Akash Arora serves up Australia’s hottest new restaurants.
Food: Restaurateur Sam Prince has given the Harbour City a Mexican eatery, Méjico, and Indian/Sri Lankan diner Indu. Now, his Kid Kyoto is dishing up “rebellious” Japanese: cold squid udon with tomato dashi, say, or wok-smoked mushrooms with walnut miso.
Drinks: Japanese-inspired cocktails with fresh, seasonal and colourful ingredients, as well as international and Australian wines.
Space: Pops of turquoise, magenta and yellow set the mood at this vibrant eatery with teal-coloured booths.
Location: Bridge Street, a short walk from Circular Quay.
17-19 Bridge Street, Sydney
Suzie Luck’s Canteen & Cocktail Bar
Food: One of Hobart’s most reliable restaurants, Smolt recently closed its doors to re-emerge as a pan-Asian establishment. Chef Joseph Koops is at the helm, serving dishes such as Bangkok chicken wings with sriracha mayonnaise and Vietnamese Wagyu carpaccio.
Drinks: There are 15 cocktails and 35 (mostly Australian) wines that lean towards aromatic whites and light reds.
Space: A smart, casual fit-out with lots of timber, tiles and bright splashes of colour (above).
Location: Right where Smolt used to be in Salamanca Square.
2 Salamanca Square, Battery Point
Food: Chef Jock Zonfrillo has reopened this approachable eatery in the same building that houses his fine-diner, Orana. Native ingredients are the stars in dishes such as rib eye with eucalyptus potatoes and fire-pit kangaroo with broccoli leaves and spiced yoghurt.
Drinks: Sommelier Brent Mayeaux has curated the concise wine list of 40 drops but guests can also order from Orana’s 400-strong menu.
Space: White marble tables, timber chairs, booth seating and hues that range from marshmallow- pink to navy blue.
Location: The east end of Adelaide’s CBD.
285 Rundle Street, Adelaide
Food: Former Saint Crispin co-owner Joe Grbac is behind this venue, which has a casual bar and restaurant on the ground floor and an intimate dining room upstairs that offers a classic three-course menu. The entrée of duck scrambled eggs with spanner crab is a standout.
Drinks: About 120 wines from the Old and New worlds, plus a tight saké menu.
Space: Timber, marble and brass contribute to the warm, sophisticated vibe.
Location: Melbourne CBD.
211 Queen Street, Melbourne