Spooning Australia’s Top 22 Restaurants and Cafes of 2022
It’s fantastic that we are back to usual dining and social standards post “the plague.”
This means that for the first time since 2019, I have a top list, so here is my Top 22 Restaurants and Cafes of 2022. For the first time, I have included some clients that I worship for constantly providing exceptional food, always having outstanding reviews and they push the envelope with their culinary goodness.
Bravo to dining out – make an effort to visit local venues and use your friends for recommendations, use Google for the best-reviewed and, of course, follow my Instagram to see where I have been eating.
The captions are all from my insta posts and reflect my thoughts from the time. There are a few venues with blog posts – go on – click the link and read haha.
What was your favourite venue of the year?
Click on the venue titles for their websites and click on “Insta Post” for my Instagram posts and more pics/videos.
23. Doodee Noodle, Darling Quarter – visited on Nov 26th (invite)
SPECIAL MENTION – I forgot a venue so we are pushing to 23 venues
Doodee Noodle has opened at Darling Quarter WOOHOO!!
We were invited in and since mum and I were seeing the @2cellosofficial at the @iccsyd on Saturday night I asked if we could visit on @doodeenoodle ‘s second day of operation to which they agreed.
I visited their restaurant in Chatswood a few years back with @teafortammi – a good friend and chef who ordered all the spiciest dishes and melted my face off but then the durian desserts melted it back into shape! On their second day at Darling Square they were packed to the rim with a long queue and they brought all their staff from Chatswood so the opening was a smooth operation, they were running like a well-oiled machine and the food was absolutely wonderful.
My favourite dish was the Ginger Beef – the flavour of ginger was beautiful, then the sizzling seafood, it was so spicy and generous with the seafood! Their noodles are a highlight and be sure to ask Chef Maza, the noodle maestro, about their special noodles and ensure you have a noodle dish, I recommend the Combo (I think they call it Variety). My fave entree was the epic quail eggs, which mum tried for the first time. And of course, the durian dessert was my fave, I just adore durian!! Oh, and they have cocktails and are fully licensed.
The owners and staff were so welcoming, friendly, and exceptional at their job, a grand thing on their opening weekend. I can’t thank them enough for such a wonderful experience, mum gives it the thumbs up so you’re on to a winner!
22. Frankie’s Food Factory, Terrey Hills NSW – visited twice (both paid)
I can’t recall what email I read about @frankiesfoodfactory on, but I saw one of their three cafes in a @flowerpowergardencentres was at Terrey Hills and that is only 10mins away so I rallied the troops, well @brookie_orr and @done.matt and off we headed.
𝐅𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐅𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐤𝐢𝐞’𝐬 𝗪𝐞𝐛𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐞:
“Modern cafe favourites served with a twist.
Our delicious breakfast and lunch menus focus on transforming modern classics into a mouth-watering adventure!
Taking inspiration from flavours all across the world, we use only the freshest ingredients from our local farmers to feed your mind, body and soul.”
It delivered on its promise and then some. It would have to be my new favourite Northern Beaches cafe. The fact that you are eating your breakfast in a garden centre with plants all around you in the cafe and in the garden centre is invigorating – there is so much life and growth all around you, it’s refreshing to start the day in such a place.
And it is huge – there had to be 100+ people having breakfast at the time, I highly recommend booking or you will be queuing. The menu is vast and inclusive but I felt it had a Middle Eastern vibe, as per Brooke’s “kind-of” Dhakshuka and my Sujuk Omelette.
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵, 𝘉𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘬𝘪𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘔𝘢𝘵𝘵 𝘸𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘬 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘭𝘶𝘯𝘤𝘩 𝘺𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘐 𝘢𝘮 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘱 𝘯𝘦𝘹𝘵 𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘬𝘦𝘯𝘥.
𝗪𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐝:
Frankie’s hot cakes with roasted almonds, coconut flakes, passionfruit curd, fresh berries, triple cream & Canadian maple syrup and added bacon
Chorizo Hot Pot with free-range eggs, spinach, shallots, onion & tomato, served with organic sourdough toast
Sujuk Omelette with sujuk, rosemary potatoes, spring onions, sautéed mushrooms, confit cherry tomatoes, Persian feta & mozzarella served with toasted organic sourdough and added asparagus
𝐃𝐈𝐕𝐈𝐍𝐄 – to quote Matt “the best hotcakes I have ever had,” Brookie had the Hot Pot and said it was lovely and I had the omelette and I want it again!!
