Mark down these Australian hatted restaurants - awarded by the Australian Good Food Guide - in your itinerary.
By Karen Tay and Linette Lin
You may be familiar with Michelin starred restaurants, but Australia has its own way of labelling its truly exceptional eateries. The Australian Good Food Guide (AGFG) scores worthy restaurants based on ingredients, taste, presentation, technique, value and consistency of dishes and awards them with up to three ‘hats.’
Delicious dishes from Australia's hatted restaurants
Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year - Restaurant Orana
At Adelaide’s Orana, it’s not just food that goes onto a plate - it’s a taste of Australia. Owner and chef Jock Zonfrillo travels to some of the most remote corners of the country to find ingredients for his imaginative dishes. He talks to men and women in Aboriginal communities to learn about traditional bush foods, and how these foods fit into Indigenous culture. Then he brings these ingredients back into the kitchen and turns them into something extraordinary for his customers at Orana.
Address: 1/285 Rundle St, Adelaide, SA
New Restaurant of the Year - Laura
Named after Pt. Leo Estate’s celebrated Jaume Plensa sculpture, Laura is an intimate and refined dining offering on the estate’s stunning property. Located an hour from Melbourne, Laura offers a set menu that tells the story of the Mornington Peninsula. With the choice of four, five or six courses, guests are taken on a culinary journey that embraces the season and the region. Take The Guide’s advice for a memorable experience and go for lunch before touring the sculptures including the restaurant’s namesake, Jaume Plensa's Laura.
Address: 3649 Frankston-Flinders Road, Merricks, VIC
Santa Vittoria Coffee Regional Restaurant of the Year - Brae
Each day, the ingredients used at Brae are carefully selected from Brae Farm’s own harvest of organic fruit and vegetables, as well as from local farms and sustainable producers in Victoria and beyond. Brae’s garden-based cuisine has earned them a three-hatted rating, which further puts Birregurra – a small Victorian town in the Great Ocean Road region - on the culinary map. Its standout dishes include ice oyster, parsnip and apple. As if the delectable dishes aren’t enough, Brae has also been commended by The Australian Good Food Guide for their exceptional wine list.
Address: 4285 Cape Otway Road, Birregurra, VIC
Bar of the Year – The Dolphin Wine Room
Located within The Dolphin Hotel in Sydney’s stylish suburb of Surry Hills, The Dolphin Wine Room is led by the exceptional team from Bondi’s famous Icebergs Dining Room and Bar. The cosy wine room features a menu bursting with new-wave producers and glorious Italian-style share plates. At the end of the bar is the salumi cabinet, and no visit is complete without a plate of sweet, nutty salami spiked with black pepper.
Address: 412 Crown St, Surry Hills
Wine List of the Year – OTTO Ristorante
Riverside views, sparkling glassware and warm hospitality are just a few of the elements that make OTTO Brisbane irresistible. This modern Italian eatery overlooks the Brisbane River to the iconic Story Bridge, serving up great Australian ingredients in a contemporary Italian style. Along with exquisite food, OTTO also serves up an extensive wine list. Thanks to the Coravin system - where small amounts of wine can be taken from a bottle without oxygenating it - several premium Australian and Italian wines are available as a taste or full glass. Alternatively, go big with a magnum bottle of champagne and celebrate.
Address: 4/480 Queen St, Brisbane City