Australia’s top restaurant trends of 2019

Salted caramel is out, however miso caramel is very large. Raw kangaroo is quick turning into Australia’s nationwide dish, whereas cheese is infiltrating every thing and T-bones have made a triumphant return. 

The Good Food Guide 2020 is launched on October 1 with critiques of greater than 500 eating places throughout the nation and, after 12 months of fancy fork-work, Guide reviewers have reported again on the important thing meals trends noticed within the subject. Straight-shooting, deeply-flavoured dishes are the most important development in lieu of something too fussy (macarons have had their day) with a number of 1980s throwbacks rounding issues out – even arancini has made a comeback.

Salt cod beignets and taramasalata at Eliza, Darlinghurst Photo: Christopher Pearce

Balls of all types

“I’ve never seen so much round food in my life,” stated Good Food Guide senior reviewer Terry Durack. “Everywhere I go, there are balls on the menu – meatballs, but also balls made of black pudding, blue sago, labne and salt cod.” Arancini rice balls are additionally making a return and breaking free of their Italian heritage, stated Durack. “The last arancini I had were in a Vietnamese restaurant and stuffed with spanner crab.”

Spotted: deep-fried crab balls with curry powder, inexperienced chilli and dill at Lankan Filling Station, East Sydney; salt cod beignets and taramasalata at Eliza, Darlinghurst; pork and veal meatballs with sugo at Johnny’s Green Room, Carlton; inexperienced olive and mozzarella arancini with harissa aioli at Bellota, South Melbourne

Mary's Underground bombe Alaska is an edible work of art.

Mary’s Underground bombe Alaska is an edible work of artwork. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Bombes away!

“The bombe Alaska is an edible work of art with spiky peaks of blow-torched meringue, tangy sorbet and rich ice-cream in a glorious juxtaposition of hot, cold, smooth and squishy,” stated Durack. The next-generation “bombette Alaska” is a superb match for millennial occasions, he provides, being “technically precise, visually appealing and single-serve”.

Spotted: chocolate, hazelnut and mandarin bombe Alaska with mezcal at Mary’s Underground, Circular Quay; peach melba bombe at Catalina, Rose Bay; pear and sorrel bombe Alaska with caramelised puffed rice at Coda, Melbourne; chocolate hazelnut bombe at Donovans, St Kilda.

Cacio e Pepe pasta at Lello Pasta Bar, Melbourne CBD.

Maccheroni cacio e pepe Lello, Melbourne CBD. Photo: Simon Schluter

Cacio e pepe every thing

The easy Roman dish of pecorino cheese, black pepper and spaghetti has been popping up at wine bars in all places, considerably because of the low value of components however primarily as a result of it is creamy and extremely scrumptious. Cacio e pepe has now transcended spaghetti to grace different pastas (maccheroni and mafaldine, say) and grow to be so in style that cacio e pepe-enhanced eggs, butter and chickpeas have made it onto menus.

Spotted: cacio e ceci (chickpeas) at Alberto’s Lounge, Surry Hills; fried potato gnocchi with pecorino and black pepper at Marta, Rushcutters Bay; cacio e pepe eggs and pancetta at Lagotto, North Fitzroy; gran arso maccheroni cacio e pepe at Lello, Melbourne.

Perfect with a martini: the French dip beef sandwich at Continental Deli, Sydney CBD.

Perfect with a martini: the French dip beef sandwich at Continental Deli, Sydney CBD. Photo: Christopher Pearce

Fancy sandwiches

“Following 2018’s decriminalisation of bread eating, 2019 was the year outrageous sandwiches took the place of burgers as the ultimate handheld meal,” stated senior reviewer Gemima Cody. “They’re expensive, but these new wave sandwiches treat every element with the same care you would expect of anything served on a plate. Pair one with a martini for the business lunch of your dreams.”

Spotted: French dip roast beef sandwich at Continental Deli, Sydney CBD; prawn sandwich with romesco sauce, lettuce, serrano ham and pink onion at A1 Canteen, Chippendale; warialda beef pastrami and smoked mozzarella Reuben at Pope Joan, Melbourne; The Big Dog ciabatta that includes prosciutto, salami, pecorino and pickled fennel at Big Dog’s Deli, Richmond.