21. Little Pearl, Manly NSW – visited twice (one from invite, one paid)
What a truly epic Sunday lunch that I nearly missed, sitting at home in my own world, editing videos when Raf from @travel.lifestyleblog calls “see you in half an hour, on the ferry to Manly,” completely forget and my calendar failed to send a reminder, whoops.
That is how a sensational 3.5hr lunch started – and there was no dinner, we ate so much indulging at @littlepearlbar which is a renovated (everything) Manly Wine. They have spruced it up to a marvelous Hampton’s meets Manly Beach-styled beach venue – I just adored the fit out – epic paintings from @kristynadostalova_art and surf pics from Stop Motion and faux flowers everywhere. They have also done extensive training with the staff and it shows, the service was exceptional.
First off the cocktails are INSANE – highly recommend starting with a Strawberry Yuzu Sour, could have drunk that all arvo but a nice bottle of Chardy was min order!!
𝗪𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞 𝐝𝐞𝐯𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐝:
Popcorn Bug Sliders
Chicken and then Ora King Salmon Betel Leaves
Gochujang & Sesame Glazed Cauliflower
Prawn & Snapper Wontons
XO Mushroom & Hor Fun Noodles
Hot & Numbing Crispy Red Duck Breast
Surprisingly the Cauliflower was my favourite dish, closely followed by the dumplings, but by the time we got to mains we were so full, but the duck was epic and bloody hot!!
A huge thanks to Raf from @travel.lifestyleblog and the people from the @littlepearlbar and the @australianvenueco for a wonderful lunch – now my favourite venue in Manly.
20. Olive Thyme, Albion QLD – visited 3rd Apr (to eat – have shot here multiple times) (client)
One of my wonderful Queensland clients, @olivethymeau has been very generous in keeping us on through Covid, our content has been stretched thin and I am so stoked to be in Brisbane this week, especially because it is sunny here!
And on Sunday night I got to actually dine here as a guest with Queensland bestie, Martzzzzz and we had a ball!!! 𝐀𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐎𝐌𝐆!!!
𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘥:
Black hummus – chickpeas, black tahini, cumin, hazelnut dukkah, village bread
Soujouk halloumi (modern twist on traditional flavour) – local halloumi, Turkish garlic sausage, fig puree
Kabak kizartma – courgette, charred pepper sauce, mint labneh
Kuzu – lamb backstrap, smoky eggplant, soft onion cups, buryan pilav
Octopus (a crowd favourite) – tahini beans puree, daikon radish, activated walnuts, citrus dressing
Zucchini strips, garlic yoghurt, charred pepper sauce
Hazelnut Burma – single layer filo, hazelnut gelato, almond
Kunefe – kataifi, soft cheese, linden tea syrup, hazelnut, Turkish delight gelato
Kuzu and the Black Hummus were my faves, they are experts at Zucchinis, grown on their own farm, and we had a few dishes with them in it and they were beautiful – and they make the best Kunefe ever – the Turkish Delight Gelato is my number one fave gelato on Earth – just heavenly!!
It’s a must-visit venue when in Brisbane, located in Albion, it has been the Number One voted Turkish restaurant in Brisbane for the last three years!!!
19. Lantern Fish, Manly NSW – visited 11th Nov (invite)
Boom – @lanternfish_manly is here – my new favourite restaurant in Manly!!
A wonderful modern Chinese restaurant. The single best tartare I have ever eaten, the duck pancakes OMG, and the Murray Cod that was so good I had to write an article on Spooning Australia.
Be sure to check it out for more information!!
Thank you so much Carlie and Kevin for treating us like royalty!
18. The Lion and Buffalo, South Coogee NSW – visited multiple times (they became a client after this visit)
Went to catch up and check out old Hoyts friend, John’s new cafe in Coogee – he has bought his third cafe, the bloody brilliant, @thelionandbuffalo .
He’s a sucker for punishment owning two cafes on the Central Coast, @thegreenhousetuggerah and @cosmocoffeetuggerah and now this, buying the third during Covid and with a newborn – and my life is stressful haha
The Lion and Buffalo is already a well-established cafe, they don’t serve anything standard, the bacon and egg roll comes with epic kale slaw, they serve Lox (LOVE), and a Polish Hangover Cure and they have one Polish beer on tap that is bloody brilliant. They also have some wicked merch, awesome murals that are a little Alice and Wonderland themed, and picnic blankets to sit in the little park next to the cafe.
𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘮𝘦𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘰 𝘵𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘹𝘺 𝘱𝘪𝘤𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘮𝘺 𝘱𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘺 𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘺 𝘯𝘦𝘹𝘵 𝘷𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘢.
𝐈 𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐰𝐥 𝐜𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐧 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐫𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐧:
𝐁𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐒𝐞𝐱 𝐑𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐧 – soy infused egg, nori, sautéed wild mushrooms, choice of wagyu beef or (I chose chicken)with added fresh chilli & sambal
𝐀𝐬 𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐧’𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐬𝐞𝐱 𝐢𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐤𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐈 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐜𝐮𝐫 𝐢𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐁𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐒𝐞𝐱.
Check them out – they are on the road between Coogee and Maroubra.
17. Volcano’s Steakhouse, Blacktown NSW – visited numerous times (client)
One of the best steaks I have ever eaten and one of the best steakhouses in Sydney.
It’s been a little while since I shared my love for awesome client @volcanos_steakhouse but a new shoot means new pics!
And this Grass Fed MB4+ Scotch fillet was steak perfection. It was no-shit one of the best steaks I have ever eaten, even after about half an hour of shooting it. They cut it into strips, and classic Eddie, served it with a little bowl of chermoula. It was the single most tender steak I have ever eaten, and Eddie’s sauce choice was .
If you haven’t been to Volcano’s what is wrong with you hahaha, it is time, hit them up at…
16. Balsa Restaurant, Harbord Hotel, Harbord NSW – visited 25th Mar (paid)
I haven’t been to the @harbordhotel in what is probably decades but after the renovations and the people raving about it – Mike, the stepdad and I took Mama Spoons there for her birthday dinner.
And what a superb venue it was, we ate in Balsa, their dine-in restaurant and we only had one complaint – it was so packed that it was too loud, I don’t think anyone would care as everything else was so bloody marvellous but the cement floors echoed every noise and I am hard of hearing at the best of times!!
𝐄𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐞𝐥𝐬𝐞 – 𝐏𝐄𝐑𝐅𝐄𝐂𝐓!!
Gin Cocktails = PERFECT
Octopus = PERFECT
Potato Scallops = PERFECT
Mum’s Barra (special) = PERFECT
Mike’s Steak and Chips, Gravy and an Egg = the PERFECTIST
My Epic Lambchops = the single most PERFECT LAMB CHOPS I’VE EVER EATEN – the smoked yoghurt is a sensation I will return for!
The Staff and the Service – EXCEPTIONALLY PERFECT
𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘨𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘮𝘺 𝘮𝘶𝘮 𝘧𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩𝘥𝘢𝘺, 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘺𝘰𝘶!
Such a wonderful dining experience I can’t wait to repeat, maybe on a quiet night!!
15. The Wharf Local, Tathra NSW – visited Oct 15th (I think) (paid)
I’m heading down the South Coast again in a couple of weeks for a week of rejuvenation and to catch up on family life!
You know what that means – a trip to Tathra hahaha. To visit @pividoristathrabeach for lunch and the best cafe in the world, @thewharflocal – I just adore this place!!
Epic cafe, epic food, epic wharf outlook, epic wharf, great people – I want to spend an entire day here reading and eating and coffeeing (a new word).
14. Macleay St Bistro, Potts Point NSW – visited 5 times (invite)
One of my favourite restaurants in Sydney has and always been @macleaystbistro – I do believe this was my 5th visit since influencing food, and by influencing food I mean being a fat pig food whore haha
This is a whole-in-the-wall elegant Potts Point restaurant that has been going for 35yrs and every year I have eaten here it has made my top ten list of the year. French food totally respected and cooked to perfection, with mature waitstaff that knows every dish and drink and speaks with authority on what to eat. It is refreshing there are still venues that meet the fine dining criteria of professional waiting, I just love it!
This visit has been trying to be organised since June – the first day we could get the diaries to align for @tonyhollingsworth @melzahj and @big_city_mick for a birthday dinner for me – my birthday was in June haha. Happy birthday to Mick for tomorrow!!
