Good Food Guide reviewers share their tips for a top dining out experience


Anthony Bourdain offered many gems of culinary knowledge throughout his time on Earth. “Cheese is the best dessert”, for occasion, and extra famously “never order fish on Monday”.

According to the movie star chef’s bestseller, Kitchen Confidential, most seafood has been kicking round a restaurant for 4 or 5 days earlier than it is served on Monday as many cooks solely go to the fish market mid-week.

Good Reviewers share their top tips when dining out. 

After “where’s the hottest restaurant to eat right now?” and “can you get me a table at Attica?”, one of many questions a Good Food Guide reviewer is most frequently requested is “is it true you should never order fish on Monday?” To put the matter to mattress as soon as and for all: no, it isn’t. At least, not in Australia.

“The ‘don’t eat fish on Monday’ tripe is relevant mainly to the United States, and specifically New York, where daytime distribution is a nightmare except for the backpack-sporting Foodora cyclists,” says John Susman, director of seafood gross sales and consultancy firm, Fishtales.

“The Big Apple is served by distributors from New Jersey, Boston and Philadelphia making the ‘simply in time’ idea of seafood provide tough. In Australia, Mondays are solely barely smaller than Thursdays because the second largest fish market of the week in each Sydney and Melbourne.

Should you order seafood on a Monday?
Should you order seafood on a Monday?  Photo: Richard Cornish

“In both cities, many of the seafood distributors are also a mere empty schooner glass toss from the CBD, making the early morning dash to inner-city restaurants relatively simple.”

With that fishy recommendation from Bourdain cleared up, and forward of The Good Food Guide Awards at Crown Melbourne on Monday, the Guide’s senior reviewer panel has a listing of correctly helpful tips that can be utilized to reinforce dining experiences across the nation.

View tables are for amateurs

Think twice earlier than you pay additional or tip closely for a desk with a view. If it is the seaside or vineyards out there, then there is no view in any respect after the solar goes down – simply you two, together with your backs to the restaurant and a sheet of black glass in entrance of you. The execs sit again a row or two from the window, immersed within the lifetime of the restaurant itself. Terry Durack

Fleet restaurant seats may come up as holiday bookings fall through.

Fleet restaurant seats might come up as vacation bookings fall by way of. Photo: Lauren Phillips

Waitlists work

Unless it is the bread line post-apocalypse, there’s not a lot to advocate in relation to queueing at 5pm to get into a booking-free restaurant three hours later. However, at locations that take bookings – and are often booked out – typically little home windows seem. Perennially common Melbourne pasta joint Tipo 00 is all the time rammed, however even on Saturdays there’s hope. Throw your identify down, head to the closest bar and wait for the decision. The similar recommendation applies for Poly in Sydney. At the two-hatted Fleet in Brunswick Heads, the place you typically need to guide three months prematurely, the restaurant typically receives cancellations when holidaymakers’ plans fall by way of. Put your identify on the waitlist and you might be a fortunate winner of one of many 16 seats. Gemima Cody

Stay house on Hallmark holidays

Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day: all assured ardour killers for critical diners. On huge events, eating places are sometimes full of individuals who do not eat out frequently, and they will demand extra of the service employees and the kitchen. Save your self the grief and go one other day. Roslyn Grundy

The on-line reserving system is not all the time right

It’s all the time value calling the restaurant to double-check there are not any tables left for the night time you need to dine, particularly if the reservation is for the identical day you are making an attempt to guide. Note that if the restaurant is someplace like Attica or Quay, which ebook out months prematurely, there’s Buckley’s of getting in until you are on a waitlist (see above). Callan Boys

If you want butter with your bread, ask for it.