Little Red Robin's kangaroo tartare with watermelon radish, parsnip and espelette pepper.

Little Red Robin’s kangaroo tartare with watermelon radish, parsnip and espelette pepper. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Kangaroo tartare

“If 2019 is any indication, kangaroo tartare is set to be our new national dish,” stated senior reviewer Jill Dupleix. “If I see it on a menu, I order it, which means I’m currently eating it at least once a week.” Roo tartare is an intuitive use of sustainable, wild-caught, native meat that brings out its recent, barely gamey sweetness, stated Dupleix, and best served with crisps (maybe comprised of potato, buckwheat, beetroot or saltbush) for a crunch within the mouth.

Spotted: kangaroo with watermelon radish, parsnip and espelette pepper at Little Red Robin, Lane Cove; kangaroo, pickled cucumber, bush tomato and potato at Arthur, Surry Hills; purple kangaroo with truganini at Attica, Ripponlea; kangaroo with fermented capsicum at Matilda 159 Domain, South Yarra.

Rib-eye cut to order at Firedoor in Surry Hills, Sydney.

Rib-eye minimize to order at Firedoor in Surry Hills, Sydney. Photo: Nikki To

Shared steaks

Big steaks are huge information, with designed-to-share cuts similar to rib-eye, T-bone and tomahawk changing the 200 gram fillet at hatted eating places in all places. “Chefs have embraced that eating steak isn’t about individual serves, because that means compromising on quality,” stated Anthony Puharich, chief government of Vic’s Meat which provides beef to many of Australia’s best eating places. “28 to 30 months of age is the right amount of time to let cattle mature [and develop flavour] and butchers can’t cut an animal that size into small serves.”

Spotted: 196-day fat-aged Rangers Valley rib-eye at Firedoor, Surry Hills; grilled grass-fed T-Bone with garlic butter and roast potatoes at Fred’s, Paddington; Cape Grim 36-month-old grass-fed T-Bone at Rockpool Bar and Grill, Southbank; dry-aged O’Connor rib-eye with house-made mustard, shaved cabbage and fennel salad at Cutler and Co., Fitzroy.  

Braised octopus with nduja at Ode, Bondi.

Braised octopus with nduja at Ode, Bondi. Photo: Wolter Peeters

The new surf ‘n’ turf 

If there was a Most Valuable Sausage Of the Decade trophy, it might be awarded to nduja, the spicy spreadable pork salumi originating from Calabria. It has made particular visitor appearances on pizza over the previous few years, however in 2019 cooks actually took to serving it with something from the ocean, however notably prawns, pipis and octopus that are strong sufficient to face as much as nduja’s chilli kick.

Spotted: braised octopus with nduja at Ode Bar, Bondi; prawn fried rice with nduja and XO at payments, Darlinghurst; grilled octopus with new potatoes, nduja and salsa verde at Agostino, Carlton; Spring Bay mussels with zucchini, pangrattato and nduja at Grossi Grill, Melbourne.

Barbecued baby corn with macadamia miso and cured kangaroo at Vue de Monde, Melbourne.

Barbecued child corn with macadamia miso and cured kangaroo at Vue de Monde, Melbourne. Photo: Supplied

Weirdo miso

Traditionally comprised of fermented soybeans, variations of Japan’s umami-rich miso paste have been flavour-enhancing the whole lot from eggplant to fried hen to caramel (particularly caramel). In the pursuits of all issues native and never-before-tasted, cooks are making their variations personal, too, and top eating places are experimenting with miso created from macadamia, bunya nut and banana.    

Spotted: wagyu with miso caramel and enoki at Cottage Point Inn, Cottage Point; emu egg with sea urchin, saltbush and bunya miso at Orana in Residence, Surry Hills; barbecued child corn with macadamia miso and cured kangaroo at Vue de Monde, Melbourne; koshihikari rice and apple ice-cream with miso caramel at Kisume, Melbourne.

The Good Food Guide‘s third annual nationwide version will probably be on sale from October 1 in newsagencies and bookstores, and can also be obtainable to pre-order at, $29.99 with free delivery.

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