Higher Ground Melbourne

4.4
264 reviews
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$41 to $100
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Modern Australian
Top tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for Anniversaries
Higher Ground, opened in 2016, is the latest cafe from the team behind The Kettle Black and Top Paddock. Sitting empty and unused for 30 years since the 1980's, it has now been lovingly restored and rebuilt over 2 years.

Not quite a cafe, not quite a restaurant, we offer innovative fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner, alongside specialty coffee and a wine list featuring varietals ranging from South Africa to Spain.

On the corner of Little Bourke Street and Spencer Street, only a stones throw away from Southern Cross station and Tram stop 120 and 96, sits a dining experience quite unlike any other.
What 264 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
Food
4.4
Service
4.6
Ambience
4.2
Value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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S
1 review
Dined on 11 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Calm and low lighting atmosphere suitable for people who wants a moody dinner scene.

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S
1 review
Dined on 9 May 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

It was great to visit this place in the evenings when it is not as hectic. We have been here for dinner before so was looking at showing our Sydney friends.
Most of us ordered the pork belly and unfortunately it was slightly over done.
The hot chocolate also didn't have the chocolate punch I was expecting.
Brunch and lunch is definitely better and more polished.

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SN
1 review
Dined on 1 May 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Thank you for your hospitality. We all had a great time, the coffee was good and the meals were delicious. Our entire group enjoyed the food and the service was great.

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G
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 30 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

Need more attention to each table.

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RS
1 review
Dined on 26 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Perfect date night. Excellent service and food :-)

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DE
Melbourne / VIC
5 reviews
Dined on 6 April 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 5Ambience 5

The service was good as always but unfortunately the food was so so this time. I ordered paella and it was very plain. My husband had pork but he said it was pretty chewy. However, this is one of my favorite restaurants and I will come back for sure.

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KL
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 5 April 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Pretty expensive for a brunch place. Food was good. Coffee was good. Needed more lighting because I can't take a good photo of my food

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MB
1 review
Dined on 30 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

An absolutely enjoyable fine dining experience. The chef’s choice shared plate dinner menu was a fantastic option to share with friends in a comfortably decorated environment. All staff were friendly & capably attended to our needs.

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JH
London
1 review
Dined on 28 March 2019
Overall 3Food 2Service 4Ambience 4

Dinner with my wife during a holiday to Aus from the UK. We are used to European standards of quality and invention, which was absent in this meal. we both chopse the 7 course fixed menu. Each course was served on a single plate, to be shared. The amount of food was insufficient for 1 person., let alone 2. many of the course were just an assembly of ingredients, barely any cooking flair. prawns were grilled and had very little edible content. The main course was belly pork, adequately cooked only sufficient for 1 person. we did not have dessert which was extra.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 23 March 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 3

great place and food
but few guests for saturday night, that’s why the atmosphere was quite cold and the venue looked empty
very nice staff

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OT
1 review
Dined on 14 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Overall throughly impressed with our meals, the venue and our server. She was lovely, attentive but not in your face. Highly recommend this place and the duck parfait was the stand out dish for us.

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DE
Melbourne / VIC
6 reviews
Dined on 14 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had a great time. Thank you.

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B
1 review
Dined on 1 March 2019
Overall 2Food 3Service 1Ambience 4

Nice environment. The meals were okay, a little overpriced, service was horrible, not friendly at all. Will not recommend to anyone.

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DT
1 review
Dined on 22 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Higher grounds is a must for anyone looking to experience what Melbourne has to offer in terms of fine dining !!

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OT
Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined on 22 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Very nice food and service. Very reasonable price, will definitely come back

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E
1 review
Dined on 22 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Higher Ground is a divine experience. Upon entry into such a well maintained atmosphere we were greeted by such charming staff. They were polite, funny when appropriate, and overall added to our experience being very enjoyable. The selection of beverages was mainly focused on the Melbourne area but what we tasted certainly complimented the meal. Our food was the best by far. I have to say the most memorable thing was the potatoes served basically with cream and butter. Yum. I would highly recommend visiting Higher Ground, if not for the food, then for the friendly staff and a casual but fancy drink. Will visit again soon!

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D
1 review
Dined on 8 February 2019
Overall 2Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

The chef's menu cannot combine with the a la carte order. The restaurant should tell the customer about this restriction when ordering of food rather than 20 minutes later when the chef saw the order. The portion of the main course is way too small. The lemon, lime and bitter drinks had not been mixed properly so I had to ask for a spoon to stir each glass of lemon, lime and bitter myself. The fish was cooked very nicely, but the lamb shoulder was very salty. The 12-hour slow cooked oyster blade tasted very chewy and reminded me of beef jerky. I was quite embarrass by the food quality in front of my friends. I told them that I'll take them to a better restaurant next time they are in town.

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JA
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 1 February 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

Recommend for dinner as it is a place to sit and take time in.
Acoustics are not great. Ambience is lovely, fit out is fabulous as is the food and the service.
Been many times and will continue to visit.

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DE
Melbourne / VIC
6 reviews
Dined on 19 January 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

It was great all in all and we enjoyed dinner very much. However, I ordered fish for main and it was a bit hard to eat with knife and fork because it wasn’t deboned. And I wish it were a bit less costly. That being said, I loved everything I had and I already booked another dinner in a couple of month and I’m looking forward to it. And the service was great. Thank you.