𝗪𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞 𝐝𝐞𝐯𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐝:
Sydney Rock Oysters Natural
Garlic Prawns w Prawn and Chilli Bisque
Twice Baked French Onion Soufflé
Salmon Tartare, Lime Caviar & Dill Essence
Organic Grass Fed Eye Fillet Steak Tartare
Rendered Fillet of Duck Breast
Pan Fried Tasmanian Salmon
Steamed Black Mussels in White Wine, Thyme, Garlic, Parsley & Cream
Organic Grass Fed Chateaubriand
Classic Macleay St. Bistro Crème Brûlée
𝘍𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘴 – 𝘢𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘧𝘧𝘭𝘦, 𝘧𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘩𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘶𝘣𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘋𝘶𝘤𝘬 – 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘭𝘺!!
Thank you to the epic team at @macleaystbistro for putting up with us……
@calbrewin (Executive Chef)
@gaz537 (Head Chef)
13. Candlelight Lodge, Thredbo, NSW – visited on Dec 24th (paid)
This one just snuck in, we dined here on Christmas eve and I just adored it!
What a spectacular Christmas eve dinner we all had at @candlelightlodgethredbo in @thredboresort – we could even see a bit of snow on the peaks!
This Thredbo Chrissy we had the Moyland/Orr/Done family join us in the Ozzy alps to get away and enjoy it without the Sydney Chrissy hubbub, and what a treat it has been.
The Candlelight Lodge offers Euro/Austrian accommodation and a restaurant with a schnapps list that got us all very excited, and a bit tiddly haha
We had eight for dinner, some wonderful food, and views for days, it is just heavenly and I have made inquiries to return. My fave dishes were the…..
Pork terrine w/ house-made sauerkraut & mustard
Garlic Hummus w/roasted fennel, zucchini w/toasted flat bread & crispy chickpeas
Jägerschnitzel Mit Spätzle – pan-fried veal fillet with creamy mushroom & white wine sauce with German-style home-made egg noodles
Just divine!! If in Thredderzz check them out!!
12. The Deck on Parkyn, Mooloolaba, QLD – visited Dec 8th (paid)
Yesterday was #aaron50day so we did everything he wanted, and we persuaded Azza to get a tattoo!!
And second stop was lunch and Aaron woke up knowing he wanted seafood at @thedeckonparkyn – I am from Sydney and have never heard of it but I have been to @mooloolaba_fish_market with Azza to visit the epic @walkerseafoods
“THE DECK on Parkyn is Mooloolaba Fish Market’s fully licensed cafe/restaurant where patrons can enjoy a plated meal with an alcoholic beverage or barista coffee overlooking the Mooloolah River and the seafood industry at work. THE DECK on Parkyn offers a simple classy seafood menu catering to all seafood lovers’ tastes.”
𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 – 𝐢𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐧𝐨-𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐬, 𝐛𝐮𝐥𝐥𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐮𝐧𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐟𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐦𝐞𝐜𝐜𝐚.
Azza is a chef and he and Kymmy used to own a few restaurants so they are in the know and I am a food whore, we all adored the food, the drink, and the unobtrusive service from the staff.
The food OMG – I had a fresh seafood platter with a huge Moreton Bay Bug half and 6 giant king prawns and a whole crab, and by whole, I mean so full of meat I was sharing legs with people. Azza had a dozen oysters and a bucket of mussels, Kymmy had a Thai Prawn Salad – we loved every bite!!
11. Cafe Paci, Newtown NSW – visited 22nd Sept (paid)
The second venue Azza picked for his Sydney food tour was @cafepaci and to be honest, I just wanted to go to a venue that served Devilled Eggs haha
I am obsessed with egg dishes – and boy did Paci deliver!!
𝗪𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞 𝐝𝐞𝐯𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐝:
Potato and molasses bread w’ butter
Devilled egg with trout roe
Fermented carrots w’ nduja, on rye
Rye taco, ox tongue, sauerkraut
Radicchio, gorgonzola, anchovy, blackberry
Stracciatella, citrus and chilli
Potato dumpling w’ XO trout
Eggplant, black garlic, harissa, parmesan, hazelnut
The best bread I have eaten in my life – period!!
Devilled eggs were my numero uno dish!!
Everything was superb but I didn’t like the Radicchio dish but this was my taste, the rest of the table did, there was some really interesting stuff, the carrot was wonderfully unique as were the tomatoes, the “gnocchi” was marvelous and the ox tongue – just wow!!
Pasi Petanen has got one fine restaurant on his hands, Thursday night saw it wall to wall, and we had the late setting and this is difficult for me, I am usually in bed by 9pm but we didn’t finish dinner until 1030 haha. It was so superb, it did help I was dining with three lifer friends!
