365 Days in the making and near on ten kilos for the year was the cost of finding the Spooning Australia Top 20 Restaurants of 2017. From Hobart to Melbourne to Sydney and all the way to Perisher no table can keep hidden from the Spooning belly! Sadly Spooning was financially stuck on the East Coast of Australia but if lotto comes through there will be many more trips all over the country coming in 2018. This is actually the first year Spooning got his ass out of NSW for the list but it isn’t called Spooning NSW is it!!
It has been a wondrous year of eating and I cannot count the amount of food I have lovingly ingested in 2017. Nor can I ever thank the venues and the friends I have dined with throughout the year, nor the wines – oh the wines!! Just a blissful year and the best and strongest for Spooning Australia. There are big things coming in 2018 so stay tuned!
And in the words of Dan Pashman from The Sporkful (podcast) – “Eat More, Eat Better and Eat More Better!”
** Click on the venue titles to go to full review and pics of each venue, unless otherwise stated **
20 JADE TEMPLE – review still to come – SYDNEY
Dumplings don’t get more decadent than this – such a superb Neil Perry venue.
19 RIDGEVIEW – review still to come – THE HUNTER VALLEY
Such a funny story with this venue. An old taxi-driver in her 70s totally ripped me off and took me on the single longest route to get to a wedding in The Hunter Valley – it was half the cost coming home but she kept me talking and we talked restaurants I may love in the area and RIDGEVIEW was one she suggested on a vineyard. I spent over $100 for lunch and a couple of drinks but fell in love with this modern Middle Eastern meets Mediterranean menu. The views are amazing and ensure you wine match your degustation.
18 COD’S GIFT – review still to come – DURAL – Rural Sydney
Another venue that took me on a little drive was to COD’S GIFT in Dural. Usually if they are long drives I decline due to the travel time but Cod’s Gift won over due to their wonderful presentation – their instagram shots are superb and I had to recreate that awesomeness. And it wasn’t just the shots, their food is sublime as is their wine list and they have a gorgeous gay waitperson that could inspire me to return haha. I have been single way too long!!
District Brasserie is pure New York style in a Sydney venue. Located in the business district in Chifley Plaza this place is the perfect business meal venue, or for any meal really!
16 BARE GRILL – review still to come – SYDNEY
One of my all time favourite burger venues in Sydney. I have been there nearly a dozen times and it isn’t just the venue that keeps me returning – the people are bloody marvellous! And if the word raclette isn’t enough to make you drool and get a food woodie then you are either lactose intolerant or in need of culinary education haha.
What a marvel this place is in Woolwich. It is so decadent and a venue I need to return to. Their chef is a perfectionist and it shows in the food. They also win points for the cutest uniforms in Sydney!
COOH is opposite The Grounds in Alexandria and it was a mind blowing experience dining here. Foodie Friend Tammi Kwok won a meal here and invited four of us to join her so we feasted and tried a lot of food, nothing could be faulted and the venue is superb.
Dinner by Heston, in Melbourne, is all about the experience. The two of us had six waiters, one for water, delivery and so on. The Meat Fruit is one of the greatest things I have ever eaten and the experience is one of my greatest food experiences of all time. It was worth the $570- the two of spent on lunch hahaha.
I have now been to Mjolner three times, paid every time and intend on returning in early 2018. It is Viking inspired restaurant that will give you much more than a Game of Thrones or Viking fix. The knives are a highlight and if you are a whiskey lover then this place is heaven!!
Best views in Hobart other than being on a boat. The Glass House is just wonderful. It is a very modern a la carte restaurant and the venue, art, drinks and collection of glass accoutrements will highly impress. The bar is also so bloody sexy I squeed.
The most fun venue in Hobart that is more institution than restaurant. It is the ultimate in seafaring memorabilia all throughout a restaurant. If you are heading to Hobart you MUST visit here and if you have kids, NO SITTERS – they will be in as much heaven as you. And you MUST order the chowder when there – it is a rite of passage.
Best Vietnamese food in Sydney – I have loved Red Lantern for a long time and they are always consistent in their brilliance.
One of the biggest surprised of the year WILD SAGE just blew my mind – cocktails and food – HUGE big tick and anyone that serves their cocktails with orchids as garnish and then delivers you pork belly lollypops is a place close to heavenly.
When Lebanese food gets the modern twist magic happens. NOUR is a marvel in the heart of Surry Hills
Best burgers of the year – BOOM. I adore both the Ume venues but Bar Ume is that little bit more special and restaurant like. And that Japanese burger bar food is like nothing else.
This has been a favourite venue for a couple of years now. Architecturally it is next level award winning stuff and the food never fails to match. It is rare I would spend over $20- just for a waffle toastie but when it’s filled with yabby meat and horseradish cream I get a little excited – just wonderful.
Another venue that has been a favourite for a few years is WIL BRUMBY – it’s listed Jindabyne but it’s closer to Thredbo and it’s actually a schnapps distillery. Their schnapps is the best in the world and their Austrian food is the perfect food in winter. Their Farmer’s Pfandl with Kassler is a winter dish I dream of. Washed down with an Aussie red and a couple of schnapps chasers is enough to make me want to live close by!
Single best Pad Thai I have eaten in my life. My experience at the Melbourne venue in June is one of the best dining experiences of recent years but sadly my experience at their newly opened Sydney was so below par it has tainted the entire chain. I will be returning in a few months however to see if it has improved – if I am in Melbourne though I am straight back to that venue!
When you schedule in your second visit before you have left the first visit you know you are onto something. My all time favourite Japanese venue in Sydney. Also the venue that introduced me to black cod aka butter fish. Probably my favourite dish of the year comes from RAW BAR – it was the black cod if curious.
The number one title winner for 2017 belongs with ease to……….
Everything about Frogmore Creek just blew my mind. The service, the venue, the food, the fact it’s a vineyard that sells two of my favourite wines of the year. 1) 2011 Botrytis Riesling and 2) 2013 Cab Sac. That Botrytis Riesling is only made every five or so years and I got one of the last bottles this year and nearly died. It was perfection – their riesling on its own wins all the awards so grab a few bottles of that.
Besides the wine each plate is a piece of art sculpted from the kitcken, it is bright, it is colourful and it is the best of the year. Congratulations you wonderful place you!