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C
1 review
Dined on 18 January 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great date night place! Champange on the house for my birthday too!
Food was delicious and the staff were very attentive. Thanks

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OT
Tokyo
4 reviews
Dined on 18 January 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Very nice dishes. Great survive. Really enjoyed.

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B
1 review
Dined on 10 January 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Great but too noisy. Hard to hear friends in conversation, so we didn’t dwell. A pity. Great food and decor.

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OT
Melbourne / VIC
4 reviews
Dined on 4 January 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Lamb shoulder chop is delicious! It’s crispy on the outside and tender inside. Full of flavour and paired with fresh and preserved veggie. It’s so nice that I even licked the bone.

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OT
Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined on 8 December 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The place was absolutely amazing! They were doing the Christmas set menu, and the food was next level. One of the best ambience I’ve ever been to. Highly recommend it!

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JG
1 review
Dined on 24 November 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Easy to book a table. Great staff and service. Very impressed all round. We would definitely recommend Higher Ground. Plus the food is amazing .

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AC
1 review
Dined on 19 November 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Second time back and standards have not dropped. Great food and amazing presentation. Great balance of flavours.

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DR
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 16 November 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 4Ambience 5

Great find in the grungy end of CBD. Bold combinations like white bait and salami shouldn’t work but do. Full credit to the chef. Don’t forget to ask for wines not on the menu.

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D
1 review
Dined on 16 November 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Amazing building, used to be an old power station. Very tastefully renovated & the food matches the experience!

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OT
1 review
Dined on 16 November 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Really appreciated some changes made to meal to make it diary free.

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S
1 review
Dined on 8 November 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

High ceiling, creating fun loud atmosphere. Good for groups of 4 or so - will be tough to hear each other at a bigger table. Food was creative, and delicious - loved it here, will be back soon

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B
1 review
Dined on 8 November 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Compliments to the chef for the good, creative and value-for-money food! Also like the location and decor of the restaurant and the warm and very friendly staff. I would go back to this restaurant in a heart beat should I visit Melbourne again!

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LF
1 review
Dined on 18 October 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Higher Ground was so good we didn’t eat anywhere else during our three day business trip to Melbourne - 2 x breakfast (could have eaten our way through the menu) and 1 x relaxed business dinner.

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f
1 review
Dined on 12 October 2018
Overall 1Food 1Service 1Ambience 4

As I arrived at the restaurant I informed my guest that I had the greatest breakfast of all times a couple days before and indeed this had to be one of the top cafes in the world. Being from New York I had been so impressed.
From then on it was a DISASTER
They might do breakfast and lunch but give up dinner or any thoughts of it
The duck 2 pieces badly cooked floating in a sea of bread sauce coconut and corn salad that didnt work
and for my guest it was inedible You take the prize as the worst meal I have had on this Australian visit
AND at $35 a pop REALLY felt ripped off
How you can not manage a proper and easy dinner menu with all of your combined experiences is a travesty
You did not take me to a Higher Ground !

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H
1 review
Dined on 6 October 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 5Ambience 4

The lamb tongue was good and the sauce and little veggies on the side was good. However, the corn and sauce that came with the duck confit (well I wouldn't say it's confit at all) was weired. Oyster blade was tasteless. Duck parfait was tasteless and wouldn't help with fair amount of nuts sprinkled on top. Wasn't told that we would be charged for the dinner bread. $5.5 for a few pieces? Sparkling water $5 per jug? Even more expensive than the sparkling water at Heston in Crown...won't be back...

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GW
1 review
Dined on 4 October 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

As usual a great evening with friends at Higher Ground. HG has become my go to restaurant when dining with friends from out of town. Food is fresh, tasty, interesting and well presented. Staff are very efficient, friendly and knowledgeable about the menu. Can’t go wrong with this place. Love the building and the restaurant name. Easy to get to.

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SQ
1 review
Dined on 22 September 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent food and service. My partner and I were treated with a very tasty three course meal. The chargrilled brussels sprouts with egg as well as the salmon for starter, market fish (barrimundi) as well as the osyster blade fillet and two delicious desserts. The staff were very friendly and accommodating. Would highly reccomend to others.

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CS
1 review
Dined on 22 September 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

A totally relaxing space - lighting and ambiance warm and welcoming. Although a bit noisy it never overwhelms one. Service is always spot on and very open, efficient and friendly. Great for a simple get together for two and also super venue for large groups. And of course the food is great and varied - possibly a few more items on the menu would prove enticing. The lighting highlight of the kitchen with the active and effervescent chefs is great to watch. A top spot day and night.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 20 September 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 2Ambience 5

Vegan options were very limited - restaurant was not flexible (when a colleague wanted to remove egg from the salad, she was not asked if she wanted to replace it with anything. She was charged for the egg even though it was absent from her dish.

Mushroom toastie was dripping in oil.

Coffee was expensive.

Waitress was unfriendly and not accommodating.

We had to wait a long time for water bottle refills.

No split bills made it difficult.

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W
1 review
Dined on 15 September 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic service, great food, and a beautiful restaurant. Had previously come for brunch and was impressed, but glad I came back for dinner as well.

Definitely a must if you are in the area or even the city.

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SL
1 review
Dined on 13 September 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic service and food! 5 Stars all the way! Highly recommend.

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