Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country this week including Bacchus South Bank, BangPop, La Bonne Table, and Pulp Kitchen.
BRISBANE Bacchus South Bank You'd expect somewhere that name-checks the god of wine and debauchery to embrace excess and Bacchus (pictured) doesn't disappoint. Billed as a bar-restaurant-pool there's a suitably lavish vibe at work and what's on your Montgolfier plate fits the bill. Interestingly, it's olive oil not butter that underpins dishes. Chicken and foie gras terrine is paired with Sauternes jelly, dabs of liquorice foam and Bacchus extra-virgin olive oil. Crisp-skinned pan-fried mulloway is pepped up with picual, while hojiblanca ties together an entrée of sautéed mushrooms, burrata and wobbly slow-cooked duck egg. Bacchus, Podium Level, Cnr Grey & Glenelg Sts, South Bank, Qld, (07) 3364 0843. FIONA DONNELLY
Paul Mathis' South Wharf restaurant formerly known as The Sharing House recently reopened as BangPop and is dishing up feisty Thai street food that, unusually for much of Melbourne's Thai scene, is as much about chilli as it is about sugar. A few tweaks to the space conjure a Thai kind of mood (timber communal tables, retro bikes as décor), but most of the scene-setting is left to the food. There are chewy pork neck slices served with sticky rice, fresh herbs and a spicy barbecue sauce-like nahm jim saap, a cracker of a red duck curry served with fresh chilli and spicy sausages teamed with herbs and cabbage leaves, and a spot-on pad Thai. The cooking is excellent - balanced and robust - and there's a drinks list that's well tuned to the punchy flavours. BangPop, 35 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf, Vic, (03) 9245 9800. MICHAEL HARDEN
ADELAIDE La Bonne Table Quirky, comfy and very cute, this new CBD bistro makes appealing offerings from brunch through to late-night drinks and snacks. South Korean-born chef/owner Peace Kim straddles a curious polyglot menu of culinary styles, from bedrock French classics of ratatouille, omelettes and croque monsieur, to rediscovered Brit comfort dishes (Scotch eggs among them), New York-style steak and eggs over-easy, and a spread of tapas plates. La Bonne Table, 128 Wakefield St, Adelaide, SA, (08) 8223 2487. DAVID SLY
Leadership transition has proceeded more smoothly at Pulp than at other national-capital institutions. There's still the same respect for the cheap cuts and commitment to gutsy flavours - take a dish of roast pork loin, braised shoulder, trotter terrine and cauliflower purée. But with London experience under his belt, new chef Keaton McDonald has added some fine-dining tweaks. Beef tartare, for instance, is presented in an elongated strip sporting shards of crisp beetroot while smoked egg yolk rests to the side in an emulsion of Worcestershire sauce. New owner Daniel Giordani preserves the bistro feel front-of-house, and with moules marinière and house-made cotechino sausage among the offerings, locals are embracing the recent addition of weekend brunch. Pulp Kitchen, Shop 1, Wakefield Gardens, Ainslie, ACT, (02) 6257 4334. GARETH MEYER
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