Velaa Maldives to Welcome World Famous Chefs in Exclusive Wine Dinners

Velaa Wine Dinner Maldives

The resort – which boasts the largest wine cellar in the Maldives with over 1000 bins – will host some of the world’s most esteemed chefs and winemakers in this exclusive event taking place throughout November

Velaa Private Island Resort in the Maldives will be holding a series of dinners created by famous wine makers and Michelin-starred Chefs this November, with the launch of Gastronomy Duets.

Velaa chef Gauchan de Silva will work with culinary wizards Brian Mark Hansen from restaurant Søllerød Kro in Denmark, Alain Alders from De Vrienden van Jacob in the Netherlands and Tristan Brandt from restaurant Opus V in Germany respectively on the four dinners to take place throughout the month. The resort – which boasts the largest wine cellar in the Maldives with over 1000 bins – will also welcome much-lauded winemakers from Artémis Domaines, Domaine de la Côte, Alvaro Palacios and Pierre Péters Champagne house.

See the full, harmonised schedule below:


3rd & 6th November

Brian Mark Hansen, from one Michelin starred restaurant Søllerød Kro will present dishes accompanied by Bibi Graetz winemakers’ most iconic Tuscan wines – Testamatta, Colore and Testamatta Bianco.


10th & 12th November

Rajat Parr, a winemaker from California with Indian roots and the owner of Domaine de la Côte, will share his passion for chardonnay and pinot noir.


16th & 19th November

Together with Velaa Private Island’s sommelier, a selection of wine dinners will be served by Alain Alders from Michelin starred restaurant De Vrienden van Jacob in the Netherlands. Alders has a prestigious SVH title and previously worked at Mirazur, Number One in The World’s Best 50 Restaurants 2019, as well as a number of noteworthy European restaurants with no less than two Michelin stars.


22nd & 25th November

Frédéric Engerer, CEO of Artémis Domaines, who oversees Pinault’s wine properties, will be presenting Domaine Clos de Tart from Morey-Saint-Denis and Domaine d’Eugénie from Vosne-Romanée. Rodolphe Péters, oenologist and owner of Pierre Péters Champagne house will also be presenting his legendary Blanc de Blancs from Le-Mesnil-sur-Oger.


27th & 30th November

One of Germany’s best chefs Tristan Brandt, from two Micheline-starred restaurant Opus V, will present a dinner accompanied by Alvaro Palacios winemakers’ most noble wines from DOQ Priorat appellation.

Truffles Take Over at Pier One Sydney

The Gantry & Pier One Truffle Tasting
The Gantry & Pier One Truffle Tasting

Casual fare from Pier One’s food shack as well as an elegant tasting experience are on offer until the end of truffle season

Harbourside hotel Pier One Sydney Harbour’s one-hatted restaurant The Gantry has curated a line-up of truffle themed events and experiences to showcase our nearest growing truffle regions, Canberra and the Southern Highlands, and celebrate the ‘black gold’ of funghi fare. Available until the end of the truffle season – usually the end of August or early September – Head Chef Thom Gorringe and his team have curated a special menu which is designed to take diners on a six-course culinary journey of the heavenly truffle, presented in partnership with the Truffle Association. The menu is on offer within the restaurant or for group bookings in the Private Dining Room.

Highlight dishes include the sharing style Baked Camembert stuffed with Truffle, the Spanner Crab Chawanmushi with truffle and Jerusalem artichoke and the Milk Chocolate Truffle, a twist on the restaurant’s signature Dulche de Leche dessert.

“We invite food lovers to join us in celebrating the best of winter and the great produce of our closest food regions this truffle season, whether it be enjoying the Ultimate Truffle Toastie from The Kerrigan, an elevated truffle tasting experience at The Gantry or a unique truffle experience within a private waterside Igloo,” said Kim Mahaffy, General Manager of Pier One Sydney Harbour.

The Truffle Tasting Menu is available for $160 per person, with matching wines at $89 per person. Guests can get more truffle treats at The Kerrigan at Pier One – the food shack located on the Pier – where mouth-watering truffle fries, a truffle burger and the “Ultimate Truffle Toastie” with truffle pecorino and served with truffle potatoes is on offer. Guests of the hotel over the winter season will also be treated to a limited-edition truffle takeover for breakfast, with indulgent truffle specials updated daily.

Bookings for The Gantry’s Truffle Tasting must be made at least 48 hours in advance.

Call +61 2 8298 9999 or visit for reservations.

The Langham Sydney to Unveil New Dining Concept

Kitchens On Kent at the Langham Sydney
Kitchens On Kent at the Langham Sydney

The Langham Sydney in Millers Point is redefining the concept of traditional buffet at its new restaurant, Kitchens on Kent

Kitchens on Kent will open on 26th August after a five-month refurbishment and extension that has seen the Langham Sydney’s dining space transformed into a 180-seat, multi-station, interactive restaurant.
Designed by Executive Chef Dave Whitting, the menu will bring together a variety of cuisines that are inspired by his experience working in international hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants.

