The inside line

22 Feb 2016

By Shadforth Financial Group

Splash out specials

Acme, Canberra

A lively Italian and Asian combination, Acme is where Gus Armstrong, of Canberra’s Eightysix restaurant, goes when he wants to have fun. His firm favourites are “the radishes in nori butter and that baloney sandwich.”

Bistro Thierry, Melbourne

Scott Webster of Newcastle’s Carrington Place says he can’t go past Bistro Thierry when he visits Hawksburn in Melbourne, saying the venue feels like a small piece of the French countryside. “The classic onion soup, escargots and the steak frites all remind me of when food was just that — classic.”

Best on a budget

Bourke Street Bakery, Sydney

Once a little corner store bakery cafe, Bourke Street Bakery has grown into a Sydney institution. Brisbane’s top chef Ryan Squires of Esquire says, “It’s the one place I will always visit in Sydney — consistency is key in this business and Bourke Street Bakery has it.”

China Town Noodle King, Sydney

Australia’s most prominent chef, Neil Perry of Rockpool, has a particular fondness for cheap Chinese and says you can’t go past China Town’s Noodle King. “They serve food Shaanxi style, so the provenance goes right up north and they do noodles and breads. I go for the cumin lamb, tree mushroom and bacon hot pot, beer braised duck, gluten and bean sprout salad.”

Best in the land

The Australian Financial Review’s top 100 restaurants list was compiled by asking 500 chefs and restaurateurs for their favourites.

Rated #1. Sepia

The creative collaboration of two of Sydney’s most highly-regarded foodies, Sydney chef Martin Benn and renowned seafood wholesaler George Costi, Sepia’s menu draws inspiration from Japan while making the best of seasonal produce.

Rated #3. Quay

Quay calls the upper level of Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal home and aims to match the breathtaking harbour setting with quintessential modern Australian cuisine.

Rated #2. Attica

Attica’s head chef Ben Shewry draws inspiration from the rugged terrain of his childhood home in rural North Taranaki in New Zealand — from the volcano, rivers, ocean and native bush. As a result, his food is inventive and, at times, fantastical.

Rated #4. Brae

Offering culinary sophistication in a country cottage, Brae is set on 30 productive acres and its menu reflects the restaurant’s connection to the land, its pristine surroundings and the bountiful agricultural region in which it is based.

Rated #44. Magill Estate

Nestled in the foothills of Adelaide with views over the city, the Magill Estate restaurant boasts two head chefs, Scott Huggins and Emma McCaskill. The dynamic duo say their aim is to constantly be inventive by drawing influences from season, flavour, aroma, wine and texture.

Rated #47. Orana

With pioneering Scottish owner and chef Jock Zonfrillo at the helm, Orana manages to thrill diners by creating dishes with unusual native foods. On offer is a tasting menu in an intimate setting on Adelaide’s Rundle Street.

Rated #36. Esquire

A great spot for a very special night out, Esquire’s ever-changing menu always produces a spectacular journey for diners. Executive chef and owner Ryan Squires offers a seamless, multi-course menu, reflecting changing market availability.

Rated #53. Wasabi Restaurant & Bar

Noosa’s much-loved Japanese restaurant, Wasabi works tirelessly to provide a better platform on which to showcase Australia’s lesser-known seafood, as well as the techniques used to prepare them. You can even request to be seated in a tatami room.

Rated #34. Franklin

This Hobart restaurant is based in an old Ford showroom and features a large Scotch oven in its centre. The menu changes daily and celebrates the great variety of local produce available in Tasmania.

Rated #45. Restaurant Amuse

Owned and operated by Hadleigh and Carolynne Troy, Restaurant Amuse was born out of a shared desire to serve interesting and tasty food in a venue where everyone feels like a guest in their home.

Educational guides