Culture

Our favourite Australian dishes of 2017

Our picks for the best restaurant dishes around Australia in 2017.
Dishes of the year

Kitchen artisans from each state and territory upped the ante in 2017, crafting unique and creative dishes that managed to marry simplicity and complexity – no mean feat in an industry replete with culinary heavyweights.

Our favourite dishes of 2017

Our favourite dishes of 2017

Kitchen artisans from each state and territory upped the ante in 2017, crafting unique and creative dishes that managed to marry simplicity and complexity – no mean feat in an industry replete with culinary heavyweights.

Paper Bird, Sydney

Paper Bird, Sydney

FRESH TOFU, DOUBLE-BOILED CHICKEN BROTH, ENOKI

The meeting of fresh tofu, melting creamily under the spoon, and rich broth makes for that rare thing: nourishment and elegance in the same bowl.

Pat Nourse

Read our review of Paper Bird

Fico, Hobart

Fico, Hobart

SUSHI ALLA ITALIANA

A play on risotto, with the rice cooked in dashi, a little butter and parmesan, this hit from Fico incorporates black sesame seeds and a subtly vegetal seaweed powder. But it’s the local sea urchin that pulls it together, adding a gorgeous layer of oceanic funkiness.

Michael Harden

Arlechin, Melbourne

Arlechin, Melbourne

MIDNIGHT SPAGHETTI

Spaghetti a dish of the year? Well, the pasta is the dictionary definition of al dente, and then there’s top tomatoes, fat capers and ideal doses of chilli and oregano. But the knockout comes from the hit of colatura di alici, the anchovy sauce that pretty much proves God is Italian.

Michael Harden

Read our review of Arlechin

Detour, Brisbane

Detour, Brisbane

SEAWATER POTATO

Detour‘s pink fir potatoes, boiled in seawater and baked are a revelation. The sweet flesh of the spuds is deepened by the bitter hay taste of saffron and enriched by an emulsion of garlic, and oil and seawater. Topped with potato crisps, it’s a double dose of spud fun.

Fiona Donnelly

Botanic Gardens Restaurant, Adelaide

Botanic Gardens Restaurant, Adelaide

PORK HEAD TERRINE

Paul Baker frames the powerful flavours of this terrine with a bright composed salad. Big chunks of pork jowl ensure rich flavour, but balance is assured with the freshness of allium leaves and green apple and the pop of heat from mustard leaves.

David Sly

Read our review of Botanic Gardens Restaurant

Ku Dining, Perth

Ku Dining, Perth

SILKEN DUCK EGG, SMOKED BONE MARROW, XO PIPIS

Nasi goreng, Bintang, wading pools – according to rumour, this was what locals could expect when Ku De Ta opened in Perth. The reality was far less louche. Dan Fisher and Liam Atkinson’s finest moment? This duck egg and bone marrow chawanmushi with pipis and shallot.

Max Veenhuyzen

Needle in a Haystack, Darwin

Needle in a Haystack, Darwin

BRISKET, BURNT-BUTTER POLENTA AND PICKLED RADISH

This plate marries braised beef brisket with burnt-butter polenta, kale pesto, pickled radish and watercress. It was a taste of the talents of Martin Wildman and Kelly Ready at their pop-up Needle in a Haystack Street Bistro. Expect a permanent venue in 2018.

Sam McCue

Aubergine, Canberra

Aubergine, Canberra

BROWN-BUTTER ICE CREAM, ALMOND PRALINE, LEMON VERBENA MILK

Another inspired creation from Ben Willis’s playbook of offbeat combinations. A quenelle of nutty brown-butter ice-cream atop layers of almond praline and a drift of refreshing lemon verbena milk-ice, it doesn’t appear to be leaving the menu any time soon.

Gareth Mayer

Read our review of Aubergine

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