Akash Arora serves up Australia’s hottest new restaurants.
Food: John Dory on the bone, salt-and-pepper Blackmore Wagyu bavette and woodfired Macedon duck are just some of the dishes you can expect at Scott Pickett’s new restaurant on the ground floor of just-opened United Places Botanic Gardens.
Drinks: Beverage manager Clint Fox has concocted 10 signature cocktails and curated a list of about 100 wines, mostly from Australia.
Space: Timber floors and tables set the stage for artwork by Bill Henson, specifically commissioned for this site.
Location: In South Yarra, opposite the Royal Botanic Gardens.
159 Domain Road, South Yarra
Food: This is no ordinary Fratelli Fresh. Under Neil Perry’s culinary direction, Rockpool Dining Group’s new food emporium – with 550 seats, an alfresco beer garden and a number of bars and dining spaces – brings a slice of New York’s Eataly to Sydney’s Darling Harbour.
Drinks: Liquid pleasures range from Mecca Coffee and Goose Island beers to a well-thought-out list of spritzers, Negronis and wines.
Space: There’s a laid-back vibe in this 30-metre-high space with a mix of communal and smaller tables.
Location: Ground floor of ICC Sydney in the heart of Darling Harbour.
ICC Sydney, 14 Darling Drive, Sydney
Food: Port Melbourne’s popular Italian haunt is moving to a new location in the same neighbourhood. The menu will feature classics such as spanner crab spaghetti and debut dishes like whole rainbow trout with pancetta and Sardinian-style goat leg.
Drinks: Limoncello Martinis, inventive Negronis and a range of spritzers, plus a 200-strong wine list (20 by the glass) with a firm focus on Italian varietals.
Space: Fine dining in a heritage-listed building. For something more relaxed, go to sister venue Ciao Cucina’s beer garden next door.
Location: A two-minute walk from the restaurant’s original Bay Street location.
115 Bay Street, Port Melbourne
Food: Greg Anderson and Patricia Nunes (the duo behind Sails on Lavender Bay) are turning the former Shore Club Hotel into a three-storey venue with a casual street-level bar, a grill on the second floor and a rooftop bar.
Drinks: A wide selection of wines, cocktails and beers across the three levels.
Space: All the spaces are bright and airy, featuring a soft palette of neutrals teamed with abundant greenery.
Location: In the heart of Manly, facing the beach.
36-38 South Steyne, Manly