So what better way to begin than to look back to where we’ve come from. In this case, a recap at some dishes over the past year that have made it so memorable.
The two restaurants that stood out to me the most were Attica and Momofuku Seiōbo (in Sydney I know, but great food is great food, no matter where it’s located). Both of these serve dishes taking inspiration from Australia’s native ingredients, and pushing the boundaries of creativity with flavour combinations and the dining experience. Ben Shewry’s food has never been better, and Attica is rightly at the forefront of the Melbourne dining scene.
Momofuku itself has brought a mini-revolution to the dining scene, breaking free from the usual expectations of fine dining with chefs serving the food, seats right at the kitchen, and David Chang’s own musical tastes pumping into the room (and yes the booking experience!). The overall experience cannot be expressed in words, it’s a breath of fresh air. Shooting straight to 3 hats in the Sydney Good Food Guide, and winning Best New Restaurant,
In Melbourne, Vue de Monde’s new home on the 55th floor of the Rialto building has also given new life into Shannon Bennett’s restaurant. The view is breathtaking, especially when the sun sets, and an element of whimsy and theatre ensures the evening is more than just the delicious food. From the walk through the wine cellar when you arrive, the table settings and furnishings, to the playful reinterpretations of classics cooked in the open kitchen.
The past year (or so) can be marked by the abundance of two things: Salted Caramel and Mexican food. Neither of which is a bad thing in my book.
Darren Purchese of Burch and Purchese not only uses salted caramel in a wickedly decadent dark chocolate and mandarin cake, but you can also satisfy those cravings by buying it by the jar. Watch this space for a blog on their Sweet Studio Sessions coming soon.
The mexican food of days gone by has been replaced by fresh, clean flavours, usually served after a wait! Mamasita was one of the leaders in the craze of “no bookings” restaurants, difficult for customers but a necessary evil for restaurateurs. The other no bookings hit being Chin Chin, serving up modern, pan-Asian.
So here are some of the dishes and restaurants that have made the past year for me. This is by no means a complete list, but we don’t want too many spoilers for what’s to come.
The hāngi-style potato with goats curd, is anything but the ‘simple dish’ it claims to be.
Ben Shewry’s intepretation of the classic New Zealand biscuit, the Aghan.
Vue de Monde
The Press Club
And the others…
Vue de Monde
The Press Club