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.