Never doubt the quality of most of Melbourne's restaurants; if one doesn't win awards, then it usually won't survive. The deeply entrenched fine-dining scene of Australia's 'cuisine capital' has overflowed from busy streets into atmospheric lanes that hide world-class chefs confidently pushing boundaries. Gingerboy, 27-29 Crossley St, gingerboy.com.au From the red-neon sign drawing you down the alley to the glamorous backlit cocktail bar at the entrance, Gingerboy (below) has a real 'wow' factor. The food is equally impressive. Sample a range of Southeast Asian hawker-inspired dishes such as aromatic son-in-law eggs or the spectacular baby snapper with hot and sour salad. This second restaurant for lauded chef Teague Ezard (his other is Ezard and he also helped with the menu at Causeway Bay's Opia) is a casual yet fast and fabulous launch pad for a night out. Seamstress, 113 Lonsdale St, seamstress.com.au Spend an evening experiencing the different levels of Seamstress. Named for the former tailor shop originally located in the more than 100-year-old building, the d?cor is eclectic. Seamstress offers Cantonese dishes with a distinct Australian slant, set among trendy surroundings coloured by bolts of cloth. Begin with pre-dinner drinks at the cocktail bar on the top floor before descending to the restaurant on the middle level. Finish the night at the casual bar lounge in the basement. Maha Bar and Grill, 21 Bond St, mahabg.com.au Looking for something that sticks to your ribs and lasts through the following day's shopping spree? Sample Melbourne's own brand of Middle Eastern cuisine. Maha is a place to enjoy a banquet influenced by chef Shane Delia's Arabic roots and refined by his French training. Mood lighting and lavish use of warm woods transport you into the Arabian Nights, especially after a few of the well-matched wines. Cumulus Inc, 45 Flinders Lane, cumulusinc.com.au Visible through large street-facing windows but with a blink-and-you'll-miss it entrance, Cumulus Inc is a former gallery now offering a fresh, airy dining space. The 'no bookings' policy may mean a short wait but it's worth it. Sample fresh oysters, a selection from the charcuterie or the artfully arranged slow-cooked pork loin, five perfect slices aligned on a rectangular plate. MoVida Bar de Tapas Y Vino, 1 Hosier Lane, movida.com.au Down a bluestone-cobbled lane leading to Federation Square and opposite a wall of regularly photographed graffiti, you enter the domain of Barcelona-born chef Frank Camorra. Modern and authentic Spanish tapas present well among the dining room's warm, amber tones, vintage prints, dark wood and bottle-lined shelves. Diners must book in advance for the restaurant, which offers Ortiz anchovy crouton topped with smoked tomato sorbet, paprika pat? with verdant parsley mojo or the famous Cecina - a dish fanned with thinly sliced air-cured Wagyu beef and centred with truffle foam and poached egg. Should you decide to go at the last minute, you can also try the newly opened MoVida Next Door, which is more relaxed and serves simple, traditional tapas.