Cheap Lunch Eats In The Yarra River Precinct – Part 3: World Trade Centre

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Often overlooked in the quest for fine dining, and even lunchtime fare, is the World Trade Centre, which overlooks the river at its western end, opposite Jeff’s shed and South Wharf.

Long gone are the days of it being the proverbial white elephant of the river. These days, it’s a stylish environment, chock-full of eating places, which culminate in four eateries right alongside the river on WTC Wharf. 

..and it’s surprisingly easy to eat cheap and well in this part of the precinct.


The Wharf Hotel leads the bargain dining brigade with its $12 express lunches every weekday between 12noon and 3pm. The menu changes every week. During winter you can even book a waterside igloo to enjoy your food, and – in what we think is a precinct ‘first’ – your pooch is also welcome to join you in the Wharf Hotel’s outside beer garden.


Man-Mo is a riverside Chinese/Malaysian restaurant, where you can enjoy great views and fine food for lunch every weekday for just $23 on their express lunch menu, which even includes a glass or white or red house wine to wash it down. There’s a choice of one entrée, and one main meal with fried or steamed rice. The choice includes some inner-warming wintertime favourites, such as Lemon Chicken, Chicken with Cashews, Sweet Basil Chicken, Szechuan Chili Beef and Malaysian Curry.

For quality Japanese food spiced with river views, head to Kobe Jones Melbourne and Riverside teppanyaki which is now also open for Saturday and Sunday lunches. For a limited time, they’re offering free sake on arrival and soft drinks for kids.

Inside the complex, there’s no end to the great value lunch deals to be enjoyed. In particular,

Health Express is providing delicious, healthy homemade soups with a difference - all $9.50, with a choice of toast. Try a ham hock and red lentil , a Thai pumpkin minestrone, chicken and quinoa, or how about a lamb, pearl barley and rosemary soup.

Baraonda is responding to the winter cold with a July offer of a decadent Nutella pizza for just $8, while during August enjoy a Borek filled with double cheese, lamb and cheese or spinach and cheese. What’s a Borek ?....  Börek is a family of baked filled pastries made of a thin flaky dough such as phyllo or yufka, of Anatolian origins and also found in the cuisines of the Balkans, the Caucasus, Levant, Mediterranean, and other countries in Eastern Europe…aren’t you glad you asked !

The Yarra Dragon Restaurant is offering heart-warming Japanese and Cantonese winter dishes, including wonton noodle soup, laksa’s, and teriyaki chicken during July. Their August lunch offering is one or two courses with rice or noodles at prices that look like they’re from the 1980s: large $11, medium $10, small just $9. Come back in September to enjoy large home made chicken dim sims, or beef or pork fresh steam sims, bbq pork buns, and custard buns for dessert.