Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country this week including 10 William Street, Mamak, Miss Kitty's Saloon, and Red Velvet Lounge.
10 William Street
One of the smartest of the recent new wave of wine bars in Sydney, 10 William has always been right out in front in the drinks stakes, with its Italian foundations (courtesy of its Fratelli Paradiso owners) complemented neatly by master sommelier Matt Young and his interest in sake and more. Now, with Daniel Pepperell, a chef with time at Oscillate Wildly, Attica and Momofuku Ssäm Bar under his belt, in the kitchen, the food is on a similarly progressive (and impressive) footing. Say hello to smoked devilled eggs with bottarga (pictured), sardines with smoked lardo and black olive and blood bruschetta, and say hello to good times. 10 William St, Paddington, NSW, (02) 9360 3310. Open all Easter weekend, closed Monday. PAT NOURSE
You can spot Mamak quite easily: it's the place on Lonsdale Street with the queue out the front. Fortunately it's a fast-moving member of the species and there's entertainment while you're waiting in the form of roti chefs stationed in the front window, miraculously transforming prosaic lumps of dough into some of the flakiest, tastiest bites in town. Order the roti and it arrives with a couple of curries (tomato and fish, lentil) and some excellent fermented shrimpy sambal. There are good standalone curries too (the veggie version defines comfort food) and the stir-fried tiger prawns offer a real kick. A first southern offshoot of the Sydney-based group, Melbourne's Mamak is crowded, noisy, tasty and a whole lot of fun. Mamak, 366 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9670 3137. Open all Easter weekend, including Good Friday. MICHAEL HARDEN
Miss Kitty's Saloon
We're not sure what's loudest: the banging soundtrack, chef Liam Atkinson's punchy North American flavours, or owner Iain Lawless's shirts. It's a moot point, however, as each plays its part in making this shabby-chic diner rock. While the menu looks to Canada and the US of A for inspiration, fat-on-fat, bacon hyperbole and other dude-food hallmarks have been largely avoided, making this a show the whole family can enjoy. The menu hit-rate is high, but standouts include the half-taco, half-Peking-duck chicken pancakes, the milk buns with house-smoked salmon and the roast suckling pig. Factor in a room that looks as if someone detonated an antique store in it and you're looking at one rollickingly fun night out. Miss Kitty's Saloon, 882 Beaufort St, Inglewood, WA, (08) 9272 6669. Open Easter Saturday. MAX VEENHUYZEN
Red Velvet Lounge
Ever one for introspection, Steve Cumper is steering his Cygnet restaurant, The Red Velvet Lounge, in a new direction and we like the way he's pointing it. He's decided to go "lo-fi", the effect of which is to pare back the menu, replacing an extensive list of main courses with a few cuts of meat and fish, all roasted in a wood-fired oven. Given the rigour Cumper applies to sourcing locally bred and ethically raised animals, this has to be good news. "I'm in the 'eating' camp not the 'dining' camp," he says on his blog. "Raw food + fire = yum." That's an equation to get excited about. Red Velvet Lounge, 24 Mary St, Cygnet, Tas, (03) 6295 0466. Open for breakfast and lunch all Easter weekend, including Good Friday. SUE DYSON & ROGER MCSHANE
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