Akash Arora serves up Australia’s hottest new restaurants.
No. 1 Bent Street by Mike
The food: The closure of Kitchen by Mike in August last year left many of its devotees disappointed. But chef Mike McEnearney is back with a small and daily-changing menu, much like the former Rosebery canteen.
The drinks: A tight 50-bottle list with local and international wines from boutique growers.
The atmosphere: Formal yet comfortable, with reclaimed wood, bronze windows and a concrete floor.
The location: Downtown Sydney, just a short walk from Circular Quay.￼
1 Bent Street, Sydney
The food: Danielle Alvarez has previously worked at top Californian restaurants such as Chez Panisse and The French Laundry. At this new Merivale eatery, she’ll dish up the best NSW produce, from the Blue Mountains to the Hawkesbury.
The drinks: Winner of the 2015 Australian Ruinart Sommeliers Challenge, Adrian Filiuta has created a 120-strong wine list with plenty of by-the-glass options.
The atmosphere: An open kitchen gives industrious energy to a cavernous room. There’s also a tapas-style bar.
The location: Two shops down from Merivale’s other hot new eatery, The Paddington.￼
380 Oxford Street, Paddington
Tim Ho Wan
The food: Hong Kong’s Tim Ho Wan, often described as the world’s most affordable Michelin- starred restaurant, has opened an all- day yum cha outpost in Melbourne. You must try chef Mak Kwai Pui’s prawn dumplings – $8.30 for a plate of four.
The drinks: Premium Chinese pu-erh tea to complement the delicate dumpling flavours, plus the usual beers (Crown Lager and Tsingtao).
The atmosphere: Bright, bustling and spread over 320 square metres, with capacity for 105 diners.
The location: Smack-bang in the middle of Melbourne’s CBD.￼
206 Bourke Street, Melbourne
The food: Saké’s second outlet in Melbourne and fifth in Australia is set to showcase Victoria’s fresh produce. Dishes will include slow-cooked abalone with garlic-lemon soy and southern rock lobster sashimi with ito togarashi.
The drinks: Saké offers Melbourne’s largest selection of saké, shōchū and Japanese whisky, as well as a beer and cocktail menu.
The atmosphere: Choose vibrant, communal dining at a large stone counter or intimacy in the basement bar below.
The location: Flinders Lane – one of the CBD’s most happening gastronomic strips.￼
121 Flinders Lane, Melbourne