Taste of australia

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68 NORTH BY NORTH-WEST A round-up of the best eating

to be found in the tropical Top End and Broome.


The dishes making waves around the country right now, from the fine-diner to the caf? and back again.


Australia's cellar doors offer something for every wine lover. Here's a handful of the best.

26 THE FLAVOUR OF SYDNEY The Sydney restaurant scene has

never been more fertile. Here's a snapshot of the most notable recent openings.

80 COAST TO COAST Australia offers some amazing

regional food experiences. Here are some of our favourites ? from vineyard to tropical beach.

36 CAF?S FOR DAYS For straight up caffeination and

smashing sustenance, too, nowhere rivals the caf?s of Australia's capitals.

88 RUNNING LATE Burn the midnight oil at Melbourne's

best late-night bars and diners.

42 CLASS ACTS Our pick of the finest dining

Australia has to offer.


A quick guide to the tastiest of Australian marine life ? and where to enjoy it.

COVER Attica's whipped emu egg and sugarbag (page 21). Photography Colin Page


Hello world. We hope you brought an

appetite because there's lot to see and plenty of good stuff we'd like you to taste.

Dining in Australia has never been more dynamic, and whether you've come from the other side of the world for your first visit, or you're just crossing town to get to know a corner of your own neighbourhood in a bit more detail, there's never been a better time to be a gourmet traveller on these shores.

It's not hard to eat well in Australia today (and it's even easier to find a good coffee or something else interesting to drink), but there's wisdom in the idea that knowledge enhances pleasure, so in these pages we've gathered together some of the most exciting and fun dining experiences the Gourmet Traveller team has enjoyed around the country of late.

What's the taste of Australia exactly? It's not always easy to pin down, yet you know it when you see it. It's about making it look easy (especially when it's not), about not

taking it too seriously (but taking as much pleasure in the moment as you can), and about sharing it with friends. And if it can be done outside, preferably near a body of water (and, better yet, without shoes), then all the better.

What you'll find in these pages is just the beginning. Join us in this exploration of Australian flavour: we hope you'll be back for seconds.

Happy dining,

Pat Nourse Managing Editor Australian Gourmet Traveller

Welcome to Australia

Australia is a place that excels at many things and that includes food and wine. So it's not surprising that the honour of hosting The World's 50 Best Restaurants in 2017 has been bestowed on the country. It's a testament to our people, produce and place that together they create an exceptional food and wine scene not found anywhere else in the world.

We're lucky to live in a country where sunshine, clean air and a vast landscape deliver a rich array of fresh produce that underpins our world-class culinary offering. Not to mention a spectacular backdrop to match.

We're fortunate to also have so many talented individuals in Australia, from farmers and fishermen to providores, artisans, cooks, chefs and winemakers who love our produce and nurture our industry.

And we're spoilt to live in a country that brings together so many different cuisines, shared by people of diverse nationalities who have chosen to make Australia their home. Complementing the multicultural flavours are the bush ingredients that have long been used by Indigenous Australians but, in more recent times, have become incorporated into contemporary dishes.

These attributes are what we are encouraging others to experience for themselves as part of our Restaurant Australia campaign, which we launched in 2014. It's all about shining an international light on Australia's food and wine.

Inside this booklet you will get a taste of the very best Australia has to offer, and I encourage you to explore beyond these pages and immerse yourself in the food and wine experiences we are so very proud of.

Please join us in celebrating Australia's oustanding food and wine culture. We look forward to welcoming you to Restaurant Australia.

John O'Sullivan Managing Director Tourism Australia


The dishes that define Australian dining now

What are the flavours that will take Australia into the next half-century? Here are the dishes making waves right now around the country, from

the fine-diner to the caf? and back again, plus notes from GT wine editor Max Allen on what we're drinking on the side.


It's so simple: whole lamb shoulder cooked low and slow until it's magicked into a crust of dark gold and the meat surrenders on favourable terms. Consider it less of a dish, more of a patriotic duty. Cumulus Inc, 45 Flinders La, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9650 1445

AVOCADO WITH CITRUS, TOAST AND LOCAL KELP SALT, THE KETTLE BLACK There are now around 1.2 billion versions of avocado on toast across the globe, but this combination gets it right by playing it straight and simple. Half a perfectly ripe avocado (stone out, skin on) arrives with sourdough toast, a wedge of lime, and salt made with dehydrated kelp. It's DIY made perfect with carefully sourced, top-notch ingredients. The Kettle Black, 50 Albert Rd, South Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9088 0721


STRACCIATELLA, FERMENTED FENNEL, CHAMOMILE OIL, EMBLA Stracciatella ? otherwise known as the super-creamy heart of any self-respecting burrata ? combines with fermented fennel and the aromatic, herbaceous note of chamomile oil for a light and delicate left-of-centre winner. File it under "shouldn't work, but does". Embla, 122 Russell St, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9654 5923

WHAT WE'RE DRINKING Imagine stashing a case of booze in a time capsule that won't be opened for another 50 years ? a taster that tells a story of what we're drinking right here, right now. What would you put in the box? On the following pages are some of the drinks I'd choose.

PROSECCO Tasmanian sparkling might well be the quality pinnacle of fizzy wine production in Australia (and a good late-disgorged example really deserves to be in the line-up, too), but the bubbly we're drinking the most at the moment is prosecco, both locally made and imported.

