The Essence @ Melbourne Marriott Hotel

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144 reviews
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$40 and under
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Top tags:

Pre/post Theatre
The Essence on Exhibition Restaurant is the most unique dining experience in Melbourne CBD. Our Executive Chef's menu effortlessly blends casual elegance and modern diversity, successfully reflecting Melbourne’s multicultural sophistication.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Australian, Breakfast, Afternoon Tea
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Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday 6:30AM - 10:30AM
Saturday - Sunday 6:30AM - 11:00AM

Monday - Friday 12:00PM - 2:30PM
Saturday - Sunday 12:00PM - 3:00PM

Sunday - Thursday 6:00PM - 9:30PM
Friday - Saturday 6:00PM - 10:00PM
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Phone number
(03) 9662 3900
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Payment Options:
AMEX, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Smart Casual
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Executive Chef
Karan Negi
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Private Party Facilities
The event spaces here at the Melbourne Marriott Hotel each boast their own individual character and design. From the elegant trimmings of the
Yarra Suite to the sophisticated and intimate Moojerr boardroom, you’re sure to find a unique space for your meeting or event.
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Private Party Contact
Hannah White: (03) 9662 3900 ext. 1178
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Our flexible packages include all the essential elements required for your successful event. We provide the small extras that make a big difference. Whether it be a private party, gala, conference or board meeting, you can rest assured knowing your food and beverage is being taken care of.

Our locally sourced menu has been designed to allow you to tailor your menu based on your event requirements, to include the following options: continental breakfast, morning and afternoon tea, a daily buffet, canapés, sandwiches and our signature Country Bred baguette platters.
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Cross street
Little Lonsdale Street
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Parking Details
Valet parking, fee: 50 AUD daily
Casual Parking : 25 AUD for 3 hours
Secure onsite parking in indoor lot, valet service only.
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Public Transit
Parliament Station is the nearest train station located 300 meters from the hotel
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, High Tea, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 144 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.1based on recent ratings
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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1 review
Dined on 2 September 2019

I brought my partner here for his birthday on Monday September 2nd. I specified that it would be for a birthday and the staff and set up a nice table decorated for us.
One of the waitresses sat us and gave us drink menus. We ordered the seafood stack therefore this was put through straight away- however no one came back to take our drinks order until when asked when the food arrived at the table.. The restaurant had only around 2 tables on the night with 4 or 5 staff on.. we did not know what they were doing the whole time.
The waitress brought over a drink for my partner and had another pint of beer on her tray for another table. as she placed this down the pint of beer spilled all over my partners suit, the table, the bottom plate of food, the floor and a bit on me. She was very very apologetic but only handed us a few cloth napkins to clean up and she used these to wipe the table and the floor- not to an appropriate standard. I understand she was flustered and embarrassed, but we weren't offered another plate of food or a new table. I am not one to demand anything or complain but this should have been the minimum offer. She did not pass on this incident to any of the other staff or a manager, so we sat there with soggy food, wet clothes and a wet table and hazardous floor. No drinks, discounts, desserts or anything was offered in compensation for this problem. I was very disappointed and we will not recommend this place to anyone, especially in hoping for a quality dining experience for my partner's birthday.

New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on 1 September 2019

We were a party of 6 having breakfast for Fathers Day. The booking process through Open Table was simple and quick. We were greeted with a welcoming smile by the concierge however it all went downhill from there. Our table was fine with a nice view of the streetscape and large enough to accommodate all of us plus a high chair. Sadly however the service was very poor. Organised chaos would sum it up. We kept having to chase wait staff for coffee and water, we placed our orders and then we waited. And we waited. And we waited. The restaurant was only half full and it seemed that staff numbers were plentiful so we were not sure what the delay was. We all ordered breakfast dishes so were a little perplexed about why our order took so long. Finally our meals arrived, the 3 egg omelette was very small in comparison to what you are served at other Melbourne cafes - if there were 3 eggs in that omelette then I’ll go he. The “inner city” breakfast was more substantial but lacking taste, and the protein breakfasts were missing the avocado as the hotel restaurant had run out. What sort of restaurant runs out of avocado at 10am on a Sunday!? Overall a disappointing experience and we won’t be returning.

1 review
Dined on 30 August 2019

We had a lovely evening with great food and service.

