Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Melbourne
So smooth is the service, so glam the dining room, so solid and flat-out flavoursome the menu, so deftly democratic the wine list that it's hard to remember that Dinner is a new restaurant. Sure, it's a spin-off of Heston Blumenthal's original Dinner in London and has replaced his Antipodean pop-up version of The Fat Duck, but its complete, precise embrace of golden-age hotel dining, from gorgeous cocktails through to expensively upholstered horseshoe booths, plus nods to its southern-hemisphere location (kangaroo, groper, lamingtons) make it seem like a big, grown-up breath of fresh air.
IN SHORT Old school in the new world.
Where is the most exciting food being cooked in Australia right now? Who's cooking it? Who's serving it? And what are we going to drink with it? Having eaten their way across the length and breadth of the nation to produce the new edition of the GT Restaurant Guide, our review team is perfectly placed to answer these questions and more. If you want to get the jump on the best eating the country has to offer, we've got the story for you. Treat yourself to a double-helping of talent - some new, some established - and then join us in celebrating them when we announce the winners of our restaurant awards in our September issue.
Words Max Allen, Fiona Donnelly, Michael Harden, Pat Nourse & David Sly
Photography Marcel Aucar (Dinner, Brae), Scott Hawkins (Hubert), Julian kingma (Igni, Anchovy, Smalls, Marion), Phillip Castleton (Dan Sharp, Monopole), Scott Hawkins (Hubert), James Knowler (Blackwood, Pink Moon Saloon, Nikki Friedli), AJ Moller (Ben McNair, Gauge), William Meppem (Fleet), Chris Court (Clayton Wells), Jessica Reftel Evans & Martin Reftel (Meira Harel & Bar Liberty)
After fresh ideas for meals that are healthy but still pack a flavour punch? We've got salads and vegetable-packed bowls to soups and light desserts.
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