TOO MANY ITALIANS AND ONLY ONE ASIAN, NORA Sarin Rojanametin's witty tribute to Carlton's Italian food culture might look like pesto pasta, but the pasta is actually green papaya, and the pesto a mix of roasted cashew nuts, sator beans and pieces of school prawn tossed with sorrel oil and fermented garlic powder. It's a clever trick that succeeds on the strength of balance and flavour. Nora, 156 Elgin St, Carlton, Vic, (03) 9041 8644>


Laham nayyeh, Gerard's Bistro

It's lamb rather than beef that makes the cut in this clever textural twist on a classic Lebanese tartare. Bundles of hand-chopped lamb and pickled radish, spiced up with fiery harissa and fragrant with preserved lime, arrive dotted on a crisp saj flatbread. Swirls of creamy cured yolk with a scatter of lemon balm bring the zing. Gerard's Bistro, 14-15 James St, Fortitude Valley, Qld, (07) 3852 3822





BODEGA On the menu since day one of service 10 years ago, Bodega's signature

dish sounds pretty straightforward on paper:

fish, garlic, burnt toast. But it is truly more than the sum of its parts. Slices of kingfish on fingers of blackened toast with a confetti of cuttlefish ceviche, coriander, onion and grated mojama come together in a brilliantly

balanced mouthful of flavour. Bodega, 216 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills, NSW, (02) 9212 7766

Veal sweetbread schnitty sanga, Fleet

The perfect bar snack for a perfectly outr? wine bar? It'd have to involve something fried. It would want to be a sandwich. There ought to be anchovies involved, possibly in a mayonnaise. And it'd need a clever twist. We give you Fleet's schnitzel sandwich: rounds of soft white bread enfolding hot, golden-crumbed veal sweetbreads and a lick of anchovy mayo. Just add wine. Fleet, 2/16 The Terrace, Brunswick Heads, NSW, (02) 6685 1363

SPAGHETTI FRESCA WITH CLAMS AND SMOKED TOMATOES, TIPO 00 The world's finest carbohydrate is magicked to a Platonic ideal with house-made spaghetti, clams, garlic and chilli. Then the Tipo kitchen takes it to a whole new level with the addition of smoked cherry tomatoes. Two words: pasta perfection. Tipo 00, 361 Little Bourke St, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9942 3946>

SINGLE-VINEYARD WINE In the old days, Australia's most revered wines were multi-regional blends. Now terroir is king: fine-wine lovers care a lot about the precise patch of dirt where the grapes are grown, particularly if those grapes are of the pinot noir variety.


PRETZEL AND WHIPPED BOTTARGA, 10 WILLIAM ST Chef Dan Pepperell may have jumped ship to Hubert, but his pretzel with bottarga remains a stalwart on the 10 William St menu. The seeded pretzels arrive at the table hot, with a plate of feather-light dip made zesty with bright salty roe. Umami for days ? it's a bar snack to be reckoned with. 10 William St, 10 William St, Paddington, NSW, (02) 9360 3310


PANNA COTTA LAMINGTON, FLOUR & STONE Nadine Ingram takes everything you love about this Australian classic and turns it up. First, she soaks the vanilla sponge squares with panna cotta. They're then layered with berry compote, coated with dark chocolate, and finished with desiccated coconut and coconut flakes. Crunch, squish and cream ? witness the evolution of an Australian icon. Flour & Stone, 53 Riley St, Woolloomooloo, NSW, (02) 8068 8818

Brown rice bowl, Tricycle Caf?

The brown rice bowl changes daily and is always delicious ? the Sri Lankan chicken curry is a standout ? but it's Adam James's umami-rich, often spicy fermented vegetables and condiments that make this dish memorable. And, of course, there's the rice. It's biodynamic, rain-fed brown rice with pepitas and sunflower seeds, kale, spring onion and chilli oil mixed through it. It might even be healthy. Tricycle Caf?, 77 Salamanca Pl, Hobart, Tas, (03) 6223 7228

DOUBLE-BOILED WALLABY TAIL SOUP, FLOWER DRUM A taste of the Australian terroir in a hallowed temple to high-end Cantonese food. Anthony Lui takes Flinders Island wallaby tail and painstakingly refines it into a rich, luscious broth powered by wolfberries and sweetened with yam. It's both uniquely Australian and undeniably Canto ? a multicultural masterpiece of harmony. Flower Drum, 17 Market La, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9662 3655

GARLIC BREAD, BURNT VANILLA, BROWN BUTTER, GAUGE Sticky fermented black garlic and treacle add to the sharp aesthetic, which is then neatly undone by a smooth quenelle of rich salty-sweet brown butter garnished with bitter burnt vanilla that also adds richness and balance. It has become so popular it now appears on Gauge's evening menu as dessert, too. Gauge, 77 Grey St, South Brisbane, Qld, (07) 3638 0431>

CRAFT BEER Super-hoppy, sour, barrel-aged, in a can. Not since the glory days of the 19th century, when there was a brewery in every suburb and a pub on every corner, has there been such a diverse array of beers on offer as there is today. And Australia's

brewers have never been so adventurous.


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