1 review
Dined on 30 August 2019

I received my high tea 20 minutes before my friends and didn’t want to eat too much before they got theirs. I had to ask someone how much longer I had to wait and by the time it came to my table it was cold. Disappointed since I called to make sure everything would be prepared for my table the days before.

1 review
Dined on 28 August 2019

The chicken in the set menu was terrible. But the desserts were delicious!

Very cold in the restaurant. Sat near 2 Windows and was freezing!

1 review
Dined on 18 August 2019

Yes I would recommend this restaurant to anyone. They catered to my gluten free request and the food was delicious and service excellent.

1 review
Dined on 17 August 2019

We had a wonderful Seafood meal in a dynamic location and enjoyed the entire experience. We are inspired to go there again when we next go to nearby a theatre or concert. Thank you Open Table.

Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on 13 August 2019

The high tea was really good. Staff and service was very good.

Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 1 August 2019

We had the seafood platter for 2 with voucher so was great value, without the voucher, probably not.

Brisbane / QLD
4 reviews
Dined on 24 July 2019

Usually come here for our pre-theatre dinner for shows in vicinity. This time the menu had changed and although the choices were fine, there seemed to be some confusion generally. The menu had one only starter which is apparently part of a four course menu. The menu itself had no price anywhere and only when we asked were we told the prices, for a 3 course or 4 course menu. We ordered the starter but alas at 5.30pm they were out of that starter and no alternative was available. But then we were able to order one entree to share, followed by 2 mains----fish was delicious----and then we shared a sweet. The waitress told us this would now be considered as a 2 course meal! The sweet we ordered was delicious but we were at pains to find the apple taste, shreds, whatever. When we mentioned to the waiter that there didn't seem to be much apple in the sweet, he looked at his computer and realised that although the correct order had been put into the computer, we had actually received the wrong sweet! We then ordered 2 espresso coffees and he said these would now be on the house for which we were grateful. However, when we went to pay there was again a few issues and in the end we realised we had paid for the coffees which were macchiata not espresso as ordered. We hadn't wanted to to say anything because they were supposed to be "on the house". Although there were some strange happenings here, the food itself, the personnel and the general ambiance were great and we would return.

1 review
Dined on 19 July 2019

Wonderful service. Food amazing and the staff so attentive and friendly.
A big “wrap” for our young waitress looking after our table (apologies l cannot remember her name)!
Nothing to fault!
Highly recommend!

1 review
Dined on 19 July 2019

Not enough service staff. Unable to serve beverages and did not ask if any other order / food was wanted.
Walked out to reception area and waited as no service staff assisted us

New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on 16 July 2019

Ok for a meal before the show. Had been looking forward to the ‘fresh chocolate soft centre’ cake but told they had run out - so in other words it wasn’t ‘fresh’ they were frozen - little bit disappointing

1 review
Dined on 13 July 2019

I bought a seafoof voucher for four people, which included a stack of fish, chips, calamari, soft shell crab, salmon, oysters, mussels - a range of seafood with 2 bottles of brut sparkling. The food was nicely cooked and service was amazing. Waitress took our photo, pour our drinks and was really kind. Expected from a hotel restaurant! Would like to try high tea next time.

1 review
Dined on 12 July 2019

My wife ordered duck and it was so dried out she had to send it back ( that takes a lot for my wife). I asked for lemon wedges and was served chip wedges, which I didn’t order. They replaced my wives dinner with the fish, which was very nice, but by then I had finished my dinner. We asked for extra water several times, but this was not brought. We were getting so frustrated we asked to see the manager, who acknowledged our problems, but was not prepared to offer something to make up for a spoilt night. We would have been happy if he would have said for example “desert is on us” ....just something to make a bad experience a little better.

1 review
Dined on 8 July 2019

We really enjoyed our Hi Tea experience at The Essence. The food and service were both very good.

