Food News

The best new restaurants and bars around Australia

All the new and soon-to-open restaurants and bars around Australia to add to your hit list.
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Best new restaurants in Sydney

Astro

At another waterfront strip over the bridge at Barangaroo, get ready to wrap, grill and roll at Astro, a forward-thinking Asian barbecue joint. Astro draws on cook-your-own meat traditions, especially yakiniku (Japanese barbecued meat) and the sizzling barbecue restaurants of Korea. A less formal sister venue to Matkim, Astro aims to deliver a pumping dining experience backed by a cool J-pop soundtrack. A menu of quick izakaya-inspired snacks to start includes chawanmushi (egg custard) with charred corn and salmon roe; pork gyoza; and grilled savoury mochi with doenjang (soybean paste) brown butter and chilli oil. Meats ready for you to grill at your table include ox tongue; wagyu shortrib; skirt steak with a garlic soy marinade; and ssamgang pork belly; which can be joined by
a side of lettuce wraps and koshikari rice. At lunchtime, the personal barbecues switch off to make donburi (rice bowls) the focus, each served
with a protein (from gochujang pork belly to miso salmon), a soft egg and seaweed seasoning.

Morena

Inspired by the flavours of Latin America, Morena has set up shop in Martin Place within the 150-year-old GPO building, which also houses the five-star Fullerton Hotel. Returning to Sydney from Melbourne, executive chef Alejandro Saravia expands his Farmer’s Daughters remit to explore his Peruvian heritage while covering more ground, from Brazil to Bolivia and beyond.

Work your way through a devoted ceviche menu, featuring goldband snapper with leche de tigre (a marinade of lime, coriander and chilli), sweet potato and chulpi (Ecuadorian toasted corn); king prawn with green plantain crisps and sofrito; or yellowfin tuna with soy dashi, daikon and wasabi leaves, each one packing a punch. Other seafood highlights include Fremantle octopus with merkén (smoked chilli) butter and onion; and Abrolhos Island scallops with parmesan cream, lime, aji amarillo butter. Carnivores can get around Kaloola suckling pig served with mojo sauce; or a rich Gundagai lamb picanha (traditionally a Brazilian beef cut from the rump) with a cachaça (a sugar cane spirit) marinade.

Postino Osteria

Italian chef Alessandro Pavoni will take over the old One Penny Red site in Summer Hill, opening Postino Osteria. The hospitality legends behind Sydney’s acclaimed Ormeggio at The Spit and A’mare promise to deliver a classic Italian neighbourhood experience, led by Pavoni and his team. Set to open in mid-2024 and housed in a heritage-listed post office, Postino takes its name from the Italian for postman and a play on the word “posto”, which translates to “place”, or in this case a “little place”. Backed by Pavoni and his business partner Bill Drakopoulos, the casual restaurant and bar will serve a menu of snacks and specials, as well as traditional Italian recipes, offering a more affordable offering than Pavoni’s other venues. Pavoni and his wife Anna are regarded as one of Australia’s leading hospitality power couples, with Anna managing back-of-house operations while Pavoni runs the kitchen. In 2021, the couple opened A’mare at Crown Sydney, earning widespread acclaim, including a nomination for Best New Restaurant at the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards.

Matkim

Sydney’s omakase adoration continues with the newly opened Matkim, an eight-seat Korean omakase in Circular Quay’s Sydney Place precinct. The restaurant’s name comes from the Korean “mat-kim” meaning entrust, and “cha-rim” meaning chef’s table; inviting guests to hand their expectations to executive chef Jacob Lee’s vision. Lee’s menu pulls inspiration from his roots in South Korea’s Jeolla region, as well as his grandmother’s teachings. The open kitchen allows guests a front-row seat as the chefs meticulously cook and serve dishes such as WA marron with crab doenjang (soybean) foam.

