The winners of Australia’s most innovative and impressive restaurants and bars have been revealed, with the top gong going to a South Australian eatery.
The Australian Gourmet Traveller Awards – held earlier this week at Sydney’s newest fine dining establishment Chin Chin – crowned Adelaide’s Orana as its Restaurant of the Year.
The win is a major for the state which knocked culinary heavyweights Sydney and Melbourne out of the ring for the first time in 20 years.
Orana took out the top award for it’s innovative use of Indigenous ingredients
The Scottish ex-pat chef creates culinary masterpieces unafraid to bridge the cultural divide
The restaurant is the brainchild of chef/owner Jock Zonfrillo – a Scottish ex-pat – whose wholehearted embrace of indigenous flavours has seen him create culinary masterpieces unafraid to bridge the cultural divide.
For interested diners, Orana offers Alkoopina (the name of their long tasting menu).
While the nine-course dégustation doesn’t come cheap – it’s priced at $195 per head – Zonfrillo’s creations are breathtakingly spectacular.
The Orana foundation aims to to support the Indigenous food industry
Seafood comes in the form of Spencer Gulf prawn lightly dusted with dehydrated Davidson plum and a touch of salt.
The award-winning restaurant is the brainchild of chef/owner Jock Zonfrillo
Coorong mullet is partnered with native bush honey and green ants, and for dessert-lovers, the peeling bark of the paperback tree gives the classic fool an exciting new twist
The restaurant isn’t just a super trendy foodie destination either, it’s also part of the Orana Foundation, an organisation partly funded by the South Australian government to support the Indigenous food industry.
‘The restaurant is just a billboard that promotes the food,’ said the award-winning restaurateur.
‘Developing the foundation is the crucial next step in preserving Indigenous food knowledge and to sharing that with everyone.
‘I aim to give back more than I take.’
THE 2017 GOURMET TRAVELLER RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR WINNERS
RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
CHEF OF THE YEAR
NEW RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
BEST NEW TALENT
BAR OF THE YEAR
MAÎTRE D’ OF THE YEAR
WINE LIST OF THE YEAR
SOMMELIER OF THE YEAR
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO HOSPITALITY
Mat Lindsay – Ester, Sydney
Josh Niland – Saint Peter, Sydney
Bar Rochford, Canberra
Chris Young – Café Di Stasio, Vic
Caitlyn Rees, Fred’s, Sydney
Ronni Kahn, OzHarvest
THE TOP 10 RESTAURANTS OF 2017
1. Orana, South Australia
2. Attica, Victoria
3. Momofuku Seiōbo, NSW
4. Brae, Victoria
5. Cutler & Co, Victoria
6. Vue de Monde, Victoria
7. Quay, NSW
8. The Bridge Room, NSW
9. Bennelong, NSW
10. Bentley, NSW
Other restaurants taking out the top 10 included reknowned eateries Attica, in Victoria, Momofuku Seiobo, in NSW, and Brae in Victora.
Victoria’s Attica is already a rock star of the food world, claiming a spot in this year’s World’s Best 50 Restaurants list.
The restaurant also draws on the land for inspiration serving up cultural diverse dishes such as a pie flavoured with Vegemite, Goolwa pipis and seaweed butter or for the more adventurous, diced emu with red cabbage is on offer.
Modern restaurant goers will be familiar with Sydney’s Momofuku Seiobo. The dining establishment offers the very best in Asian-European fusion.
Serving delicious dishes from an open-plan kitchen, the Barbados-born chef Paul Carmichael wows with culinary creations such as smoky chicken wing meat with crisp jerk chicken skin or Sofrito rice over house-aged wild barramundi.
Clarence River coral crab is roasted in butter in this Instagram snap from Momofuku Seiobo
Brae is a contemporary restaurant, set on a hillside on a 30 acre organic farm in Victoria and is spruiked on its website as a ‘place to interact with nature and eat from the land’.
Organic principles are employed to produce seasonal vegetables, stone fruits, citrus, nuts, berries and olives for organic extra virgin oil from an established grove of more than 100 trees.
Chickens supply free range eggs, while bees produce honey and assist with pollination.
An ever-changing set menu utilises produce from the restaurant’s own vegetable plots and fruit orchards – with recent delights including a dish of milk and honey with mandarin and black truffle and an inventive chicken and truffle sandwich.
