What’s new (and hot) on the restau­rant, bar and café scene

Our monthly guide to ex­cit­ing open­ings, up­graded of­fer­ings and chang­ing chefs.

Qantas - - CONTENTS -


2-10 Kens­ing­ton Street, Chip­pen­dale (02) 9280 3285 a1­can­teen.com.au Open seven days for break­fast and lunch and Tues­day-Satur­day for din­ner

The re­laxed sib­ling of au­da­cious Au­tomata is the ev­ery­day eat­ing house Syd­ney has yearned for. A1 is the place to en­joy qual­ity pro­duce – sim­ple com­bi­na­tions with big flavours – and killer drinks. Light floods through the floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows onto con­crete floors, ban­quettes, tim­ber fur­nish­ings and the open kitchen. Break­fast of­fers curried eggs folded like silk sheets, spec­tac­u­lar snags and al­mond gra­nola with black sesame and rhubarb yo­ghurt. But it’s lunch that de­liv­ers the most talked-about sand­wich in Sin City: the mono­lithic muf­fuletta, sliced to re­veal a colour­ful cross-sec­tion of olive salad, mor­tadella, salami, ar­ti­choke, pep­pers and spinach. For mains, choose from grilled king­fish, roasted cele­riac or braised lamb shoul­der with a salad (freekeh with fer­mented pump­kin is a must). At night, shaved fen­nel and fer­mented red cab­bage add spark to ooz­ing bur­rata, an­chovy but­ter brings out the sea in di­a­mond shell clams, while Espelette pep­per plays against the sweet flesh of whole floun­der. These may be ev­ery­day eats but they’re A1. ↓ BISTECCA

3 Dal­ley Street, Syd­ney (02) 8067 0450 bistecca.com.au Open Wed­nes­day-Fri­day for lunch and Mon­day-Satur­day for din­ner

Some restau­rants aim to be all things to all peo­ple. Then along comes one that puts all its money on a sin­gle dish: the clas­sic Tus­can bistecca alla Fiorentina, aka T-bone steak. It’s the only main on the menu but fear not – there are about 12 sides and a bounty of Ital­ian wines to add colour to this car­ni­vores’ dream. To get there, head down­stairs, put your name on the list and order a cock­tail. Be­fore long, you’ll be whisked through a con­cealed door to watch your $13-per-100-grams steak cooked over char­coal in front of you. Grab a big red and three or four sides – the sprouts with pecorino and sour cream or broc­col­ini with sko­rdalia are the picks – but save room for the tiramisu.


2 Laguna Street, Vau­cluse (02) 9191 8989 the­b­otan­i­cavau­cluse.com.au Open Satur­day-Sun­day for break­fast, Wed­nes­day-Sun­day for lunch and Wed­nes­day-Satur­day for din­ner

Em­brace the pur­ple car­pets, pink up­hol­stered chairs, hang­ing green­ery and flora on the wall­pa­per. Chef Perry Hill’s food is worth any dé­cor. With a menu that re­lies on pro­duce from the eatery’s own farm in Jam­beroo Val­ley and an ethos to source eth­i­cally caught and grown seafood and meat, Hill uses clas­sic tech­niques to let them shine on the plate. A long crou­ton houses a small fil­let of John Dory for a lovely morsel. King sal­mon is smoked in eu­ca­lyp­tus and gar­nished with crisp wisps of ginger and shred­ded cu­cum­ber. There’s steamed ha­puku in a clear duck broth and horse­rad­ish and Dutch cream po­ta­toes with rich Rangers Val­ley An­gus corned beef. No ego, no tricks, just mighty fine cook­ing.


6 Warner Street, For­ti­tude Val­ley (07) 3193 9484 lit­tle-val­ley.com. au Open Thurs­day-Sun­day for lunch and Tues­day-Sun­day for din­ner

It doesn’t have the killer ocean views but the sis­ter venue to Rick Shores in Burleigh Heads has an ex­cel­lent pedi­gree. This For­ti­tude Val­ley sib­ling is a city slicker, with a laneway en­try, an out­door court­yard and a strik­ing in­dus­trial-chic fit-out over three lev­els. The for­mat fol­lows the same fun ap­proach to pan-Asian fare. Set­tle in with a Bei­jing Sling and order the chilli crab and pork xiao long bao for a big flavour burst or the Eastern take on tartare with chopped Wagyu and Sichuan mayo. Share whole steamed baby snap­per in a pork, ginger and shaox­ing wine broth.