“We have eight open-kitchen stations where we’ll showcase a vibrant selection of traditional and innovative global cuisines,” he said. “Sydneysiders and domestic and international diners are constantly becoming more experimental. Nowadays, everyone is a foodie, who not only loves fine-dining, but also enjoys choice and flexibility. It’s hard to find both, but now they can, as I’m blending a luxurious à la carte menu with the buffet experience.”

Whitting is betting on the fresh seafood to be the restaurant’s showstopper. The enviable and luxurious display will feature Sydney rock oysters, blue swimmer crabs, tiger prawns, local tuna, salmon, kingfish and lobster, all supplied by Sydney Fish Market. “The produce and suppliers we work with are extremely important to us, not only are we serving the freshest local and seasonal produce, [but] rare produce that our guests wouldn’t expect to see at a buffet will also be offered,” he said.

Global chefs have been hand-picked by Whitting for the new dining concept, with expert chefs behind each live cooking station, creating made-to-order and customisable dishes.
Interactive culinary experiences will also be on offer for children in the form of pizza-making classes and cupcake decorating.

Cuisine choices will include squid-ink rustic pizzas made in the beech oven, rotisserie, whole-cooked meats such as suckling pig, a Tandoor oven serving up traditional Indian dishes and Sydney’s only robata grill offering a selection of game meats cooked over smoky charcoals. 

Chefs will also be showing off their skills and interacting with the guests at the Japanese sushi & sashimi station, raw bar, dumplings, and wok & noodle station.

Additionally, there will be a fresh pasta kitchen, hot western dishes, a carvery and a charcuterie table filled with a selection of local and international cheese and meats. The vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options will also be plentiful leaving nobody out of the full Kitchens on Kent experience.

 The dessert station will feature macaroon towers; a milk, dark and white chocolate fountain; hot and cold desserts; soufflés made-to-order; and a gelato station that will rotate through an abundance of enticing flavours.

The ambience is opulent and luxurious, with an interior designed by Wilson Associates in Singapore. Plush dining chairs and dark timber tables will be arranged in both sociable and romantic set-ups, and two private dining areas will be available for those extra special occasions. 
Kitchens on Kent’s sommelier will give guests the opportunity to pair their cuisine with rare wines from The Langham Sydney’s reserve wine list, or they can opt for an unlimited sparkling wine or beverage package.

“Whether you’re celebrating the arrival of the weekend at our bottomless brunch, a quick mid-week power lunch with colleagues, congratulating your Mum & Dad for reaching their 40th Wedding Anniversary or just celebrating the everyday with your family; we want Kitchens on Kent to be at the forefront of diners minds,” said The Langham, Sydney’s General Manager, Gaylord Lamy. “From your four-year old son, to your 80-year old Grandma and everyone in-between, Kitchens on Kent will please and excite everybody, making it the must-go-to restaurant in the city.”

Kitchens on Kent opens on August 26th. Children under 12 years eat for free until the end of September. T&Cs apply.

One&Only’s Winter Culinary Indulgence Festival in Full Swing

Christmas in July
Christmas in July

The festival includes a Caviar & Champagne weekend with caviar expert Lisa Downs, a sustainable Australian seafood dinner with Josh Niland, an 1832 Wolgan Gin Weekend hosted by Mikey Enright and Ian Glenn and a cheese masterclass weekend with Will Studd

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is hosting a series of incredible culinary experiences curated by Executive Chef Nancy Kinchela in collaboration with some of Australia’s leading chefs, tastemakers, and winemakers this winter. Each gourmet experience reflects the resort’s culinary philosophy, celebrating the very best of seasonal, regional and, where possible, organic produce, sourced from local boutique farms, private growers and vintners.

The Winter Culinary Festival launched on 21st June with the ‘Big Reds and Game’ dinner, hosted by Claudio Haye. Haye is from Domain Thompson, a family-owned winery with vineyards in both New Zealand and France. The experience kicked off with a wine tasting in the afternoon where guests were able to sample some exquisite pinot noir vintages, followed by a dinner prepared by Executive Chef Nancy Kinchella featuring game meats paired with Domaine Tomson wines.

The opulent Caviar & Champagne weekend, featuring a masterclass hosted by caviar expert Lisa Downs, took place a week later, with guests sampling a range of the finest caviar varieties, expertly matched with a selection of Perrier Jouet vintages. In the evening, guests were treated to an exquisite five-course caviar-inspired dinner, created by Executive Chef Nancy Kinchela and matched with Perrier Jouet Champagne.

July launched with Josh Niland cooking alongside Nancy to showcase the very best in sustainable Australian seafood, and for the whisky-inclined, Josh Walker, head distiller at the award-winning Timboon Railway Shed Distillery, will host a whisky weekend from 19th to 20th July. Ian Glen of Stone Pine Distillery will also co-host the ultimate 1832 Wolgan Gin weekend alongside Sydney’s leading gin specialist Mikey Enright on 26th-27th July, while Christmas in July will be celebrated all month long with a series of Yulefest-inspired experiences.

The first weekend of August, leading cheese specialist Will Studd will present an insider’s glimpse into the world’s best cheeses, with a selection of his personal favourites hosted within the Valley Bar Lounge. Two weeks later, Tim Kirk from award-winning Clonakilla Winery will give guests the chance to sample some of the finest Clonakilla vintages, followed by a Clonakilla truffle dinner.

