Restaurant News

Chefs' top restaurant picks for 2013

Ever wondered what restaurants top our nation's chefs' must-visit lists? We did, so we asked them.

By Maya Kerthyasa
Clockwise from top left: Attica's Ben Shewry, Sean Brock of Husk, Jason and Anthony Lui of Flower Drum and René Redzepi of Noma.

Twenty years ago, if you'd asked Australia's chefs to name the restaurants they'd most like to visit, chances are you'd have ended up with a list that was almost exclusively French. Here's where our top chefs want to eat today.

Stuart Bell, Ten Minutes by Tractor, Main Ridge
The Square, London
The Ledbury, London
Michael Wignall at the Latymer, Surrey
I was over [in London] last year and these are the restaurants I ate at and really enjoyed the food. They're all very tasty, very modern and very produce-driven. Not hocus-pocus but just tasty, good food.

David Chang, Momofuku Seiobo
I'm going to keep it to America. My picks are Trenchermen by Mike Sheerin. Mike was a chef at WD-50 and then Blackbird, in Chicago. Saison, Josh Skenes' new place in San Francisco, and Wylie Dufresne's casual new place, Alder, which will be doing [his] old 71 Clinton food, which is arguably the best.

Darren Robertson, Three Blue Ducks, Sydney
Husk, Nashville: I like his style of food. It's Southern, smoky and curing meats, and also his support for local farmers and seed saving, and his general interest in the land.
Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden: I love that kind of old-school, hunting and cooking over wood and fire, almost like Neanderthal-style cooking. He's such a clever guy, really intelligent use of fermenting food and preserving for the colder months of the year.
The Sportsman, Kent, UK: Unpretentious, really honest food, making everything from scratch - charcuterie, butter, going to the ocean, collecting seawater and making his own sea salt, curing the pork. I've never heard a bad word about any of the places and can't wait to go and check them out.

Michael Ryan, Provenance, Beechworth
Jimbocho Den, Tokyo: There are some great chefs in Tokyo with Yoshihiro Narisawa, Seiji Yamamoto at RyuGin, and chef Zaiyu Hasegawa at Jimbocho Den is up and coming. He's very creative and it's based on a kaiseki format, which can be very serious. What you don't get in kaiseki restaurants is a sense of fun - Den's kind of quirky and unique but also has a really great depth of knowledge of cooking and it's very exciting.
Husk, Charleston: I know very little about Southern American cooking. I'd like to see that part of the world. Also, as a double bonus, Aaron Turner's over there so I can see him while I'm at it.
Le Chateaubriand, Paris: I guess because it's in Paris, really, and that it's part of that whole new movement of that "nuevo bistro" thing, away from the three-Michelin-star grandeur and more about the food.

Beau Vincent, Subo, Newcastle
Sepia, Sydney
Sixpenny, Sydney
Three Blue Ducks, Sydney
I worked with all those guys at Tetsuya's and I was interested to see their take on restaurants when they opened their own. They're all very talented chefs. I really liked Oscillate Wildly [when Daniel Puskas and James Parry were there] and was keen to check out Sixpenny to see what they're doing there. I know James Parry did a bit of time at Noma. We went to Sepia when it first opened, but I'd like to see what they're doing now as well because it's the same kind of style I'm interested in - the French and Japanese kind of twist. And for Three Blue Ducks, what we're doing here at Subo is a modern take on a bistro and they're doing a modern take on a café/bistro so I was interested to see what they were doing.

Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz, Porteño, Sydney
Guisados, East LA
Joe Beef, Montreal
Dario Cecchini's Officina della Bistecca and Dario DOC, Chianti

Scott Pickett, Estelle, Melbourne
Bones, Paris
Corton, New York
The Ledbury, London

Ross Lusted, The Bridge Room, Sydney
Henne Kirkeby Kro, Henne, Denmark
Benu, San Francisco
Estelle, Melbourne

Peter Doyle, Est., Sydney
Michel Bras, Laguiole
The Willows Inn, Lummi Island (near Seattle)
In De Wulf, Belgium

Neil Perry, Rockpool
Longjing Caotang, Hangzhou
Sukiyabashi Jiro, Tokyo
Yu's Family Kitchen, Chengdu

Ben Shewry, Attica, Melbourne
Town, Bangalow
Three Blue Ducks, Sydney
Provenance, Beechworth

Daniel Puskas , Sixpenny, Sydney
Ester, Chippendale
10 William St, Paddington
Mugaritz, San Sebastián, because it's the best - well, I think, anyway.

