Charcoal Restuarant

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The Melbourne Building has been a feature of Civic for almost a century. And for most of that time, so has Charcoal Restaurant


Modern, trendy bars and fusion restaurants with the latest foodie offerings surround it, but Charcoal Restaurant is a far cry from most of its neighbours in the Melbourne Building. It’s an old-fashioned restaurant, so don’t expect to find any emerging food trends on the menu and if you’re vegetarian or vegan, cross this one off your ‘to eat’ list.

You’d be forgiven if you thought you’d stepped back in time when you enter the restaurant. The menu, interior and style have remained pretty much the same since it opened in 1962.

Admittedly, we weren’t planning on dinner at Charcoal Restaurant. But we stopped in front of the restaurant and contemplated treating ourselves to a juicy steak. Originally intending to spend $50 for our Tuesday night dinner, we decided we didn’t want to fork out $150 and we continued walking. But when nothing jumped out at us, we figured we’d treat ourselves. We returned to Charcoal Restaurant to try our luck securing a table without a reservation.

Thankfully they could accommodate us and we were pleased to see a free table at the far end of the restaurant. For a Tuesday night, I’m surprised to walk into a near-full restaurant, but it’s not just suited professionals meeting and discussing business over a steak and a glass of wine. It’s couples and groups of friends of all ages who are happily chatting and escaping the cold weather to enjoy a cozy dinner in a restaurant with authentic character.

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