matkim.com.au

Casa Esquina

A new Argentinian-Australian restaurant is lighting up Balmain with its fire-cooking focus. In the footprints of the former Efendy site, the kitchen at Casa Esquina is powered by an open-flame parrilla where tira de Asado (slow-cooked shortribs), black Angus T-bones, 60-day aged rib-eye, Gundagai lamb tomahawks, mahi mahi and other delights are grilled. Outdoors you’ll find a barbecue spit that you’ll smell well before you see it, serving up Argentine street food for Balmain locals to take away in the week. Then on Sundays, slow cooks of whole beasts including lamb and suckling pig are the carnivorous centrepiece. Alfresco dining is also a drawcard, with a courtyard punctuated by 80-year-old camphor laurel trees and cacti, while interiors are inspired by the tones of The Patagonian Andes and a touch of the Australian outback with earthy shades of rust, sage and white. Casa Esquina is the third venue from the team behind Paddington’s Tequila Mockingbird and the CBD laneway-dwelling Esteban.

casaesquina.au

Sydney Common

Hotel dining within the Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park has gotten a glow up, with chef Martin Benn conceptually overseeing Sydney Common, working with chef Jamie Robertson. Wood-fired grills get a workout, and given Robertson’s experience in the kitchen at Ester, delicate yet bold charred flavours will be a focus. Seafood fans will strike a chord with the likes of grilled Yamba king prawns; whole roasted flounder; or John Dory with pil-pil (a Basque-style salted cod sauce) inspired butter. Carnivores can get around wagyu scotch steaks; or 800-gram dry-aged grass-fed rib-eye, served with a smoked fat vinaigrette and anchovy butter. Then a calling card of excellent local producers – Baker Bleu bread, LP’s Quality Meats charcuterie, CopperTree Farm butter and Aquna Murray cod – further bolsters the menu; while a 260-bin wine list and bone-chillingly cold Martinis lure in guests to peruse the shorter bar menu.

sydneycommon.com.au

White Horse

Crown Street’s crowning pub The White Horse has reopened as one of the hottest openings of 2024, following a multimillion-dollar overhaul overseen by a fine collective of hospitality folk. Craig Hemmings (who’s been on the floors at Bilsons, Quay, Guillaume at Bennelong and Chin Chin) leads the charge as general manager, while Jed Gerrard (Hearth and COMO The Treasury) is over from WA as chef-partner, joined by James Audas (Bar Heather) on vino and Michael Chiem (PS40) on the bar front. While the brief is a pub that the team would like to go to, you can expect it to be delicious and elegant thanks to the gun team, as much as it is an approachable local. Upstairs, the public bar has snacky share plates, rounded out by a handful of zhushed-up counter classics. Downstairs, a modern Australian menu has a heavy seasonal focus and may include Jerusalem artichoke, goat’s cheese and saltbush; Abrolhos Island scallops with kohlrabi, dill and wasabi leaf; and lamb short loin with pistachio, cucumber and mint. The wine list sees half antipodean producers joined by new- and old-world wines from across the globe, with 30 bottles on the list sitting below $80. 

thewhitehorse.com.au


Best new restaurants in Melbourne

Close-up of anchovies with smoked butter and chives on crumpets from the refreshed menu at the Prince Dining Room.
Anchovies with smoked butter and chives on crumpets from the refreshed menu at the Prince Dining Room.

Prince Dining Room

Sydney chef Mitch Orr has revamped the menu at the Prince Dining Room to bring snacks and seafood to the St Kilda hotel restaurant. Working alongside head chef Ben Parkinson (ex-Pipis Kiosk) Orr brings
a menu coloured with some of his signature moves, so expect smoky flavours, Japanese kombu, anchovies and Australian seafood. Orr’s Jatz cracker-lead snack will get a Melburnian makeover, with Arnott’s Savoys on the menu, with crab cocktail on top as well as served alongside salumi and pickles. Flounder topped with yellow curry and fried curry leaves is one star of the woodfired-powered kitchen, alongside David Blackmore wagyu skirt with yuzu kosho; and braised mustard greens with hazelnuts. Orr’s playful approach to both pasta is also on show, with plates of mafaldine with beer and dashi braised beef short rib ragú; and maltagliati with saltbush kimchi and garlic chives. Snacks also get the Orr treatment. Expect crumpets with smoked butter and anchovies; and grilled Abrolhos Island scallops with kombu butter.

