A good year for din­ers

Our Ta­bles re­view­ers re­veal favourite finds of 2007

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

SYD­NEY

Pilu at Fresh­wa­ter, Harbord: Sar­dini­an­born chef Gio­vanni Pilu’s restau­rant, in a her­itage cot­tage perched above one of Syd­ney’s loveli­est beaches, is a paean to re­gional Ital­ian cui­sine. Bril­liant cook­ing and glo­ri­ous coastal views make this one of Syd­ney’s best-kept din­ing se­crets. www.pilu­at­fresh­wa­ter.com.au. El­iz­a­beth Mery­ment

CAN­BERRA

Mecca Bah, Manuka: With its palm trees, mo­saic tiles and mezza-in­spired menu, Mecca Bah is a taste of the Mid­dle East on Can­berra’s chic ur­ban fringe. Try chef Cath Clar­ing­bold’s de­li­ciously spicy lamb or chicken tagines for an au­then­tic Moroc­can ex­pe­ri­ence. www.mec­ca­bah.com. El­iz­a­beth Mery­ment

BRIS­BANE

Ur­bane Restau­rant, City: Head chef Kym Machin’s cut­ting-edge style has been in­flu­enced by high-profile chefs in­clud­ing Ade­laide fu­sion food leg­end Cheong Liew and Syd­ney’s Tet­suya Wakuda; the re­sult is a happy syn­the­sis of in­no­va­tive flavours and chal­leng­ing jux­ta­po­si­tions sup­ported by im­pec­ca­ble ser­vice. (07) 3229 2271. David Bent­ley

TAS­MA­NIA

Mus­sel Boys, Taranna: Chef Eloise Baker’s Seven Nat­u­ral Won­ders of the Tas­man Penin­sula is a feast of cour­ses, each in­tel­li­gently con­structed from lo­cal in­gre­di­ents. Laze and graze over a bot­tle or two of Tas­ma­nian pinot gris while en­joy­ing views of tran­quil Nor­folk Bay. (03) 6250 3088. Matthew Denholm

ADE­LAIDE

The Manse, North Ade­laide: Since re­launch­ing two years ago, this stylish es­tab­lish­ment, oc­cu­py­ing a hand­some 19th-cen­tury Bap­tist manse, has put fine din­ing firmly back on the Ade­laide map cour­tesy of its creative, French­in­flu­enced cui­sine (un­der new chef Ay­han Erkoc), se­ri­ous wine list and chic but com­fort­able in­te­ri­ors. www.the­manser­estau­rant.com.au. Chris­tine McCabe

MELBOURNE

The Press Club, City: Ge­orge Calom­baris’s award win­ner just pips Nobu at Crown for the best new en­trant to the na­tion’s restau­rant cap­i­tal. www.the­p­ress­club.com.au. Ge­orge Me­ga­lo­ge­nis

WEST­ERN AUS­TRALIA

The Wild Duck, Albany: This re­gional restau­rant is ad­mirably ex­act­ing in its high stan­dards, cre­at­ing gen­er­ous serves of dishes such as trout ter­rine and rab­bit ravi­oli pre­pared from care­fully sourced lo­cal in­gre­di­ents. (08) 9842 2554. Vic­to­ria Lau­rie

IN­TER­NA­TIONAL

Poppi, Sin­ga­pore: Aus­tralian chef Chris Mil­lar has made a big splash with his tast­ing gallery approach to menus. Ja­panese cui­sine is a marked in­flu­ence — con­sider tuna tataki crusted with black pep­per and served with shimeji mush­rooms— and his cham­pagne sor­bet served in brut rose jelly in a twotiered shot glass is a mi­nor mir­a­cle of wob­bly sus­pen­sion. www.poppi.com.sg. Susan Kuro­sawa

Top spot: Cham­pagne sor­bet at Poppi

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