Akash Arora serves up Australia’s hottest new restaurants.
The food: David Thompson’s Thai food – so hot you’ll break into a sweat – has reached Melbourne after the success of his restaurants in Perth and Sydney. Must-try dish? The prawn and fish-dumpling laksa. Just have a cool drink at the ready.
The drinks: Inventive cocktails, including the rum-based Bangkok Painkiller and the Or Tor Kor Mule with kaffir lime-infused vodka and ginger beer, plus 70 wines.
The atmosphere: An elegant dining room with dark, moody interiors but a relaxed vibe.
The location: The Crown Riverwalk in Melbourne’s Southbank.
60 Lygon Street, Brunswick East; ettadining.com.au￼
The food: Chef Hayden McMillan’s menu at this neighbourhood bistro is all about light share plates with a focus on vegetables. Expect dishes such as pea, broccoli and kohlrabi pasta and macerated strawberries with macadamia nuts.
The drinks: About 50 Australian and international wines from artisanal small-batch producers.
The atmosphere: A long, narrow dining room with a curved bar top and a mural by local artist Robert Bowers.
The location: Just north of Lygon Street’s Italian heart.
Crown complex, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank
The food: Experience a slice of New York’s Meatpacking District in Sydney on a visit to this new grill with a distinctive Japanese twist. Chef Stanley Wong is at the helm, creating dishes such as the bourbon-brined Kurobuta pork chop.
The drinks: A wide range of international wines, classic cocktails, boutique whiskies and sakés once the liquor licence is approved (BYO until then).
The atmosphere: The eatery is housed in the Old Rum Store, which has exposed-brick walls and arched windows.
The location: Chippendale’s burgeoning Kensington Street food precinct.
Level 1, 2-10 Kensington Street, Chippendale
The food: Launched late last year as a breakfast and lunch venue, Greenglass is now also openfor dinner. The dishes range from classic (roast chicken) to creative (seafood baby soufflés with Gruyère and savoury crème brûlée).
The drinks: About 100 wines from boutique Australian producers.
The atmosphere: A bright loft space with timber floorboards and exposed brick.
The location: Brisbane CBD.
First floor, 336 George Street, Brisbane
Top image: Eastside Grill
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