94-96 Main Street, Montville (07) 5478 5889 al­ti­tudeon montville.com.au Open Satur­daySun­day for break­fast and seven days for lunch and din­ner

For­mer Sur­vey Co. chef Nick Stapleton’s fare is now served with crisp moun­tain air and a beau­ti­ful view of the coast. High­lights of his in­no­va­tive menu in­clude crunchy, umamirich XO rice fin­gers with soy shi­itake, fu­rikake and Kew­pie mayo; sweet span­ner crab with earthy kombu but­ter, sea­weed­salt-roasted sweet potato and black sesame; and bar­ra­mundi with gnoc­chi, kale and vi­brant mojo verde.


11 Ebenezer Place, Ade­laide 0416 050 721 heyjupiter.com.au Open seven days for break­fast, lunch and din­ner

What be­gan as a cute lit­tle café with a French ac­cent has mor­phed into a fully-fledged restau­rant that wouldn’t look

out of place on the boule­vard down from the fa­mous Les Deux Magots in Paris, com­plete with closely spaced tra­di­tional pave­ment ta­bles. The ex­press lunch menu fea­tures sta­ples such as beef cheek à la bour­guignon with mashed potato, while the din­ner menu might start with mus­sels steamed in white wine with saf­fron then progress to clas­sic dishes such as steak (a choice of three cuts) with ex­em­plary frites and sauce béar­naise. Al­ter­na­tively, if you have a yen for whole deboned pan-fried trout al­mondine with green beans or a tra­di­tional hand-cut beef fil­let tartare, this is where you’ll find it. The wine list sticks to the theme with a fine choice from France.


3649 Frankston-Flin­ders Road, Mer­ricks (03) 5989 9011 ptleoes­tate.com.au Open Thurs­day-Sun­day for lunch and Thurs­day-Satur­day for din­ner

The jewel in the crown of Pt. Leo Es­tate – the newly minted Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula land­mark that en­com­passes a vine­yard, sculp­ture park, cel­lar door and bistro – Laura restau­rant is a 45-seat por­tal into the de­light­fully un­stuffy fu­ture of once-straight-laced win­ery fine din­ing. As you’d ex­pect of a long-time Neil Perry lieu­tenant, chef Phil Wood is ap­proach­ing the task with a steely fo­cus on re­gional pro­duce and con­jur­ing magic from in­gre­di­ents both ex­otic and com­mon­place. The for­mer: a meaty lion’s mane mush­room in an Asian-style glaze hooks up with abalone and radish in a pud­dle of shiso-spiked beet­root. The lat­ter: a soft con­fit potato and chewy nubs of pis­ta­chio nouga­tine are topped with brûléed miso cream, trout roe and caviar. Some of the best wait­staff in the busi­ness have washed up on these wild Western Port shores. They’ll even en­cour­age you to take a mid-meal wan­der out­side to visit Laura’s name­sake statue, a cap­ti­vat­ing eight-me­tre-tall woman’s head that is best con­tem­plated with a glass from the broad in­ter­na­tional wine list in hand.


18 Punch Lane, Mel­bourne (03) 9654 8190 sunda.com.au Open Fri­day for lunch and Tues­day-Satur­day for din­ner

Pan-Asian food meets its fun-filled fu­ture at Sunda, where chef Khanh Nguyen takes tra­di­tional Malaysian, In­done­sian and Viet­namese dishes, gives them a mod­ern shake then adds Aus­tralian na­tive in­gre­di­ents for good mea­sure. What could be a con­fus­ing mess is a tri­umph of imag­i­na­tion, thanks to the but­tery-per­fect roti with im­prob­a­ble (and im­prob­a­bly good) Vegemite-spiked curry (see page 80) and beef ren­dang buns with fiery roasted sam­bal and cool­ing pick­led radish. There’s also a sub­lime take on otak-otak, the Malaysian

The Botan­ica Vau­cluse in Syd­ney’s Eastern Sub­urbs

Pan-Asian restau­rant Lit­tle Val­ley in For­ti­tude Val­ley (above); roti with Vegemite curry at Sunda, Mel­bourne

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