Elio’s Place

Brother-sister duo Adam and Elisa Mariani will swing open the doors to their third all-day European-inspired eatery Elio’s Place, named after their late father. Before taking on the Flinders House location, the siblings honed their skills opening Greta and Maverick, both in the CBD. Their new venue will continue their exploration of Italian-leaning eats. A big drawcard will be aperitivo hour from 3pm to 5pm daily, where you can expect snacky things to sit alongside well-priced glasses of vino from Old and New World producers. Executive chef Gareth Flood is overseeing the menu, that will also have English, French and British nods throughout.

eliosplace.com.au

Baker Bleu

Much-loved Melbourne bakery Baker Bleu will open another outpost at Dover Street, Cremorne. The new store is set to be the largest Baker Bleu yet, serving up signature baked loaves and baguettes, alongside sandwiches (including a smashing curried egg sandwich and an excellent chicken sambo) and sourdough pizze. The new development is slated to open later this year, but those hankering for some Baker Bleu can visit one of his Melbourne and Sydney bakeries in the meantime.

bakerbleu.com.au

Hopper Joint

New to Prahran, Hopper Joint has launched as an 80-seat ode to Sri Lanka’s bowl-shaped staple and the array of condiments and curries served with it. Coming from the team behind Entrecôte – Jason M Jones and interior designer Brahman Perera – the pair recruited Ronith Victor Arlikatti as head chef, following stints at Lake House, Marion, and Sunda. Feast on unlimited plain hoppers, served alongside curries from a list that spans dry black pork curry; a changing market fish curry; a creamy cashew and string bean curry; and more. There’s also snacks including raw tuna with kiri malu dressing and fresh turmeric; kadala (tempered chickpeas) with dried chilli, curry leaves and coconut; and pan rolls with curried beef brisket; while the wider, detailed menu interweaves personal memories, family stories and clever illustrations. The room is also beautifully appointed with Perera creating a space infused with tropical modernist influences flowing across custom-made rattan chairs, embroidered marigold linen and antique Indian crystal chandeliers.

hopperjointmelbourne.com.au

The Walrus

Seaside ‘burb St Kilda has welcomed The Walrus, a sunny-hued, local-leaning wine and oyster bar. A 20-strong wine-by-the-glass list rotates regularly, and the wider list includes everything from bubbles to a dedicated page of wines that specifically pair well with bivalves. You’ll find different oysters served atop hand-carved ice, from Wapengo Lakes in NSW, Albany in WA and Duck Bay in Tasmania; and you can order an oyster “mezze” with oysters joined by cold cuts, pickles, dip, bread and salad. You’ll also find an assortment of seafood snacks including mussel beignets, prawn sandwiches and gildas.

thewalrusoysterbar.com


Best new restaurants in Brisbane

A spread of pippies and coral trout at Long Wang
Pippies and coral trout at Long Wang

Longwang

An Edward Street laneway is getting a glow-up as Longwang brings modern Asian flair to the fore. Second-generation restaurateur Michael Tassis (Yamas and Opa) has partnered with executive chef Jason Margaritis (Same Same) to deliver clever updates to classic Asian flavours. Think wok-tossed bug tail kung pao; charcoal-grilled prawns with salted duck egg butter; and tea-smoked duck doused in a fragrant soy sauce. Throw in an expertly assembled wine list and the result is inner city dining at its grooviest.

Wood-fired fare abounds at chef Thomas Tze Lian’s (ex-Greca) sultry new eatery, Ēmmē. Making a swish addition to the James Street Market precinct, Tze Lian is focusing on seasonal riffs of modern Middle Eastern and Mediterranean bites. Expect dishes like pipis with harissa butter and lime; barbecued chicken with shishito peppers; and rosewater custard with roasted figs and burnt honey. Snacks like swordfish kofta with saffron yoghurt pay homage to the restaurant’s Middle Eastern roots, as does the slick fit-out. To this end you’ll find a warm, light-filled venue with draped amber curtains, crackling fire pit and open kitchen.

