The Foodie

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - UPFRONT - LIZZIE LOEL

Lizzie Loel names her top ten restau­rants

As 50 shades of Amer­i­cana swept the culi­nary scene this year caus­ing many to eat their body weight in ribs and buf­falo wings, else­where new culi­nary heights were reached that didn’t nec­es­sar­ily in­volve hot sauce.

Most mem­o­rable of all by a coastal mile is Pa­per Daisy in the beau­ti­fully ren­o­vated Hal­cyon House, just over the bor­der on the beach at Cabarita, north­ern NSW. Young gun Ben Devlin’s menu is ex­actly what you want to eat while watch­ing waves crash onto the sand. Green puffed rice-crusted prawns in a salad of mint and cress is fresh and punchy, while fish wrapped in pa­per­bark topped with al­most melted white onions is sublime and hands down the best thing I’ve eaten this year.

Reimag­in­ing Mid­dle East­ern flavours is what Ben Wil­liamson and his team at Gerard’s Bistro in For­ti­tude Val­ley, in­ner­north­ern Bris­bane, de­liver daily. There’s a coal-roasted smok­i­ness that per­me­ates the menu, mak­ing ev­ery­thing work well to­gether – for ex­am­ple, coal-grilled broc­col­ini with shal­lot oil and smoked egg yolk pairs per­fectly with the smoked mar­row­bone with a de­li­cious cod and potato mous­se­line and burnt bread.

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