Three cheers for the staff, the service was exceptional as was the wine and venue design by George Livissianis, and boo my friends for trying to set me up with a hottie waiter half my age hahaha
𝐈 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐛𝐞 𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤!!
10. Bangalay Dining, Shoalhaven Heads, NSW – visited 7th Jul (invite)
I have started writing again and loving it. Here is my review of the sublime @bangalayluxuryvillas in Shoalhaven.
This overnight trip involved a wonderful degustation with matching wines and accommodation.
It was such an epic two-day trek – read all about it at the below link!
If you need a break – it’s only 2hrs from Sydney and a lifetime from worries.
9. The Patch, Tomakin NSW – visited 4th Aug (invite)
I have been planning on writing another blog post, this time for @thepatchtomakin because this South Coast venue, inside the @tomakinclub2537 just blew my and my parent’s minds!! Blog Post HERE.
Another venue that @sallyb_sbco does the PR for so you know it’s going to be grand even before you arrive. From the outside, it doesn’t look special as it’s in a club and the car park side hasn’t been renovated, but once you enter the restaurant it’s worthy of waterfront at Bondi. And it is a kind of waterfront, with only the outdoor area and then a grass section before the Tomaga River runs by. The Patch is located about 15min from Moruya and is worth it for a South Coast holiday or a destination restaurant, but you’ll either need a designated driver or local accommodation as the cocktail are epic, as you can see by mum in the 3rd pic lol.
The food is on another level and the staff was exceptional, we visited on a quiet weekday so the staff chatted with us.
Lemon mayonnaise, celery & chives
Chili & orange emulsion, chorizo & roasted almonds & red bell peppers
Spicy corn ribs
Lime, pecorino & coriander mayonnaise
Crispy Pork Belly
Red cabbage puree & Golden apple
Grilled BBQ octopus served with mixed leaves, lemon wedges with cherry tomatoes
The Surf and Turf
A Pizza to takeaway
An epic dessert-tasting plate
No descriptions for the final 4 as the main menu is missing from their website – I will update it when I can get a copy!
There is only one dish I could fault – the Crab Toast – the toast was burnt and it wasn’t up to the level of every other plate – it was literally the first thing we ate and it was quickly forgotten. The mains were all items that you would pay a fortune for in Sydney and they tasted heaps better haha. I had the Surf and Turf and I will eat it again!!
Read my blog post HERE.
8. Warike, Surry Hills NSW – visited 21st Jul (invite through introduction)
I had such fun dining at the splendid @warikesydney last week with the boys, @lachdown_ and @garywatsonsydney – an extra tasty Peruvian restaurant in Surry Hills.
“Warike” is often used in Peru as the name for a hidden restaurant, where people can eat delicious food. These restaurants don’t usually advertise and rely on word of mouth. They chose the name of the restaurant because it was how they started – one person telling another. 𝐋𝐎𝐕𝐄 𝐈𝐓!!
Our visit came from an introduction by @big_city_mick – he introduced me to Luis, the owner, and he invited me in. And spoiled us rotten!! I could only post ten pics – the cocktails and the wines were also bloody amazing and we ate so much food!! Thank you, Mick!!
𝗪𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞 𝐚𝐭𝐞:
One dish I couldn’t find on the menu but that we loved – hearts on a skewer!!
Anchovy Tostada – Angela Chu Anchovy, garlic, tomato, Guindilla, sourdough, Escabechada sauce, dry olives
Ceviche Clasico – Kingfish, tiger’s milk, sweet potato puree, Peruvian corn (chulpe), white corn
Ceviche Carretillero – Snapper, calamari, Rocoto tiger’s milk, sweet potato, onion, Peruvian corn
Salmon Tiradito – Salmon, sriracha, Rocoto, fish sauce, orange, gari, togarashi, sesame
Tiradito Nikkei – Yellowfin tuna, Aji Amarillo tiger’s milk, chalaquita Nikkei, sesame seeds
Scallops Tiradito – Hokkaido scallops, Rocoto sauce with tiger’s milk, lumpfish, chalaquita pickles, sweet potato cracker
Lomo Saltado – Charcoal Scotch fillet, Lomo Saltado sauce, cherry tomatoes, onion, potatoes
Sarten De Pato – Roasted duck, bomaba rice, veggies, chalaquita, white corn, Aji de Huacatay, Huancaina sauc
Picarones – Pumpkin, sweet potato, honey, orange sorbet
Suspiro De Lucuma – Lucuma, dulce de leche, merengue, crunchy quinoa, orange zest
Hands down the favourite dish and their specialty are the ceviches – get them all!! I am going back just for them!!