longwang.com.au

Ēmmē

Wood-fired fare abounds at chef Thomas Tze Lian’s (ex-Greca) sultry new eatery, Ēmmē. Making a swish addition to the James Street Market precinct, Tze Lian is focusing on seasonal riffs of modern Middle Eastern and Mediterranean bites. Expect dishes like pipis with harissa butter and lime; barbecued chicken with shishito peppers; and rosewater custard with roasted figs and burnt honey. Snacks like swordfish kofta with saffron yoghurt pay homage to the restaurant’s Middle Eastern roots, as does the slick fit-out. To this end you’ll find a warm, light-filled venue with draped amber curtains,

emmejamesst.com

Bosco

Newstead welcomes two new venues to its culinary ranks, starting with industrial wine bar and grill Bosco. Sommelier Simon Hill (who is also behind New Farm’s Bar Alto) has opened the 80-seater in a converted warehouse, complete with lofty sheer curtains, brick walls and salvaged timber benchtops. Referencing the olive oil regions of Europe, the menu shines a spotlight on coastal dishes such as pig’s trotter flambadou oysters (an eye-catching technique which involves dousing the bivalves in melted down fat from a red-hot cast iron cone); coral trout with pil-pil sauce (a Spanish salted cod and garlic emulsion); and pipis with txakoli (a dry Basque wine), all served alongside Hill’s tome-like wine list. Also one of Australia’s most loved adopted Spanish snacks – the gilda – will kick off the menu, showcasing Cantabrian anchovies, olives and peppers, served alongside oven-cooked flatbreads.

boscowinegrill.com


Best new restaurants in Adelaide

Steak at new permanent Adelaide restaurant La Louisiane
Steak at La Louisiane in Adelaide

Bottega Bandito

Sandwich enthusiasts rejoice. Beloved slingers of stacked-to-the-max focaccia sandos and house-made pastries Prospect Café & Deli have set their sights on a second location in James Place off Rundle Mall in Adelaide’s CBD. New deli Bottega Bandito will continue Prospect’s artisanal approach with house-made breads and pastries and embody the Big Easy Group’s playfulness. The official open date is slated for 21 June, but keen patrons are urged to have a wander down James Place in the days leading up to doors opening just in case. Cheeky.

bottegabandito.com

La Louisiane

Having charmed Adelaide, French brasserie pop-up La Louisiane will become a permanent fixture, putting down roots in the same location. Head chef Alexis Besseau (former head chef at Restaurant Hubert and Bathers’ Pavilion) will continue to serve up French standards including beef tartare, a rich pâté en croûte with cornichon, snails with garlic butter and Gruyère cheese soufflé. A roaming caviar cart is a new addition, while live jazz music, a French-leaning, cellar-raiding wine list and six signature cocktails, each named after cult French films, will all continue.

lalouisiane.com.au

Sora

A grand new rooftop bar and restaurant has opened nine levels above Pirie Street. Sora is a 400-person-capacity rooftop oasis, with executive chef Adam Liston (Shōbōsho) at the helm. Liston has executed a menu that starts with seaweed crackers topped with tomatoes and whipped tofu; and twice-cooked potato skins with a yuzu-spiked sour cream, egg white, chives, caviar and roe. The charcoal- and wood-fired grilled section of the menu includes dry-aged beef from rib-eye to rump cap, joined by Asian-inflected condiments such as Karashi mustard, ssamjang (a spicy Korean sauce), shiitake-infused soy, smoked soy, and yuzu kosho. There’s also a burger that takes cues from Korean bulgogi beef, which sees a wood-fired wagyu beef patty seasoned with gochujang, ginger, sesame oil, honey and garlic; served with kimchi, pickled cucumbers, and slaw. These can all be joined by sides of fries with a spiced, smoked salt; wok-fried Asian greens; or a spin on a Caesar salad, complete with char siu-style bacon and a soy-poached egg.

soraonpirie.com.au

Niña

Niña is a vibrant new late-night Basque-inspired spot in the centre of Adelaide. Owner and executive chef Leonardo Loureiro (ex-Aria and Orana), who named the restaurant after his daughter, is serving up pintxos with punch. Expect gildas; pan con tomate with folds of jamón and Olasagasti anchovy soldiers; cured Espelette-spiced tuna; charred octopus with romesco and fennel; and wagyu brisket with chimichurri and mustard.

