Compiled by EDWINA STORIE

Diamond at the Crown

Everything the famous Australian chef Neil Perry touches turns to gold. But with good reason – because he knows the perfect formula to simple but flavour-rich food and stylish design. Rosetta from Melbourne’s Crown Towers stems from the regional recipes Perry found and created while exploring Italy’s coastlines and inlands.

The interior of the restaurant is a theatrical spread of chandeliers, high-backed red velvet banquettes, marble tables and luxurious bunches of roses; the outside is an Amalfi-style mix of swirling green, blue and white Pucci fabric, oversized wicker furniture and geometric tiled floors. From the wood-fired oven comes thick steak – a Neil Perry signature; from the char-grill comes crisp-tipped baby octopus or smoky fish fillets slicked with olive oil, garlic and lemon; and from the dedicated pasta-making room downstairs comes tagliarini stained with squid ink or fettuccine tangled with lobster, mint and chilli. With such flavourful food, Rosetta is designed for indulging in long lunches, late afternoon antipasto, and impressive business dinners.

T: +61 3 8648 1999
W: www.rosettaristorante.com

 

Gowings Nostalgia

The moody Gowings Bar & Grill is the newest addition to a long history for the old Gowings building. The QT Hotel brand saved and transformed it into the city’s first design-driven hotel which reflects Sydney’s after-dark character and mystery. As you notice signs of the structure’s previous life in gargoyles and vintage tiles, find your way up industrial-style cement stairs and into the black-clad restaurant where the bar is aglow in gold from its halo of liquor bottles. The rotisserie-roasted quail is stuffed with sage, parmesan and double-smoked ham; crispy organic suckling pig is served with marinated cumquats and mint; while the humble schnitzel is served as golden-crusted veal tenderloin crowned with an organic fried egg, Ortiz anchovies and nut brown butter. With its brawny, spirit-strong cocktails and dramatic dishes, Gowings Bar + Grill embodies Sydney’s classic corporate luxury.

T: +61 2 8262 0062
W: www.qtsydney.com.au/food-drink/gowings-bar-grill/

 

Palette of the palate

Melbourne is not only a city but an attitude – one of out-of-the-box creativity, dark and minimalist style, statement embellishments and innovative thinking – the Trocadero is a perfect mix of all these elements. Attached to the Arts Centre Melbourne, the Yarra River and its sparkling urban backdrop can be appreciated from Trocadero’s astroturf-lined patio. The bar reflects the Arts Centre’s sleek glamour with its palette of black, white, gold and chrome, while the carpeted dining room brings together moody charcoals, mirrored walls and concrete features in elegant, industrial style. The menu gets creative with comforting flavours, with onion risotto transformed with delicate onion tuille and baby onions pickled in honey vinegar, while effortless pastas and slow-cooked meats all favour local Victorian produce. Desserts are as innovative as the mains – the caramel-cooked cream is laced with pear, layered with thick caramel and topped with popcorn crumble.

T: +61 3 8698 8888
W: www.trocadero.co

 

Canton Magic

Sydney’s Mr Wong is an ode to the Cantonese eateries of a bygone era. The two-storey restaurant welcomes you for a ceremonious and leisurely long meal its exposed brick walls, jade green tiles, golden lighting and shelves of antique Chinese trinkets. While there are traditional and innovative creations on the dim sum lunch menu, dinner serves five-spiced pork belly, fleshy mud crabs ready to be plucked from their tanks and given their salt-and-pepper coating, and vegetable hotpots bejewelled with zucchini blossoms and studded with fresh shiitake. Dessert is Sydney-renowned chef Dan Hong’s specialty – green apple ice with osmanthus jelly, water chestnuts and coconut sorbet.

T: +61 2 9240 3000
W: www.merivale.com.au/mrwong