Mixing business with pleasure: the best degustations in Australia
Home to a wealth of local ingredients and some of the most innovative chefs in the world, the Australian food scene has never been stronger. Whether you’re visiting from overseas or looking to celebrate the year coming to a close, now’s the time to try one of these world-class degustations for yourself.
By Alexandra Middleton
One of Australia’s most celebrated dining institutions, Quay recently reopened its doors following a $4 million refurbishment. Unrivalled views across Sydney Harbour complement an exquisite menu designed by 2018 Citi Good Food Chef of the Year, Peter Gilmore.
Choose between a six- or 10-course degustation, each one boasting a bold take on classic Australian ingredients. ‘Oyster intervention’ is a divinely velvety oyster cream topped with crunchy oyster crackling, all served in a beautiful ceramic shell - a light-hearted twist on the traditional oyster appetiser.
Quay is the perfect place for an elegant business lunch. Enjoy sampling the extensive wine list as you watch boats crossing the harbour – unbeatable.
Once dubbed the ‘best restaurant in Western Australia’, Wildflower offers contemporary cooking that follows the ebbs and flows of the indigenous Noongar calendar – a uniquely Australian experience if you’re entertaining colleagues from overseas.
With six menu cycles based around the six Noongar seasons, diners are immersed in a profound sense of local history. Highlighting the finest in foraged ingredients like native herbs and wildflower honey, the five-course tasting menu, which includes dishes like Berkshire pork jowl with green lip abalone, is served on local handmade crockery.
Not only is Wildflower steeped in tradition, but the sleek restaurant, positioned on the fourth floor of the COMO hotel in Perth’s CBD, also highlights the splendour of the modern city, striking the balance between business and pleasure.
Lûmé is not your typical fine dining restaurant. An ambitious concept, the restaurant declares itself an experience ‘you won’t find anywhere else in town.’ With high-impact dishes that capitalise on unexpected flavour combinations, Lûmé's offering includes four punchy degustation menus.
There’s the original – 14 courses featuring ‘Darwinian egg’ and signature dish ‘pearl on the ocean floor’, or a shortened seven-course version, perfect if you are short on time. A daring vegan tasting menu offers dishes such as barbecued shiitake and artichoke sourdough, while those looking for the ultimate luxury dining experience can enjoy a personalised tasting menu guided by the chef.
Unassuming and inconspicuous, Dier Makr is fast becoming a favourite on the trendy Hobart food scene. Offering a tasting menu that showcases the very best of local, fresh Tasmanian ingredients, chef Kobi Ruzicka transforms simply named dishes like ‘Apple and Carrot’ into works of art. The menu changes with the seasons, but whenever you visit this gem, you’re guaranteed to be surprised by brave and original takes on traditional fare.
An intimate setting at the heart of a buzzing food scene, Dier Makr has earned its place on any gastronomic hit list.
Alice in Wonderland inspired décor provides an elaborate setting for Bacchus – one of Brisbane’s fine-dining favourites. The opulent seven-course degustation menu offers sumptuous options like Tri Tip with cauliflower and wasabi or gnocchi described playfully as ‘fluffy fish pillows’.
If the tasting menu needs a little extra fizz, you can find something to tickle your fancy on the award-winning wine list, featuring vintages from around the world. A luxurious meal and a light-hearted setting for any business lunch.
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