ninarestaurant.com

Longplay Bistro

The team behind Brighter Later gin distillery and bars, Pink Moon Saloon and Clever Little Tailor, have opened Longplay Bistro. The name is a nod to its vinyl soundtrack, played through a Funktion One sound system and optimised by custom-built soundproofing to enhance the listening experience. This is joined by European-leaning plates by co-head chefs Jude Hughes and Calum Horn (ex-Three Blue Ducks, You Beauty and Summertown Aristologist). Snack on gildas and Goldstreet Dairy grilled jersey cheese before ordering house-made pastas (like the bootleg bucatini with vodka sauce or vongole with chilli, lemon and pangrattato) or rib-eye on the bone with béarnaise and shoestring fries. Drawing on the team’s collection of wine and spirits thanks to their bar-owner origins, you can also find an extensive drinks list, featuring international and local gems.

longplaybistro.com.au

Good Burger

Wilson Shawyer of Good Gilbert has opened his second venue, Good Burger in Daw Park. Chef Ashley Peek has taken cues from old-school American diners while still elevating the handheld offering. The headlining burger, for instance, is crafted from A-class ingredients such as a potato bun, relish, wagyu smash patty, raclette cheese, cornichons and diced onion. Much like its sibling venue Good Gilbert, it will be joined by a carefully curated wine list, which will be smaller in size and will focus on a constant rotation of bespoke producers.

Good Burger is slated to open soon. Keep an eye on its Instagram to stay updated.


Best new restaurants in Canberra

Carlotta

Australia’s capital is the next city on the list for Chris Lucas’ restaurant empire expansion. Carlotta is Lucas Restaurants’ first foray into Canberra and a Mediterranean brief is on the agenda. Hoping to match the buzz of Canberra’s evergrowing dining scene while also bringing decades of restaurant design and ideation experience to the table, Lucas is aiming for a springtime opening for the eatery. It joins the group’s bevy of venues in Melbourne including Society Dining Room, Lillian Brasserie, Chin Chin, Grill Americano and Yakimono; and Chin Chin in Sydney. 

Beef carpaccio on white plate with marble background at new Canberra restaurant Compa
Beef carpaccio at Compa

Compa and &Sando

In the CBD, Matt Moran is behind a double-hitter venue Compa and &Sando. Complementary but differing concepts see Compa (a slick Italian steakhouse) matched by its casual neighbour &Sando (dishing out deli-style sandwiches). The Moran Family Farm is key to both menus with lamb, beef and pork sourced from the 405-acre farm in the Central Tablelands on show, both on the plate and in between bread. Head chef Nick Mathieson (formerly of Sydney’s Bistecca) has worked with Moran on the menus. At Compa a custom Montague grill fires up steaks on and off the bone, each served with red wine jus, peppercorn, anchovy butter or salsa verde; and tableside mustards. Other items on the menu that will be sure to pique the interest of Canberreans and visitors alike include a mac and cheese with a cacio e pepe treatment; whole trout sourced from the nearby Snowy River; and salumi made from Moran farm pork. Next door at &Sando you’ll find a hefty steak sambo; baguettes stuffed with ham, egg salad, cheddar and rocket; and ciabatta slices packed with chicken schnitzel, slaw and provolone.

Restaurant at Beltana Farm Canberra

Beltana Farm dining room in Canberra

Beltana Farm

Farm to table continues to be the mood of the moment in Canberra – although Beltana Farm is truly showing its yield instead of just spiel. Set on a fully operational farm, the new restaurant will showcase produce grown on-site across a mod Oz menu. Truffle hunting experiences through orchards will also be offered, while boutique accommodation will round out the immersive offering. Add in a double-sided fireplace to warm up chilly Canberra days, and floor-to-ceiling windows to showcase the surrounding grounds and grand vaulted ceilings and local stone.

beltanafarm.com.au


Best new restaurants in Perth

Gibney's team stand on the beach ahead of the new Perth restaurant opening.
The team from Gibney

