AUS­TRALIA

Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia - - THE BEST OF 2018 - – E.B.

EAT + DRINK Quay, Syd­ney

Heads spun this year as chef Peter Gil­more re­vealed the new ver­sion of his har­bor­side fine-din­ing icon. Gone were the white table­cloths (gasp!), re­placed with a more or­ganic de­sign—tim­ber ceil­ings, vol­canic stone de­tails, earthy leather chairs—and Gil­more con­tro­ver­sially re­tired his beloved snow egg dessert. New dishes shout out Aussie pro­duc­ers: South Aus­tralian ra­zor clams, Tas­ma­nian uni and an ex­clu­sively grown red­speck­led pea are just a few.

The A$4-mil­lion facelift helped Quay 2.0 scoop the coun­try's top 2019 food awards, in­clud­ing Gourmet Trav­eller's Best Restau­rant. quay.com.au; six-course menu A$210.

Sunda, Mel­bourne

While con­tem­po­rary takes on South­east Asian cui­sine abound Down Un­der, this new laneway restau­rant—named af­ter the Indo-Malay ar­chi­pel­ago—has a de­cid­edly more creative take, with a juste­nough-Aussie twist. Sig­na­tures in­clude their veg curry, served with roti and Vegemite; the del­i­cately plated otak-otak, made with a co­conut-cur­ried span­ner crab and served with fin­ger lime; and larb-style cured kan­ga­roo with nahm jim. Head chef Khanh Nguyen is an alumni of Red Lantern, Mr Wong and Noma's Syd­ney pop-up. sunda. com.au; mains from A$24.

Faro, Ho­bart

MONA, Tassie's avant-garde, cooler-than-cool mod­ern art mu­seum, opened their sec­ond restau­rant, Faro, in the new Pharos wing. Not just an eatery, the din­ing space is part of the art, en­gag­ing guests in two in-house in­stal­la­tions by light-artist James Tur­rell: Un­seen Seen, a gi­ant orb that projects a kalei­do­scopic trip of lights to those inside; and the op­pos­ing Weight of Dark­ness, a pitch-black maze. The Eu­ro­pean menu dishes out plates like pan-roasted quail and char-grilled Berk­shire pork. To drink, or­der the freaky black mar­garita. mona.net.au; mains from A$28; art view­ings are an extra A$25, book ahead.

Malt & Ju­niper, Ade­laide

A new neigh­bor on Ade­laide's Peel Street small-bar hub, this dim-lit, retro-fit­ted drink­ing hole fo­cuses, as its name sug­gests, on all things whisky and gin. The ma­ture de­sign fix­ates on dark green, which col­ors the mar­ble bar and leather booths. The back bar holds an im­pres­sive line-up of 260 bot­tles, while the G+T list reads like a tour of South Aus­tralia's best gin-mak­ers, in­clud­ing Kan­ga­roo Is­land's

KIS gin served with or­ange and pep­per, or Am­ble­side gin from Hah­n­dorf served with basil and olives. fb.com/mal­tand­ju­niper; drinks from A$14.

STAY The Calile Ho­tel, Bris­bane

A re­sort oa­sis in the mid­dle of the city, this bou­tique beauty in trendy For­ti­tude Val­ley is just what Bris­bane—and, the coun­try—was missing. Lo­cated in the James Street Precinct, trop­i­cal vibes ring through the chic de­sign, with rooms fea­tur­ing crafted oak fur­nish­ings, brass and mar­ble fin­ishes, and pri­vate ter­races. Ca­banas and sun-loungers hem the glim­mer­ing turquoise pool and Greek restau­rant Hel­lenika of­fers al­fresco din­ing. the­calile­ho­tel.com; dou­bles from A$207.

W Bris­bane

Adding a more spir­ited dose of high-end op­u­lence to the city was the open­ing of the W, a 312-room ho­tel hyped as the first five-star ac­com­mo­da­tion to open in Bris­bane in 20 years. Pre­sent­ing views that stretch across the Bris­bane River to Queens­land Mu­seum, GOMA and the moun­tains be­yond, the prop­erty's quirky de­sign is in­spired by the Aus­tralian out­back and rooms take on the look of typ­i­cal Queens­lan­der homes, in­clud­ing a reimag­ined 10-gal­lon-drum tub for a bath. By­ron restau­rant Three Blue Ducks has opened inside, and an Away spa and Ed­wards and Co hair sa­lon ex­tends the in­dul­gence. wbris­bane.com; dou­bles from A$350.

CLOCK­WISE FROM ABOVE: Sunda's South­east-Asian bites; white coral is Quay's new dessert; star anise smoke fin­ishes Malt & Ju­niper's espresso martini; Faro's artis­tic take on din­ing; a spa with a view at W Bris­bane.

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