Akash Arora serves up Australia’s hottest new restaurants.
Food: Declan Carroll (ex-Rockpool) and chef Liam Ganley are at the helm of this Manhattan-esque steakhouse with wood-fire grills. Enjoy confit lamb ribs for entrée, followed by a more substantial protein – say, the 30-day-aged rib eye on the bone.
Drinks: Wiremu Andrews – owner of Smalls wine bar in South Melbourne – has curated the wine list, replete with local pinot noirs and chardonnays.
Space: Dine in the landscaped outdoor area or nab a spot in the clubhouse-looking dining room with soft lighting.
Location: Housed in Prahran’s old post office, which dates back to 1928.
168 Greville Street, Prahran
Food: With tremendously talented chef Tomotaka Ishizuka, 11 dishes and seating for only
16 guests, this restaurant pretty much nails the essence of high-end Japanese kaiseki dining. Dishes range from quail egg with truffle to black tiger prawn with caviar.
Drinks: Award-winning sommelier David Lawler (ex-Spice Temple) has curated a wine list that will evolve with the seasons and the ever-changing menu.
Space: Russell & George, the firm behind Attica, designed this subterranean space with lots of concrete and timber.
Location: In Melbourne’s CBD.
Basement, 137 Bourke Street, Melbourne ￼
Food: Morgan McGlone of Belle’s Hot Chicken is behind this eatery inspired by (gulp) natural history museums around the world. Thankfully, the taxidermy is on the walls, leaving the tables free for steak, pork chops, cheesecake... you get the gist.
Drinks: Dominated by new-wave drops, the drinks list has a strong focus on natural wines. The cocktails feature lesser-known spirits.
Space: Two distinct zones –one’s all café, the other’s more of a bistro – with booths, stained glass and marmoleum floors.
Location: A 10-minute walk from Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station.
401 Collins Street, Melbourne
Food: This Bondi institution has moved to a new location on Campbell Parade. Sean Kiely’s menu strikes the right balance between Latin American and Australian flavours. The tacos are packed with flavoursome rabbit, kangaroo and even crocodile meat.
Drinks: Tequila and rum are at the heart of the cocktail list, while wines are sourced from Australia and South America.
Space: Booths, high tables and a banquette fill the space inside, with a balcony overlooking the beach.
Location: In the Pacific Bondi Beach complex.
180 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
Image: Richard Mortimer
Top image: Ishizuka