Gibney

The grand brasserie wave is headed west with Cottesloe welcoming Gibney. The seaside grill takes cues from classic steakhouses throughout Europe, New York and Australia, with WA rock lobster, wagyu, caviar and lamb on the menu. Head chef James Cole-Bowen (ex-The Corner Dairy and Omnia Bistro) is joined by head pastry chef Richard Dormer (ex-Como The Treasury). Group sommelier Nina Throsby visited the Champagne region to build Gibney’s Champagne collection, which claims to be the biggest in WA. Owned by George Kailis – who is also behind The Shorehouse, Canteen Trigg and the forthcoming Magic Apple Wholefoods in North Cottesloe – Gibney is Kailis’ first high-end dining venture. The restaurant is hoping to bring a finessed experience – which includes guéridon service, a dining concierge and jacketed waitstaff – not seen in Western Australia before.

Papi Katsu

Perth’s CBD is saying hello to freshly cut sashimi and panko-coated good times with the arrival of Papi Katsu. Taking four-odd years to develop, the team behind the curiously named Sesh Mafia has also had success in opening its first venue, Shui. It is joined by a strong front-of-house team hailing from Si Paradiso and Long Chim, while the menu has been overseen by Chase Weber. Food-wise you’ll finda raw section of the menu, where Australian seafood is showcased; alongside cold dishes like beef tataki with ponzu, sesame and garlic chips; Exmouth scallops with brown rice vinegar and finger lime; and poached yabbies with brown butter mayonnaise. Hot snack-wise, there’s prawn katsu open sandwiches; duck tsukune (meatball) with cured egg yolk; and hand-rolled-style sushi. Diners can also push the boat out, with the option to pre-order caviar, whole ducks and prized large rock lobsters. In coming months Papi Katsu will also double down, debuting its own omakase menu. The intimate style of chef’s choice eating is set to take over a 4.5-metre dedicated table located at the back of the restaurant. To see you through the night whether you’re doing the full omakase or ordering snacks, there’s also a decent sake list, a Martini menu and a highball menu, plus Japanese beers on tap.


Best new restaurants in regional Australia

Temperance Restaurant

Rowlee Wines

Orange, NSW

Celebrated winery Rowlee Wines has a new multi-space dining offering within the grounds of their sprawling Orange estate. Head chef Simon Furley brings a hyper-local menu to the winery diner, and guests can also opt to tack on a bespoke cellar door experience. Plus, you can make the most of the experience with a stay at the vineyard’s private villa among the vines.

rowleewines.com.au

Temperance Restaurant

Renmark, SA

Set in the beating heart of the Riverland region, Temperance Restaurant pays homage to the alcohol prohibition movement of the late 19th century in Renmark. Led by executive chef Hugh Hazelwood, Temperance showcases a “farm to table” food philosophy of the beautiful Riverland and South Australian produce. Partnering with carefully selected suppliers, it is their privilege to serve a house-made European-influenced dégustation, with a focus on the changing seasons that South Australia is renowned for. One for the radar.

hotelrenmark.com.au/temperance

LVN Restaurant

Adelaide Hills, SA

Woodside’s Bird in Hand winery has transformed its dining room with executive chef Jacob Davey taking the lead. Davey joins the fold at LVN Restaurant off the back of his head chef position at Restaurant Botanic, whose dedication to provenance carries over here. The farm-to-table menu includes sheoak and kangaroo from the surrounding Adelaide Hills, mutton bird and wallaby from northern Tasmania and pipis and coastal fruits from the southern end of Adelaide, joined by ingredients plucked from the kitchen garden. Bird in Hand’s rare museum wines will also take a starring role, while a gallery of local and international artworks don the walls.

birdinhand.com.au/lvn

Kōst

Gold Coast, Qld

A new coastal-inspired bar and grill restaurant has opened in Broadbeach on the Gold Coast. With light and bright interiors, this easygoing venue promises food cooked over flames, an impressive wine list and cocktails to boot. Food-wise, expect dry-aged T-bone steaks, char-grilled bugs with harissa bisque, Mooloolaba king prawns with fermented chilli and wood-fired chicken served with punchy garlic yoghurt. Whole wood-fired lobsters are also available on request, plus the venue boasts a few theatrics such as seafood towers, and caviar and Champagne trolleys.

kostbarandgrill.com.au

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