Blanca, Bondi Beach, New South Wales
Restaurants in Australia are always evolving, experimenting and creating new tastes to please diners. Wherever you are visiting, there’s an exciting new eatery that’s worth booking.
By Anthony Huckstep
Published: 20 February, 2017
From Bangkok street food by David Thompson, Australia’s godfather of Thai cuisine, to modern Italian in Sydney’s hip Alexandria, there’s no shortage of fabulous new plates to try around the country.
Sample remixed European cuisine in Sydney
Pino’s Vino e Cucina
Hidden in the back lanes of Sydney’s reforming industrial suburb Alexandria, Pino’s Vino e Cucina feels more Austrian tavern than Italian trattoria – think white ceilings, wooden bar and floorboards. But the modern Italian fare is so good it would make your nonna cry. Grilled peach arrives veiled in prosciutto. Burrata oozes creamy joy over asparagus, while lardo and zucchini entwine rippled spelt pasta. Add to that one of the best cocktail lists in town and you’re in for a magnificent night.
Lively waitstaff add colour to the white-on-white Nordic fit-out of this Bondi beauty as the kitchen turns out a convincing collision of Mediterranean-meets-Japanese fare. Yuzu adds zing to beef tartar, pickled daikon balances king salmon while your pork ribs get a miso glaze. Brilliant.
Experience and energy make for memorable Melbourne eating
Australia’s own David Thompson is a once-in-a-lifetime chef with an unrivalled understanding of Thai cuisine. The fourth of his well-regarded restaurants, a journey through the pungent, fragrant and seductive street food of Bangkok, is one not to be missed. At Long Chim on Melbourne’s Southbank overlooking the Yarra River, sit back and strap yourself in for a spice hit like no other. Chiang Mai larp of chicken is devilishly hot, the mashed prawn curry is near perfect while lamb ribs deliver big on on richness.
At Ramblr in Melbourne’s South Yarra, young gun chef Nick Stanton is adding energy to the dining spectrum by honouring the building blocks of great food but taking a risk to lead you down a new path. Sit at a long bar fashioned from sections of tree and tuck into pig’s head fritters, calamari that looks like noodles and a waldorf salad that’s enjoyed a colourful makeover.
Italian cuisine is reborn in Perth
Lulu La Delizia
The sway of a night out in Perth’s inner city suburb of Subiaco just garnered serious support with the opening of Joel Valvasori’s homage to the food of his grandmother Luigia and the north-eastern Italian region of Friuli. Although this quaint restaurant and bar respectfully remembers the traditional ways of pasta making, Valvasori gives it a modern aesthetic. Bone marrow gets an osso buco facelift. Blue swimmer crab swims with ricotta gnocchi and spaghetti vongole is everything it promises to be.
Enjoy Mediterranean flavours in Adelaide
As the culinary landscape in Australia becomes more casual, it’s easier than ever to eat out. And with venues as affordable and enjoyable as Chicco Palms, a short skip from Adelaide’s CBD, who would blame you? This Mediterranean-inspired space – with high ceilings and communal tables – serves pizza and pasta and makes for a good night out. Go classic with a margherita, a more modern porchetta nduja pizza or the sizeable Sunday roast lamb and salad.
Explore the latest trends in Brisbane
Very much part of the new wave of Australian dining, Vaquero in Albion, seven kilometres from Brisbane’s city centre, is drenched in natural light by day, and smart-meets-casual swagger at night. It even has its own rooftop and bar, but food cooked on the Josper charcoal oven is what’s getting everyone talking. Chilli sauce adds a kick to coal-fired sheep’s brain. Sobrasada supports charred octopus while popcorn adds crunch to smoked chicken.
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