1 review
Dined on 7 July 2019


6 reviews
Dined on 6 July 2019

Food is good but service is very poor - this restaurant has a clear issue of management of their operation and communication with open table and between the waiters and the kitchen - understand that your main course could take very very very long (happened to me for lunch and for breakfast while I stayed in the Marriott hotel)

I made a reservation through open table for dinner in 6 of July and when I reached the restaurant they said they could not take my reservation because of Christmas on July event so I was offered to go to the bar of the hotel with a menu limited in options and not unexpected my main course took forever having to ask the waitress where was my food several times

Frankfurt Area
1 review
Dined on 4 July 2019

The food quality of the seafood stacker wasn’t great, especially on the hot food side. Throughout the whole dinner, our server didn’t even bother asking us how the dinner was even though she walked by our table a few times.

1 review
Dined on 3 July 2019

The Essence was a delightful break and even my grumpy husband enjoyed the High Tea provided I drank his bubbly and bought him a beer as an alternative. Normally he is an extremely hard man to please but he tried everything offered, which is quite unique for him. But more importantly I booked the High Tea FOR ME! and enjoyed it immensely!

1 review
Dined on 28 June 2019

Good food, service was a bit slow but good.
Lovely ombiance

1 review
Dined on 23 June 2019

Enjoyed every minute of it. We were made very welcome and could not fault the service at all..

1 review
Dined on 22 June 2019

We have been here twice now and the food and service is very good.

1 review
Dined on 18 June 2019

Had a Seafood Stack which looked amazing, but lacked the crab, which was featured in the photo we saw on Travelzoo when we booked. The fish, salmon, calamari and prawns were amazing, but the oysters and mussels lacked taste.

1 review
Dined on 16 June 2019

Lovely thanks. Would have been better with more small sandwiches and the hot stuff actually hot.

1 review
Dined on 14 June 2019

Meal size was disappointing. However, the service was very good.

1 review
Dined on 14 June 2019

We thoroughly enjoyed our evening. We were served promptly and cheerfully. We felt we got very good value for our money. We would like to do it again.

1 review
Dined on 10 June 2019

We went for the buffet breakfast and was a little underwhelmed by the voices on offer but the egg station saved the day with some beautiful omelettes and well poached eggs.

Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined on 8 June 2019

We had the Travelzoo voucher so it was a set menu. Calamari were excellent. Barramundi was good. The ravioli was ok. The service was very good but unfortunately there is zero atmosphere.

Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 3 June 2019

This is our fourth time at this restaurant and I feel sure we will return again. The quality of our meal was excellent and the service by staff was exceptional. Would definitely recommend to our family and friends

1 review
Dined on 1 June 2019

We took advantage of a deal through Travel Zoo which offered a 3 course meal, cocktail and glass of wine. Both our meals were beautiful. This is the second time we have been here and both experiences were excellent.

1 review
Dined on 30 May 2019

Was a lovely experience to treat a friend here in Melbourne

1 review
Dined on 30 May 2019

I had a group of 4 for a 90th bitrthday. We all had a great time. Everything was fabulous, service outstanding. Food was great - perhaps one small critique - maybe a little more savoury on the plate. Other than that, it was a terrific day and thanks for making it special

1 review
Dined on 26 May 2019

We had a wonderful evening at the Marriott. The services was amazing, Satinder served us and he made sure that everything about the evening was perfect for us. He was very professional. The food was delicious and so where the drinks. I would definitely go back there again.

1 review
Dined on 19 May 2019

We thoroughly enjoyed our wine and seafood. The seafood had a good variety and beautifully presented. We also added a dessert and coffee. The service was outstanding and overall a very enjoyable night.

1 review
Dined on 19 May 2019

There was no atmosphere to the high tea... the waitresses appeared like they didn’t enjoy their job and only came when we waved at them for help... the food was average and the place extremely noisy..,

1 review
Dined on 18 May 2019

Had lunch here before a show. Fast and friendly service and delicious food. Close to theatres.

1 review
Dined on 16 May 2019

The food was amazing. The wine excellent. The service was second to none. Would I recommend this restaurant .....Already have to my friends. can't rave enough about the place.

1 review
Dined on 12 May 2019

I have already contacted you about the most disappointing encounter made through you. Too long to go through again. Do you keep records??

1 review
Dined on 11 May 2019

We visited here prior to the theatre, and it was delicious.
The staff were friendly and helpful, and our server was willing to provide recommendations.
All entrees and mains were exceptionally good, presented well and cooked perfectly.
Dessert was nice, but compared with the mains, were slightly disappointing.
Would certainly recommend for next time.