Melbourne’s best Halal Restaurants & Food Shops
Food is the best connecting device. And I want Muslims to integrate in Melbourne. When they meet up with friends, they have a heaps of places to go to. When you are having lunch with your colleagues from office, you don`t shy away because you can`t recommend a good halal restaurant, when you are with your family you have more reasons to dine out, when you have children, you can take them out to festivals knowing you can find halal food there. I want all of us to have the best of Melbourne and I am going to put in hard work to make all that possible for you.
My early days in Melbourne were spent exploring all the delicacies this beautiful city has to offer. But I ran into an obstacle straight away. There was only a limited number of halal food options that I could find online. Platforms like Google, Zomato and Ubereats did not fare well. So, the only choice I was off like most of the Muslims here in Australia that is to go and ask restaurants personally.
This becomes a daunting barrier and most just reserve themselves to only a few places that they go out to every time. Us, being a group of Pakistani students here in Melbourne had one go-to place: Maccas (McDonald`s). I`m sure you had times when you and your friends spent so much time deciding on where to eat and then end up at your usual place. I can`t stress how frustrating that got.
I waited and waited for someone to do something about it and in my desperation, I decided to do something about it myself. Learning from the Entrepreneurship school at Victoria University, I decided to start small. Created a Facebook group ‘Best Halal Food Places in Melbourne’ and started posting all the good stuff that I could find. I started adding friends into the group and people really liked the idea. It started to grow and grow and I loved that my efforts are really helping our community out.
Their encouragement was so overwhelming that I decided to do more. Friends joined in to help me build a website for list of Halal Restaurants in Melbourne and we are currently building Mobile Application as well.
In this past 1 year, we have found delicious Italian Pasta and Pizza on Lygon Street, mouth-watering African Mandi on Flemington, hippie and juicy burgers in Melbourne CBD, spicy Pakistani Chicken Karahi on Sydney Road, Indian Dosa`s in Footscray, Chinese dumplings in city that are to die for and that is just the beginning. Best part is, all of them are Halal.
In my quest, I found one of the most delicious halal food around Melbourne and here is what I find the best.
The Best Burgers
Try any one of their burgers and at first sight you`ll know why they are the best. The lush lettuce in slightly buttered buns and that juicy beef patty sandwiched in between are out of this world. The best part are the last bites where all the sauce and juiciness just concentrates and you get a punch of flavour that leaves you begging for more.
The Best Pizza
We stumbled upon this amazing place and I must confess, the Peri-Peri Pizza was by far the best I had. It`s crust had a perfect bite to it, the base sauce was packed full of flavour and I just couldn’t get enough. I had one of the best pasta there as well but Pizza takes the lead. The restaurant was fancy, and the staff was really cool so 5 stars to them.
The Best Pasta
The Cardinale Chicken Pasta is creamy and tasty. I love a perfectly cooked al`dente penne pasta and that moist chicken goes so well with it. It`s an Italian family owned restaurant and it’s got written Ferrari written all over it. From pictures, merchandise, an actual replica model of F1 Ferrari car hanging from the roof to a collection of miniature Ferrari toys. The owner told us that every year Ferrari`s top level management visits this restaurant.
The Best Indian Food
If you want to experience the rich spices and the aromatic flavours of Indian cuisine, Aangan is just the place. Whether it be Butter Chicken, Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Masala or Chicken Tikka with those toasty Naan and a must have experience. I guarantee you it will be finger licking good. It is expensive but if you are in Melbourne to try on of the best, then this will certainly deliver.
The Best Biryani
This is a tough competition Sweets n Spice and Dosa Hut. The chicken 65 Biryani from Dosa Hut is a unique Biryani experience with those lightly and feathery rice with the power-packed flavour of chicken 65 underneath. The contrast of the two things will either make you go ‘WoW’. But for traditional authentic Biryani experience, Sweets n Spice takes the prize. You will find that the flavour is not just in the chicken but in the rice as well and that is the key to the Best Biryani. The moment they serve it before you, its Aroma will capture your attention.
The Best Kebab
This place is always busy especially if you go at night during weekends. It meaty, its fulfilling and it’s just the best thing to grab when you don’t have much time. The sweet chilli and garlic sauce combo and if you are feeling more adventurous add some BBQ sauce as well. If you want to go even more extreme then try out their Halal Snack Pack (HSP). Sauces on top of succulent meat on top of cheesy cheese on top of stacked chips. No wonder it`s called an Artery Blocker in Adelaide. Trust me, if you haven`t tried it, you are missing out.
The Best Malaysian/Indonesian
It`s very hard to decide which one is the best Malaysian/Indonesian Restaurant. There is a tie between Pappa Rich and Mamak. Both have equally flavoursome authentic food. Nasi Lemak and Nasi Goreng are one of the best you`ll find in Australia.
The Best African
Nothing speaks African like a good Mandi. Racecourse Road in Flemington is fast becoming a central hub for absolutely beautiful and tasty mandi. Whether it be tender chicken or perfectly made lamb shank with saffron rice and crunchy nuts dressing on top. The whole ambiance is reflecting that culture.
The Best Arabic
Melbourne is full of various Arabic cuisine and you`ll find heaps of Lebanese restaurants around the city. The one that I find it to be the best in Melbourne is Almina. Their chicken and lamb platter looks amazing and tastes even better.
The Best Mexican
Burrito Bowl from Guzman y Gomez gives you a perfect introduction to Mexican food. Their chicken is halal. With chopped and pickled vegetables, beautifully made chicken, fiery sauces and crispy nachos gives it an irresistible oomph. If want something cracking, then those crispy tacos might just be the thing.
The Best Asian
OMG! Their chicken and prawn dumplings with chilli and vinegar sauce is bang-on. It is a fine dining restaurant and you can`t expect really high prices but believe me those dumplings are worth every cent. Even as I am writing this, I am thinking of going back there again.
The Best Thai
Though there are not many Thai places around Melbourne but Ayothaya is just on another level. Their Chilli Fried Rice with Chicken is simply superb, and a touch of lemon zest gives it an extraordinary twist.
The Best Cheap Meal
Want Cheap Meal? It doesn`t get any better than an ‘All you can Eat’ Indian Vegetarian Food for just $6.50. Try out their butter Naan with spicy lentils and vegetable curries. Eat some more. And then more. It`s all you can eat. Everything has a unique flavour to it. Now they have multiple outlets across the city.
The Best Take-Away
If you just feel like getting a take-away then let me tell you that there are many McDonald`s, Hungry Jacks, KFC`s that are halal. They are all spread throughout the city. But I am guessing you haven’t tried Red Rooster. Their speciality is roasted chicken and there are halal branches like the one in Sunshine. Try their salty roasted chicken. Having said that, after years in Melbourne, I must confess, McDonald`s takes the lead. Nothing gets better than a BigMac in a large meal.
The Best Dessert
Pancakes are amazing and nobody makes it better here than Pancake Parlour. Their Strawberry Pancake are so good, I can literally have them everyday. Those fresh strawberries and fluffy pancakes delights my heart. On top of that, their winter parlour deal drops the price of the pancakes with the drop of temperature of the city. You can get a pancake as low as $5. If you feel like patisserie, then Brunetti`s is the perfect place.
These places that I find will give you an experience of Melbourne that you won`t forget. My halal food adventures will continue and the more places I find, the more I`ll share with you.