At least eights shots were fired after two carloads of men confronted a couple in inner Melbourne, sending a man to hospital with bullet wounds.

The shooting victim, believed to be about 30, had been at a block of serviced apartments in Smithfield Road, Kensington, about 3.55am (AEDT) with a female friend when they were challenged by men in two dark-coloured sedans.

Eight or nine shots were fired from what police believe was a semi-automatic pistol.

The victim was struck twice.

His female friend drove him to hospital, where he remains in a stable condition.

Detective Senior Sergeant Everett Moutsidis said the man was not co-operating with investigators.

"We're getting very limited assistance from the victim and his companion in this matter," he said.

Police say he is known to the Santiago taskforce, which was established in 2008 to focus on Middle Eastern family groups in the northwestern suburbs.

Police do not know if the victim was armed or if more than one gun was fired during the incident.