What an epic year of food 2016 was. I never thought I could actually eat so much. I continued my eternal burger odyssey but dropped to a measly 80 burgs eaten in a year, check out my TOP 20 SYDNEY BURGERS OF 2016. While the burg inhalation dropped my visitation to restaurants drastically rose. This is the first full year as a fully fledged food reviewer. I ate out on average three times a week for an entire year and cannot comprehend the amount of food joy I have had. It is with great pleasure that the culmination of this food love has resulted in my first inaugural TOP 10 RESTAURANTS list. Please enjoy my TOP 10 RESTAURANTS OF 2016.
A lot of my opportunities to review would not be possible without the assistance and invitations from a lot of people, mostly PR companies and the food community at large. Huge thanks to Food Critics and Bloggers Australia, Zomato, Ompty, Sydney Public Relations, I Am Strategist, Agent 99 PR, The Atticism, Markson Sparks, Caroline from the Indu group and anyone else I have forgotten. Also thanks to all the venues that have hosted and big thanks to my fellow foodie crew who have invited me to events and places. A lot of what I do is not possible without collaborations with you all. Looking forward to working with you all again in 2017.
Now my list is different from the larger publications with larger budgets, I can only eat at places I can afford or am invited to. I cannot afford a dinner at Bennelong’s pop ups and the like, one day maybe. For now I believe my food and its corresponding rankings are more accessible to the regular and wonderful peeps who drive a Toyota over a Mercedes. Don’t get me wrong, I will not decline an invite to review if you have a Michelin star or two haha.
Special mentions also have to go to my burger venues, they were ranked in my Top 20 Sydney Burgers of 2016 article but I chose to keep burger restaurants and “other” restaurants separate.
Without further ado………..
SPOONING AUSTRALIA TOP 10 RESTAURANTS OF 2016
10) Scarlett Restaurant | The Rocks
Scarlett Restaurant had the best service and painting of 2016. The food was also exceptional.
9) Henry’s Cronulla | Cronulla
Henry’s, while too far for someone on the Northern Beaches, was a remarkable venue with some wicked food and a hysterical waiter.
8) Mejico | Miranda
Best corn of ALL TIME. I love this place and their food and I learned there is more types of tequila available than can be imagined.
7) Flour Drum | Newtown
Cafe of the year – I love this place. Their cafe food and Xmas goods are epic and the people and venue is also bloody wonderful.
6) Sunset Sabi | Manly
Best Asian food of the year. This is the closest venue to where I live that made the list and I could spend every night at this venue. Their modern Japanese food is next level.
5) Mowbray Eatery | Lane Cove
Best risotto I have ever eaten. A cafe by day and a nice quaint restaurant by night. Everything is paddock to plate and you can see the love in every dish. Loved them so much I took my parents back for a second visit.
4) Salmon and Bear | Newtown
Poke is life and what these guys do with food is amazing. You seriously think you are on the side a river in Canada on the lookout for wild bears while grabbing your own dinner out of the lake. It needs to snow in Newtown in winter so these guys can get an open fireplace to complete the look. Also took the parents to this place. Affordable and epic and so unpretentious I nearly took my pants off and sat in my boxers.
3) Manjit’s at the Wharf | King Street Wharf
I worship this place. The best Indian food I have ever eaten with so much creativity in plating. This was also the first venue I took my mum to while on the review job. She got to see what it was all about and the venue treated her like royalty and served us food that took the culinary game to the next level. They serve traditional Indian food with a modern twist to it and this place is HUGE. Those lamb chops pictured below will change your life.
2) Indu | CBD
My Number 2 venue of the year is also Indian in origin but Indu creates more modern Indian cuisine art. It was food heaven and had the second best waitperson of 2016 for me. They also had epic cocktail game and a venue that is as much art as is the menu. I will be back again and again to this place, it’s a marvel.
1) Norsk Dor | CBD
Choosing the Top 3 for this list was quite difficult, all their food game was strong, Indu won me over with cocktails, the waiter and that remarkable venue. Manjit’s had the strongest food game but one of them kept tap tap tapping in my head. Norsk Dor is an entire experience. First it was the experience of getting into the venue, then it was the venue itself, then came the drink and food game and finally it was the opportunity of eating something new. Norsk Dor had my favourite single dish of the year. The below bone marrow paired with an Akavit aperitif. Norsk Dor ticked every box for me, it was an experience that mixed up my dining with something new that went beyond remarkable food. Gratz on being our first Number 1 Norsk Dor in our Top 10 Restaurants for 2016. Special thanks to Rachel at The Atticism for bringing this venue to my attention. Nordic food for the win :).
Keep your hunger game on – 2017 is going to be the biggest year yet. Thanks for being a part of Spooning Australia.