Akash Arora serves up Australia’s hottest new restaurants.
Food: Bar tsar Justin Hemmes’s latest project comprises two restaurants and three bars over two levels. Jordan Toft – executive chef at Coogee Pavilion and The Newport – is also here with a beach-kiosk-inspired menu downstairs and long-lunch offerings upstairs.
Drinks: An accessible wine list with a focus on Australian drops, plus a menu of craft beers and cocktails.
Space: This place is laid-back and convivial. Wander in straight from the sand.
Location: Right on Collaroy Beach on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
1064 Pittwater Road, Collaroy
Food: After 22 years, one of Brisbane’s most beloved bistros on Boundary Street closed its doors late last year – only to re-emerge three months later at a new location in Newstead. Simon Palmer’s menu is full of remarkable dishes, such as confit salmon with black lime.
Drinks: Sommelier Mia McIntyre’s wine list includes boutique Australian wines and well-regarded international labels and varietals.
Space: Curved leather seating and travertine floors give the dining area an air of elegance.
Location: The riverside neighbourhood of Newstead, right next to Fortitude Valley.
63 Skyring Terrace, Newstead
Food: Wagyu beef tataki, chicken karaage and miso-cream scallops are just a few dishes on the menu at this new izakaya-style establishment – a collaboration between restaurateur Gareth Rowlands and chef Eriko Pannam.
Drinks: The wine list showcases the best of the Macedon Ranges region and there’s a selection of Japanese beers on tap.
Space: Relaxed interiors with exposed-brick walls, jarrah floors and bold bursts of colour.
Location: Just off High Street in Woodend, an hour’s drive north-west of Melbourne.
42 Anslow Street, Woodend
Food: Expect chef Josh Inglis to dish up some hearty, flavoursome Greek food. Share a serve of slow-cooked lamb shoulder – spiked with salsa verde – with friends or have the lemon-infused pork belly all to yourself.
Drinks: There are a dozen wines by the glass and 19 more by the bottle, plus a menu of craft gins and beers, as well as classic cocktails with a modern twist.
Space: Blue splashes bring to mind the shades of the Mediterranean, while silver accents mimic its sparkling waters.
Location: About 30 minutes’ drive south-west of Brisbane’s CBD.
￼4 Wongabel Street, Kenmore
Top image: e’cco bistro/Natalie Hoo
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