Martin Benn, Sepia, Sydney
Maaemo, Oslo
Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld
Dabbous, London

Maurice Terzini, Icebergs, Sydney
The Apollo, Sydney
Café Di Stasio, Melbourne
Icebergs, Sydney

Peter Gilmore, Quay, Sydney
In De Wulf, Belgium
Mathias Dahlgren, Stockholm

Matt Moran, Aria, Sydney
Sepia, Sydney
Vue de Monde, Melbourne
The Bridge Room, Sydney

Jeremy Strode, The Fish Shop, Sydney
Mark Hix's Fish Dog food truck and Tramshed restaurant, London
Anything new by Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, London
Outlaw's at the Capital Hotel, London

Kylie Kwong, Billy Kwong, Sydney
Noma, Copenhagen
Restaurant DOM, São Paulo
Murgaritz, San Sebastián
Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden
(Kylie Kwong discusses her favourite restaurants for 2013 here.)

Alessandro Pavoni, Ormeggio, Sydney
Sixpenny, Sydney
Tomislav, Sydney
Esquire, Brisbane

Cameron Matthews,The Long Apron, Qld
The Fat Duck, Bray
Attica, Melbourne
Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld

Pablo Tordesillas, Ortiga, Brisbane
Azurmendi, Bizkaia, Basque Country
Willows Inn, Lummi Island (near Seattle)
Loam, Victoria

Nick Holloway, Qld
Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden
Husk Restaurant, Charleston
And a whole bunch of pie and cake at Momofuku Milk Bar, New York

Ben Russell, Aria Brisbane, Brisbane
Sukiyabashi Jiro, Tokyo
Joe Beef, Montreal (I love anyone who cooks in flannel)
Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden

Hajime Horiguchi, Wasabi, Noosa
Shintaro, Tokyo
Tomoe, Kyoto
Torihei, Osaka

Alejandro Cancino, Urbane, Brisbane
Tetsuya's, Sydney
Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld
RyuGin, Tokyo

Zac Ronayne, Petaluma's Bridgewater Mill, SA
Penfolds Magill Estate (when it reopens, it will surely make some noise), SA
Momofuku, Sydney
Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld

Ayhan Erkoc, Celsius, Adelaide
Marque, Sydney
Loam, Drysdale
Sixpenny, Sydney

Dan Hunter, Brae
RyuGin, Tokyo
L'Arpège, Paris (this thankfully happened two weeks ago)
Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden

Shannon Bennett, Vue de Monde, Melbourne
Michel Bras Toya Japon, Japan
Sukiyabashi Jiro, Tokyo
Attica, Melbourne

Matt Germanchis, Pei Modern, Melbourne
Quay, Sydney
Garagistes, Hobart
Attica, Melbourne

George Calombaris, Gazi, Melbourne
Kiki's, Mykonos
Restaurant DOM, São Paulo
Noma, Copenhagen

Andrew McConnell, Cutler & Co., Melbourne
Bones, Paris
Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden
Sixpenny, Sydney

Adam D'Sylva, Tonka, Melbourne
Sarong, Bali
Café Spice Namasté, London
Flower Drum, Melbourne

Guy Grossi, Grossi Florentino, Melbourne
Arzak, San Sebastián
Le Calandre, Padua
Shake Shack, New York City

Geoff Lindsay, Dandelion, Melbourne
Ortiga, Brisbane
Loam, Drysdale
Momofuku Seiobo, Sydney

Justin Wise,The Point, Melbourne
Quay, Sydney
Flower Drum, Melbourne
Provenance, Beechworth

Teage Ezard, Ezard, Melbourne
Noma, Copenhagen
Restaurant DOM, São Paulo
The Ledbury, London

Kiren Mainwaring, Dear Friends, Perth
Blue Hill at Stone Barns, New York
Tickets, Barcelona
Tyddyn Llan, North Wales

Hadleigh Troy, Restaurant Amusé, Perth
Burnt Enz, Singapore
Le Sergent Recruteur, Paris
Atera, New York

Darrell Felstead, Foveaux, Sydney
The Ledbury, London

Ryan Squires, Esquire, Brisbane
Frantzén, Stockholm
Diner, New York
Maaemo, Oslo

James Viles, Biota, Bowral
Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden
Atelier Amaro, Warsaw
Restaurant DOM, São Paolo

Guillaume Brahimi, Guillaume at Bennelong, Sydney
Monopole, Sydney
Flower Drum, Melbourne
Three Blue Ducks, Sydney

Christine Manfield, NSW
Narisawa, Tokyo
Brooks, Melbourne
View Point Restaurant, Burma

James Hird, Buzo, Sydney
Garagistes, Hobart
Momofuku Seiobo, Sydney
Pearl's Diner, Adelaide

Vince LaMontagna, Vincenzo's Cucina Vera, Adelaide
A wood-fired baby lamb in Ribera del Duero, Spain
Mozzarella in Campania
Night offerings at John Hounslow-Robinson's place in Tasmania

David Moyle, The Stackings, Tasmania
Osteria Francescana, Modena
Restaurant DOM, São Paulo
Bones, Paris

Paul Wilson, chef, Melbourne
Dainty Sichuan, Melbourne
Press, Adelaide
Garagistes, Hobart