Winter peas, sunflower seed praline and Jerusalem artichoke on offer at Brae
CUTLER AND CO
Demonstrating a suitably hipster charm for its Melbourne location, Cutler & Co. Dining Room is located in an old metal works factory in trendy Fitzroy.
Opened in February 2009 by Chef Andrew McConnell, the restaurant is said to ‘reflect his passion for exceptional produce and memorable dining experiences’ and strike a balance between ‘elegance and simplicity’.
The a la carte menu includes dishes such as milk fed veal rack, smoked tongue, macadamia cream and maple, while for dessert you can savour an $18 Chocolate délice.
A newcomer on the restaurant’s seasonal Sunday lunch menu was recently a baked meringue with citrus and passionfruit.
Cutler and co’s signature chocolate delice
VUE DE MONDE
Located on the 55th floor of Melbourne’s iconic Rialto building, this eatery is all about taking your dining experience to new heights – literally!
This classic and quintessentially Australian spot is all about ‘theatre’ and guests are encouraged to view dining as an ‘experience’, rather than a necessity.
Owned by celebrity chef Shannon Bennett, Vue De Monde offers diners the chance to enjoy a sophisticated meal while enjoying sweeping views of the city and beyond.
The menu celebrates ingredients on our doorstep, including beautiful, heirloom and organic vegetables and fruits and sustainable, local meat and seafood.
The described themselves as using ‘modern culinary techniques’ to ‘present beautiful food that appeals to all the senses’ and is celebrated ‘not only for the perception of luxury, but for the honesty and integrity of its presentation’.
Some notable menu items include an emu egg salad, rusty wire oyster with lemon myrtle, red hair kangaroo with muntari berries and simple roasted marshmallows – with a twist!
Barbecued mango with lime and ginger is dished up at Vue de Monde
Nestled on the shores of Sydney Harbour, this celebrity hotspot offers diners a five star hospitality experience complete with breathtaking views, fine dining cuisine and a warm, luxury setting.
With Executive Chef Peter Gilmore at the helm, this three-hatted restaurant is no stranger to awards, with the beautiful harbourside restaurant a favourite of foodies around the country.
Surrounded by the iconic Sydney Harbour panorama, diners are sure to enjoy an innovative, memorable and inspiring experience. Pictured is Quay’s famous snow egg
The nature-based menu has captured the imagination of critics since it opened, with notable items including the famed snow egg dessert, slow cooked quail with fermented mushroom custard and a congee of black lip abalone, pearl oyster, heart of palm and black vinegar laver.
Surrounded by the iconic Sydney Harbour panorama, diners are sure to enjoy an innovative, memorable and inspiring experience.
Steamed red emperor southern squid, young carrots, green garlic, fermented carrot and shellfish juices
THE BRIDGE ROOM
Located near Circular Quay in Sydney, The Bridge Room has gained glowing reviews from countless Australian food publications.
With menu favourites including Moreton Bay bugs with endive leaves, tamarind, roasted chilli paste, celery salt and also a dish of whipped black sesame, melon, black rice and coconut sugar, the restaurant prizes fresh, quality ingredients over everything else.
The menu is also heavily influenced by owner, Ross and Sunny Lusted’s, travels throughout Asia and Europe.
Wagyu shoulder, grilled enoki mushrooms, padron chili, duck, egg cream, horseradish, and grilled seaweed at The Bridge Room
For those looking for a little Sydney je ne sais quoi, you couldn’t go far wrong with Sydney’s Bennelong. Located within the iconic Sydney Opera House, with one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs, Peter Gilmore, at the helm, the restaurant aims to showcase the most magnificent Australian food and wine. ‘
Bennelong is all about the provenance of the food we are serving,’ executive chef, Peter Gilmore, said.
‘The menu is very much crafted in partnership with the farmers, fishermen, breeders and providores from across the land with whom our chefs work together with every day.’ Expect delicate portions and delicious food.
Wild Cape York barramundi, hispi cabbage, parsnip, garlic lemon, capers and brown butter at Bennelong
Creative – and highly Instagramable cocktails – at Bennelong
With a reputation for innovation, Bentley in Sydney’s CBD is not to be missed.
Dishes including Wagyu beef brisket grilled over charcoal with mushroom broth and red kale and pork loin and macadamia milk will surprise and delight, while the eclectic list of wines draws food and drinks buffs from around the world.
The restaurant is consistently featured in top Australian restaurant lists, ever since it first opened in 2006.