The words fine dining can take our imagination to crisp table linens, waiters in tuxedos and incredible menus that celebrate each and every flavor.
However, Australia's fine dining restaurants can be in any setting, waiters in shirt sleeves ... albeit still offering incredible menus that celebrate ethnic and local flavors.
Apart from fabulous food, things that you can still expect in an Australian fine dining restaurant are:
1. Attention to detail: From lighting, to music, to color scheme, to menu, great fine dining restaurants are all about detail. Nothing ever seems be too bright, too loud, too bold, or too 'over-powering' with subtlety being one key sign of excellence.
2. Well informed waiters who well know the restaurant and its menu and who seem to have answers for all questions.
3. Superior, understated, customer service.
4. Tasting menus: A prix fixe tasting menu showcasing specialties and often revolving around local produce.
5. Finest dining equipment: While you can escape starched table-cloths, you'll nonetheless find a sense of subtle sophistication in all furnishing and dining equipment.
Now while you can certainly dine very well across the country at anytime, spoiled for choice, we've bravely put together our Top 5 Fine Dining Restaurants of Australia:
1. Brae, 4285 Cape Otway Road, Birregurra, VIC:
Brae has a contemporary rural setting, with an interior styled with brown furnishings, white table linens and moody ambient lighting. An open fire makes for a warm space for guests to dine, and Brae offers a unique, ever-changing menu, using home-grown produce from the resident farm to create stunning seasonal dishes.
2. Sepia, 201 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW:
Sepia is reflective of a bustling city atmosphere, with a dining setting of contemporary sophistication and finesse that you'd expect in one of the great-cities-of-the-world.
3. Quay, Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks, NSW:
With sweeping views of Sydney's Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Quay Restaurant is considered to be one of Sydney's finest dining locations. The restaurant's food, décor, service and extensive wine list are unforgettable. Chef Peter Gilmore's imaginative menu is dramatic, and one that has brought him numerous well deserved culinary accolades.
4. Attica, 74 Glen Eira Road, Melbourne, VIC:
Attica has been consistently recognized as one of the world’s best restaurants, and sets the benchmark for fine dining in Melbourne. Holding a plethora of awards, Attica is known for its innovation, purity of flavors and sustainability that deserve high praise. Attica’s understated interior is satisfying and complements what’s served on the plates, using muted tones to offer a truly memorable dining experience.
[Read Our Previous Blog on Top 5 Seafood Restaurants In Sydney]
5. Momofuku Seiobo, 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont, NSW:
You can say that magic happens inside Momofuku Seiobo. Slick and vibrant, it's a unique and fascinating display of food, and presentation. Momofuku has a constantly changing tasting menu, and is full of contemporary, and adventurous cuisine ... with an Australian twist. Using the very best local produce, Momofuku Seiobo offers no hint of what you'll be tasting until it's placed in front of you.
Let the 'arguments' begin ...