7. Pividori’s, Tathra Beach NSW – visited Easter (paid)
It all started with a post from mum’s friend, I commented to mum to book it on my next visit. And Easter was just the visit to book for @pividoristathrabeach .
Mum went and booked and I got dubious – I usually hate eating out on big event days, like Xmas, Easter etc. You get a few choices that are normally the easiest menu items on the menu which are all mass-produced and lacking in nuance and love.
Boy oh boy was I wrong – Pividoris is my new fave restaurant on the South Coast of NSW and that isn’t because it is a modern beach shack literally on Tathra Beach. It probably has the single best view beside Tathra Wharf, with both venues looking back over each other.
It wasn’t the perfect lunch but it was damn close!!
I’ll get the complaints out of the way – sorry, have to, 1) firstly I didn’t like the martini – it was too dirty and couldn’t find the balance between dry and dirty, 2) while the rabbit terrine on Easter Sunday was the single best menu choice in history and was perfectly splendid – it could have done with more than two crackers and the sauce on top needed more and, 3) the hot cross bun bread and butter pudding needed a sauce, it was too dry, the ice cream saved the day.
𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘦 𝘴𝘮𝘢𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘥:
RABBIT and fig terrine, cornichons + lavosh
A CHOICE of the following roasts were available:
BEEF roast + red wine jus
PORK roast + apple sauce with panaché roast vegetables, seasonal greens + salsa verde.
JAFFA sphere – chocolate mouse, mandarine jelly + orange tuille
HOT CROSS bun bread & butter pudding + vanilla bean ice cream
ALL OF THIS WAS ONLY $65!!!!!
It was the perfect Easter lunch and my complaints are only minor. The roasts and veg were perfect! Rabbit Terrine was OMG and the Jaffa sphere the parents worshipped!!
𝐈 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐝𝐞𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐛𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐀𝐒𝐀𝐏!!
I need their a la carte menu!! The wine was good and mum’s cocktail with Alize in it is her new fave!!
Service, 10/10!! Location 12/10!!
6. Chophouse, Sydney NSW – visited 14th Nov and other times (invite)
I fell in love with @chophouse_sydney in early 2020!! This place had been on my list for over five years and I just never found the time to get there – gross negligence on my behalf!!
But since visiting it has remained close to the top of my list because of two things; the venue and the wagyu nuggets.
The nuggets were a food delivery from the gods, and guess what, @chefmattmoran needs to be charged for culinary negligence because they are goneksi!!
But another guess what? The food is better than last time, still not as good as the nuggets but up there as one of the best steaks I have ever eaten and the single best prawn toast and potatoes of all time
𝗪𝐡𝐚𝐭 @hungry_diner 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈 𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐮𝐥𝐠𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐧:
Chophouse milk buns, confit garlic, rosemary
Sydney Rock oysters, mignonette
Prawn toast, soft herbs, aioli, lemon
Grain fed beef carpaccio, caperberries, Reggiano, rocket
Wagyu rump cap 250g (h) MBS 5+, 300 days grain fed, F1 wagyu, Westholme, Brunette Downs, NT – we had four sauces but seriously, nothing compared to anchovy butter
Asparagus, Moran family farm pancetta, cured yolk
Cauliflower florets, eschallot, capers
Crushed roast potatoes, chilli, rosemary
Mango & passionfruit pavlova, coconut sorbet
Chophouse chocolate block
Chocolate mousse, cherries, Chantilly cream
And some of the nicest wines of all time, perfectly paired by their incredible staff. @kretzzschmar
Do yourself a huge favour and visit, you won’t regret it!! Massive thanks to the venue, Matt, and the @thecru.agency for the invitation and for such an amazing meal.
I will be back! Matt, NUGGETS!
5. Jonah’s, Whale Beach NSW – visited 18th Feb (paid)
I hit up @jonahswhalebeach on Friday night for one of the fanciest dinners in yonkers.
This was how five friends and I started our weekend away, staying in Palm Beach.
It is one of the most perfect venues I have experienced in Sydney and I can’t wait to return – Goat’s Cheese Tortellini for the win!!
