It’s only natural that the restaurant to top the list is Restaurant Orana, led by Scottish chef and owner Jock Zonfrillo. Paying tribute to both the ancient and modern elements of Australian cuisine, this iconic dining establishment located in Adelaide offers up a menu that is distinctly its own. Zonfrillo muses over Indigenous ingredients and serves it up in a uniquely contemporary style, one sumptuous dish at a time.
There is great comfort to be taken in the simplicity of scenic views with a well-bodied glass of wine in hand at restaurant Laura in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. Nestled in the heart of Point Leo Estate, this intimate dining destination offers a set menu that takes you on a culinary journey through the region. Designed by award-winning chef Phil Wood, with a perfectly curated wine list by Head Sommelier Andrew Murch, you’ll be left dreaming up ways to come back before you’ve even taken your first bite.
Owned by three-hat restaurateur Leon Fink and run by Peter Gilmore, one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs, this iconic Sydney harbour restaurant is no stranger to receiving accolades. Having won multiple awards over the years, Gilmore’s quintessential menu relishes in the use of rare and beautiful ingredients that are a result of longstanding relationships with farmers, fisherman, producers and artisans who take pride in delivering unsurpassable produce.
Set among the bountiful terrain of an organic farm in Victoria, restaurant Brae is an elegant offering of earth-to-table food. Chef Dan Hunter utilises the Brae farm’s produce along with that of local farmers to showcase an ever-changing set menu that respects both nature and seasonality. Diners come here to eat well and be at one with nature – a connection that today feels both rare and a luxury in and of itself.
Sous-chef Jodie Odrowaz of Victoria’s Iki Jime won this year’s award for Best Young Chef, and it’s easy to see why. Celebrating the very best in local Australian ingredients, this conceptual seafood bar in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD is relatively new on the scene and already winning awards. Using ethical and sustainable harvesting, Jodie and innovation expert Justin James celebrate both topography and seasonality in their menu.
The acclaimed Otto restaurant that houses some of Brisbane's best modern Italian cuisine is also home to a diverse and high-quality selection of wines. Given the title for Wine List of the Year, the fine-dining venue led by head chef Will Cowper and sommelier Alan Hunter hosts a view that always goes down well with some rock oysters, spaghettini al nero and a glass of chilled pinot grigio.
Wickens at the Royal Mail
This regional restaurant features floor-to-ceiling vistas that overlook the magnificent Mount Sturgeon and Mount Abrupt of Victoria. London-born chef Robin Wickens offers up a completely transparent dining experience, with full view of the kitchen and his team at work. The produce is grown in the hotel’s kitchen garden, while the wine cellar keeps over 28,000 world-class wines.
This famously rustic venue offers upscale Italian dishes that are both intimate and inspired by la cucina povera. Relying on his memory and instinct, owner and chef Stefano de Pieri has created a set menu that uses few and simple ingredients, reminiscent of the ‘poor kitchens’ that were typical of southern Italy, to produce some of the best food you will ever eat. The refined wine list is mandatory.
The Dolphin Hotel Wine Room
Another wine list worthy of the hype lies within the walls of the Dolphin Hotel Wine Room in Surry Hills, Sydney. The cream-on-white interior designed by George Livissianis is a comfortable setting for a perfect Friday evening aperitivo. It offers up an elegant pub-style feed, with a strong focus on wood-fired pizza and a crowd-pleasing curation of both Australian and international wines.