Malthouse Lane

Melbourne

 

http://eaudevie.com.au/Melbourne/

 

Good place to take a date:

9/10

Be seduced by the sephia tones as you and your date melt into a dimly lit corner for an intimate evening of sampling fine liqueurs and tasty food. Cocktails are the order of the day here, but the tapas gives Eau de Vie a more versatile edge with snacks and sharing plates offering something to line the stomach. And you’ll most likely need it. Nitrogen cocktails and lethally palatable potions make for a heady combination that will help romance thrive in an enchanting setting. The amicable staff specialise in making the occasion just right, and you’ll find plenty of other venues nearby if you want a fun Melbourne date on the town.

 

Good place to meet for a first date:

8/10

Let’s hope you and your date speak as easy as the speakeasy style that works a treat on this cosy little hub. If you don’t want to commit to a night of fine dining just yet, these potent cocktails will certainly loosen things up and get you both talking, if only about the mesmerising skills of the mixologists behind the bar. Meanwhile the toe-tapping sounds of jazz will lull you into a happy medium and ensure no panicked pauses in conversations as you work out what to say next. Want a fun environment that might offer the chance to meet someone new? Book you and a friend onto the cocktail degustation evening. At $150 a head you’ll be better off using FreeAndSingle to find someone new, but nonetheless it’s an extremely quirky evening with 5 courses and matching cocktails working Eau de Vie into a frenzy of flavours.

 

Eau De Vie Melbourne

Eau De Vie Melbourne

 

 

Average age:

The discreet entrance and boozy environment ensures an adult only space for Melbourne dating at Eau de Vie. Whilst the interior might have that 40s salon feel, the creative cocktail list pushes the boundaries to bring the Melbourne dating scene a fresh and original venue.

 

Time of review:

You’ll soon feel the world shrink into your own special bubble as you share cocktails in Eau de Vie. Whether packed with drinkers or a little quieter, the dim lighting and colourful bar creates a welcoming ambience that will suck you right in. No need to book, so a great option for last minute Melbourne dates if you’re looking for somewhere a bit different to surprise them.

 

Average cost of a meal and a drink:

If the strength of the drinks doesn’t knock your socks off, the price of the degustation menu might. Nevertheless, Eau de Vie is a premium addition to Melbourne bar scene and you get what you pay for. No moonshine spirits to match the speakeasy décor here, only the best for these addictive apparitions on the cocktail menu. Expect to pay $20 for something off the bar menu if you just fancy nibbles with a few drinks.

 

Type of cuisine:

The bar snack menu might be very impressive but it’s the whiff of strong blues and soft flavours that is having us saying cheese. If cocktails don’t quite rock your world, you’ll love a late sitting of wine and cheese at Eau de Vie after a busy week at work.

 

Final word:

Break away from the standard date routine and let cocktails lead the way to an enlightened Melbourne dating experience. An eccentric idea for an evening with that lucky person, you won’t feel out of place popping in for one drink or talking into the early hours depending on how successful the meeting is.

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Añada

 

197 Gertrude Street

Fitzroy
Melbourne

 

http://anada.com.au/

 

Good place to take a date:

7/10

Añada brings the colour, vibrancy and flavours of Southern Spain to a little hub of food heaven in Fitzroy, Melbourne. Dainty but delicious tapas dishes take you on a tour of the region as you graze on classics such as ceviche and pork belly. As lively as Gertrude Street in which it is situated, don’t come here for a quiet and intimate occasion; you’ll find yourself shoulder to shoulder with another couple or group in this busy restaurant, but that’s all part of the fun. Informal, loud and proud, Añada is the sort of place where you can turn up feeling wound up from a busy week at work and leave feeling like you’ve let your hair down in the space of a few dishes and half a bottle of wine. This makes it an incredibly relaxed spot for Melbourne dating… if you’re into that sort of thing.

 

Good place to meet for a first date:

9/10

The great thing about a date at Añada is that in the blur of food, wine, people watching and music, you’ll be astonished when you notice the time. The busy atmosphere makes moments slip away in earnest conversation and a steady stream of delicious tapas dishes – not punctuated by the tide of the standard three course dinner. The cosy intimacy of the restaurant will soon break down the boundaries, whether knocking knees at the bar or huddled in close to hear one another on one of the big tables, it’s a great excuse for whispering in their ear.

 

Anada Melbourne

Anada Melbourne

 

Average age:

The hard of hearing might struggle with a visit to Añada. The cramped and noisy interior doesn’t really fly with older visitors, but it’s a happening place for the younger scene and its popularity proves that there’s method in the madness. Whether fleeting here from work or glammed up for a night out, you’ll never feel out of place in Añada.

 

Time of review:

Añada opens on evenings through the week and all day Sunday, and such a small establishment ensures the place never goes quiet. Walk ins are welcome although you might have a short wait, but the irresistible range of tapas and wine makes it worthwhile. Work your way down Gertrude Street’s bar either before or after your dinner to span the evening out if your Melbourne date is a sizzling success.

 

Average cost of a meal and a drink:

Although you might be a little surprised by the price tag of these bite size dishes, the atmosphere and flavours create a well-rounded package for first dates and regular dates. The menu might look very reasonable with many choices coming in at $4, but unless you have the stomach of a bird you’ll find you need rather a lot of helpings to beat your hunger.

 

Type of cuisine:

There’s no doubt about it, if you want finger-licking tapas you needn’t look any further. Añada claims to model itself on peasant food of Southern Spain, but if mussels almonds and pomegranates graced the plates of these paupers then who needs riches? Perhaps it’s simply the portion sizes that they emulate…

 

Final word:

Añada has an infectiously happy and bustling vibe that is sure to perk up the mood on your Melbourne date. Recreating some of that Spanish passion through the medium of food and wine, let’s hope some of it rubs off on your evening with that special someone.

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