4. Mimosa Wines, Bermagui NSW – visited 13th Oct (invite)
A huge thanks to @mimosa_wines for the invite to dine again.
It is truly spectacular – it was a pity it wasn’t the best day but at least it didn’t rain so I could launch the drone!
I have an article coming soon on the website so please forgive me for not going too into detail, I can’t remember if it was carrot ice cream or sorbet but it features Yowrie Valley carrot, ginger, pistachio, and mandarin. Heaven in a bowl.
The pork dish I did not video well so left it out – see the pics on the website soon – 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐮𝐩 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐦𝐞. The perfect destination!!
They have re-invigorated their wine production since taking over and they have huge fields still to plant so a few years until I can indulge in their wines. But I will! They totally win on the best service of 2022!!
3. Noosa Waterfront, Noosa QLD – visited on Dec 8th (paid and a client)
I got to visit my fave restaurant in Noosa again this week for bestie @aaronruttan ‘s 50th Birthday Dinner.
It is on the river surrounded by green trees and the bonus is, they are a client. I normally take much nicer pics, but this was on my phone as we were drinking…….alot. LOL
It was a definite top 5 meal of the year, and Aaron and all our guests loved it, thank god, as a Sydneysider I was asked to recommend a restaurant for a chef in QLD lol
The food, the service, and the alcohol were flawless. We dined for the first night of their new menu, and lucky us!!
The best caviar I have ever had and in the last month I have eaten a lot of caviar, I even hosted a caviar event!
A table fave was the scallop carpaccio, and for the entrees my trout was bliss. For the mains, I adored my lobster pasta and everyone else all gave two thumbs up to their wonderful dishes.
For desserts surprisingly I wished I had ordered the vegan dessert – it’s the last pic – heaven – but I did enjoy my fig dessert immensely.
I can’t thank you enough for looking after us @noosa_waterfront_restaurant and Chef @andrearavezzani – one of my best friends had a great night!!
𝐈 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐝𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐭 – 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈 𝐜𝐚𝐧’𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐢𝐭 𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐥 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐧𝐞𝐱𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐭!
2. Woollahra Hotel, NSW – visited May (invite)
I knew when I was invited to a pub in Woollahra that the food would be good but the food and venue at @thewoollahrahotel are the best I have visited in 2022 – we are only halfway through the year and I am calling this the venue to beat, and I have already planned my return!!
Recently renovated and almost restored to its original state and look from the 1930s it has old-school opulence down pat. We were greeted and served cocktails and entrees downstairs in the bar and the manager discussed the renovations including the poured terrazzo floors, they are so bloody good!! The waitstaff was incredible, regularly checking in on us and seeing to our every need, then after the entrees, we were led upstairs to dine on the outdoor terrace.
And we were mind blown at such incredible dishes.
𝐌𝐲 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐡 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐬𝐨 𝐟𝐚𝐫 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫…
STEAMED SNAPPER FILLET with soy, ginger, shallot, chilli & coriander – it was so delicately crafted and a pure delight to eat, I have thought about it regularly since my visit.
The THAI GREEN CHICKEN with Thai eggplant, snake beans & baby corn was also marvellous and a beautiful winter curry and their BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIBS with pickled cucumber, Asian slaw, sambal mayo, and bao buns were the most tender ribs of all time – these are a favourite as you can load bao with them, but the fish won for me!
And when the mains arrived the manager brought us a wine that would pair perfectly and based on him seeing us order whites downstairs, this was exceptional service beyond anything required.
I am returning soon and you need to stop what you are doing and head on in soon for a divine night. I took so many venue shots that I will post them tomorrow as stories probably. Huge thanks to the venue and the @themintpartners for organising this sublime experience.
1. Beckett’s, Glebe NSW – visited Jul/Sep (invite/paid)
This venue was so good I started writing again. Beckett’s also made my dish of the year, Strawberry Foie Gras, just sublime!!
BLOG POST HERE
I just feel some venues deserve more than a FB post with some pics. To kick it off, I share the outstanding @beckettsglebe . All the pics are on my blog post.
I couldn’t make their truffle dinner this Thursday, so the lovely @sallyb_sbco and her company invited me to join them for a private dinner with long-term friend @josiesjuicejournalist
I don’t usually like staying at an invite-meal for longer than 2hrs, but what followed was 3.5hrs of the most awesome food I have eaten since Brae.
To see all the photos please copy and paste this link into your browser, grab a coffee and give it ten minutes to truly appreciate the venue and my article: