BEST DISHES OF THE YEAR

FROM FINE DIN­ING TO PUB GRUB, WE TAKE A LOOK AT THE PAST 12 MONTHS IN FOOD. HERE, OUR AWARD-WIN­NING RES­TAU­RANTS.

GQ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

DATE NIGHT Os­te­ria Di Russo & Russo, En­more NSW

One of Aus­tralia’s most unas­sum­ing Ital­ian joints, from the out­side it’s pure ’70s trat­to­ria, but in­side, owner Marc Russo and chef Ja­son Saxby crank things up a notch – mar­ble table­tops and big flavours de­liv­ered with con­sid­ered touches. Quirky and in­ti­mate, it’s ex­actly what you want for a date. rus­soan­drusso.net.au Honourable Men­tion: Anise, New Farm QLD; anise.com.au

PUB FOOD Builders Arms, Fitzroy VIC

In the past, you’d be lucky to get more than a schnitty in the lo­cal wa­ter­ing hole, but now many pubs boast de­cent menus. An­drew Mccon­nell’s Builders Arms serves pork shoul­der with fennel and lemon, and brisket with rel­ish and pick­les. builder­sarmshotel.com.au Honourable Men­tion: Print Hall, Perth WA; print­hall.com.au

BRUNCH Yel­low, Potts Point NSW

The third restau­rant in the Bent­ley boys’ (Brent Sav­age and Nick Hilde­brandt) mini-em­pire, Yel­low bal­ances the break­fast and lunch vor­tex with an in­tox­i­cat­ingly-ad­dic­tive menu. Tuck into Jerusalem ar­ti­choke with black pud­ding puree and scram­bled egg white, or Span­ish mack­erel with cel­ery and salted cod roe. The per­fect an­ti­dote to the dusti­est of morn­ings-af­ter. yel­lowsyd­ney.com.au Honourable Men­tion:

Gauge, South Bris­bane QLD CA­SUAL EATERY Mon­ster, Can­berra ACT

Can­berra has never been a driv­ing force in food. But in­side the arty Ho­tel Ho­tel, the na­tion’s cap­i­tal is home to this tasty, con­tem­po­rary haunt. Chef Sean Mccon­nell’s no-fuss dishes use the finest pro­duce, com­bined with Asian and Mediter­ranean flavours. Bet­ter yet? It’s open for break­fast, lunch and din­ner. ho­tel-ho­tel.com.au Honourable Men­tion: LP’S Qual­ity Meats, Chip­pen­dale NSW; lp­squal­i­tymeats.com PASTA ACME, Syd­ney NSW Chef Mitch Orr has al­ways been one to bend the rules, and here he chal­lenges our pasta pre­con­cep­tions. Founded on a strong back­bone of Ital­ian tech­nique, Orr in­tro­duces Asian flavours and playful in­ter­pre­ta­tions of fare from his youth. Tuck into baloney and tomato sauce on brioche, Korean bolog­naise or crowd-favourite, mac­a­roni with pig’s head and egg yolk. weareacme.com.au Honourable Men­tion: Tipo 00, Mel­bourne VIC; tipo00.com.au

DESSERT

Ben­ne­long, Syd­ney NSW When Pe­ter Gil­more and the team be­hind Quay opened this place within the world-fa­mous ‘nuns in a scrum’ (the Opera House), ex­pec­ta­tions were he’d put Aus­tralia on a plate. He didn’t dis­ap­point. Don’t miss his take on the clas­sic pavlova – a jester’s hat of meringue wisps that mim­ics the sails of the iconic build­ing. ben­ne­long.com.au Honourable Men­tion: Sepia, Syd­ney NSW; sepi­arestau­rant. com.au

SUSHI & SASHIMI

Mi­namishima, Rich­mond VIC Ja­pan has long had an im­pact on our cui­sine, but Mi­namishima marks the ar­rival of omakase (dishes hand­picked by the chef). Through a pro­ces­sion of sin­gle pieces of sushi and sashimi, chef Koichi Mi­namishima de­cides what and when you eat. Your job is to sit at the bench and watch the master at work. A game-changer. mi­namishima.com.au Honourable Men­tion: Sokyo, Pyr­mont NSW; star.com.au

IN­TI­MATE BAR

Smalls, Mel­bourne VIC Mel­bourne has left all the other cap­i­tals for dead when it comes to cool bars, but Smalls owner Jess Ho has taken it to a new level. This hide­away show­cases some niche pro­duc­ers of wine and spir­its that change reg­u­larly. Mean­while the suc­cinct food menu will make you re­think ofal or veg­eta­bles. Try the soy pick­led mush­rooms, grilled cauli­fower with gra­nola and yo­ghurt, or ox-tongue pas­trami. smalls­bar.com.au Honourable Men­tion: Con­ti­nen­tal Deli, New­town NSW

NEW WAVE

Africola, Ade­laide SA Ade­laide and African food isn’t an ob­vi­ous com­bi­na­tion, but South African chef Dun­can Wel­ge­moed isn’t about the ob­vi­ous. He’s cre­ated a buzz in the City of Churches by putting his spin on dishes. Think ‘wet style’ Coorong An­gus bil­tong or char­coal eel with cured egg yolk. If there’s a more ex­cit­ing restau­rant in the coun­try, do let us know. africola.com.au Honourable Men­tion: Franklin, Ho­bart TAS; franklin­ho­bart. com.au n

“SIXPENNY’S PARRY AND PUSKAS ARE LEAD­ERS IN THE NEW WAVE OF AUS­TRALIAN FOOD THAT PUTS EM­PHA­SIS ON SIM­PLIC­ITY.” AN­THONY HUCK­STEP, GQ AUS­TRALIA

FROM TOP: STYLISH PLATES AND SUR­ROUNDS AT SMALLS; NEW WAVE AFRICAN AT AFRICOLA.

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