If you need butter together with your bread, ask for it. Photo: Alex Amato

There are not any guidelines

If the entrees are fascinating and the primary programs are boring, then be happy to order two or three entrees and no most important course. If you are solely there for the snacks, compose a whole meal out of them. If they serve olive oil with the bread however you’re keen on butter, ask for it. Don’t really feel pressured into ordering extras and sides in case you’re not hungry. It’s your night time out, not theirs. Jill Dupleix

‘Feed-me’ menus aren’t all the time the best deal

The veil of shock is all the time cute, however ask what’s on a “feed me” menu. They can both contain the chef displaying their best work, or it may be probably the most crowd-pleasing stuff that provides the restaurant financial system of scale if it is accomplished share-style. With a group you may be capable of get a higher belt of the menu for the identical worth, but when it is an choice for the solo diner, leap at it. GC

Eat it do not tweet it

Most eating places will not thoughts for those who snap a (respectable) image of dish and whack it on Instagram, however do not spend an age making an attempt to nail the right angle and lightweight. If you have not taken a respectable photograph inside 10 seconds, it isn’t going to occur. The gods of lighting are fickle and merciless. You additionally don’t need your fish taking over the feel of a chilly sponge when you spend 10 minutes getting all Max Dupain in your turbot. CB

The bar seats at Melbourne's Supernormal are a great place to sit.

The bar seats at Melbourne’s Supernormal are a excellent spot to take a seat. Photo: Supplied

Best seats, bar none

If there are seats on the bar, seize them. For the identical worth you get dinner and a flooring present. Sometimes, in case you get chatting to the employees throughout the bar, they will cross on an fascinating morsel concerning the restaurant, their suppliers or the well-known buyer within the nook. They may even ship a literal morsel your means, free of charge. RG

Try to decide on a restaurant whose values align with yours

If you care about ethically farmed meat or animal welfare, then do not order that schnitzel made with intensively farmed hen. If you are fearful about turtles choking on plastic straws, refuse plastic straws. If you consider in gender equality, determine a few feminine cooks and go help them. If you are involved about our farming group, then give your hard-earned to cooks who help small-scale farmers by shopping for native, seasonal meals. How you spend your cash is the way you spend your life. JD

It’s all the time a good time to eat oysters

The previous fishwives’ story that you need to solely eat oysters in months containing the letter “R” has no relevance in Australia. It’s a northern hemisphere dictum regarding oysters that spawn in the summertime months and may have a texture like gravel. Australian oysters are in sensible situation over late autumn and winter, however the variety of our local weather and waterways means you’ll be able to shuck wonderful Sydney Rocks and Pacifics all yr spherical. Check out Narooma Oyster Festival in May to pattern the best home bivalves going. CB

If the wine list is laminated, proceed with caution.

If the wine record is laminated, proceed with warning. Photo: Adobe Stock

Be cautious of wine mark-ups

Many eating places make nearly all of their revenue on booze and it isn’t unusual for wine to be priced double the retail value. Some restaurateurs wish to have a lend, although, and cost as much as 4 occasions the worth of the identical plonk from a bottle shop. If the wine record is laminated, proceed with warning. The restaurant is shopping for booze in bulk and there isn’t any assure these financial savings are being handed on to the client. And all the time pay additional scrutiny to the second least expensive bottle. Many punters will gravitate in the direction of the second least-expensive wine and dodgy restaurant house owners may mark-up their price range swill accordingly. CB

Do your due diligence

Sometimes, the menu is a little bit of a thriller, through which case, do a reconnaissance. Before you order, take a stroll across the restaurant and examine out what everybody else is consuming. Then come again and order what seems good. This “I’ll have what she’s having” technique is especially helpful when exploring Uyghur delicacies or Namibian braai for the primary time. Just do not get there too early. TD

The Good Food Guide‘s second annual nationwide version, with hats awarded throughout Australia, shall be launched on October eight with our presenting companions Vittoria Coffee and Citi. The Good Food Guide 2019 might be on sale from October 9 in newsagencies, bookstores and pre-ordered by way of thestore.com.au/gfg19 (supply included), RRP $29.99. Don’t miss Tuesday’s Good Food for the particular 24-page Good Food Guide Awards version.





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