All the experiences within the Winter Culinary Indulgence are complimentary to guests as a part of a two-night accommodation package. The package starts at $2,090 AUD per evening for two guests. Guests will stay in a Heritage Villa with the following inclusions: a private heated pool, gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner, local wines and beers with meals, non-alcoholic beverages with meals, a complimentary in-villa snack bar and selected nature-based activities.  Spaces are limited, and advanced bookings are essential.

WA’s Ultimate Foodie Frenzy Returns this November

Swan Valley Food Gathering
Swan Valley Food Gathering

Western Australia Gourmet Escape will feature fine dining with international, Michelin-starred chefs; casual new wave wine events; masterclasses with culinary experts and live music from well-known artists

This November, culinary leaders from all over the globe will come together for 10 extraordinary days to experience Western Australia Gourmet Escape, a unique celebration of the State’s incredible food, wine and produce. For the first time, the festival will be held in three regions of Western Australia: the Swan Valley, Perth, and the Margaret River.

International culinary superstars including David Chang, Marco Pierre White, Danny Bowien, Amanda Cohen, Pierre Koffmann, Carlo Cracco, Garima Arora, Ivan Brehm, Selassie Atadika and other chefs and wine experts will be in attendance. Some of Australia’s best culinary talent including Alla Wolf-Tasker AM, Jock Zonfrillo, Josh Niland and Seth James will also be showing off their talent in the kitchen.

The newly expanded festival will offer guests a program of over 50 events, with more opportunities than ever to feast, sip, party and discover. The adventure will begin in the Swan Valley where food, music and entertainment are on the menu, followed by exclusive chef collaborations in Perth’s best restaurants. The journey concludes with the Margaret River wine region to celebrate the wine and produce the South West is famous for.

This year, the dancefloor will also be heating up, with the addition of an exciting music program that features chart-topping headliners The Rubens, fresh off their European tour, and indie star, singer-songwriter Fergus James at the new Gourmet Feast in the Valley event in the Swan Valley.

“In 2019 we’re extremely proud to offer the most diverse program yet, showcasing so many global cuisines and experiences in some of Western Australia’s most stunning and unique locations,” Gourmet Escape Event Director Katrina King said.

This year’s Western Australia Gourmet Escape Highlights include:


Swan Valley & Perth (8-14 November 2019)


Gourmet Feast in the Valley – a new family-friendly food and music event held on the stunning grounds of Sandalford Winery over the festival’s first weekend. Celebrating artisanal produce and authentic culinary experiences, visiting chefs include the first rock star chef Marco Pierre White, hardcore carnivore Jess Pryles and Christian Stevenson aka DJ BBQ.


Hands-on Activities and Masterclasses – enjoy locally-focused festival food by some of Perth’s hottest food trucks and revel in the drama of cooking over flame at the Feast Fire Pit presented by Australian Good Meat.


Three Exciting Collaboration Dinners – The Swan Valley program features these three dinners:

  • Marco Pierre White on the Past, Present and Future of Food: Presented by Synergy dinner at Sittella Winery (Fri 8 Nov)
  • Low and Slow with Jess Pryles presented by Australian Good Meat (Fri 8 Nov)
  • The Italian Connection Dinner presented by Lilydale with Fico (TAS) and Lamont’s

World Gourmet Symposium (Thursday 14 Nov) will bring together industry leaders and changemakers to discuss topics that impact and shape the culinary world.


Margaret River (15-17 November 2019)


Dining by Twilight at Margaret River’s Secret Garden presented by Seedlip – this much-loved event will this year feature Amanda Cohen from Dirt Candy in New York, alongside WA chef George Cooper for a vegetable degustation using produce grown on Cooper’s own farm (Sat 16 Nov.)


Into the New Africa #1 – Foraging, respect for the land and a deep love of country: South Africa’s Kobus van der Merwe, from The World Restaurant Awards’ Restaurant of the Year 2019 Wolfgat, is heading to Western Australia to prepare an intimate, personal dinner with Paul Iskov of Fervor (Fri 15 Nov.)


Into the New Africa #2 – For one night only, two nomadic chefs – Selassie Atadika travels from Ghana to team up with Paul Iskov from Fervor WA, for a cross-continent celebration of wild foods (Sat 16 Nov.)


Eating at The Crossroads: Nouri Comes to Vasse Felix – Ivan Brehm pioneers Crossroads Cooking, a culinary practice which reveals the complex web of shared food histories that influence what we eat today, exploring the global story of human connection. He will team up with Vasse Felix’s Brendan Pratt to weave the practice through the menu, paired with wines from the vineyard, a pioneer in their own right (Fri 15 Nov.)


Ristorante Cracco at Cape Lodge presented by Singapore Airlines – traditionally reserved for visiting chefs over the festival weekend, the elegant Cape Lodge lakeside restaurant will open its doors for Gourmet Escape attendees to experience a unique collaboration between resident local chef Tony Howell and Milan master Carlo Cracco for one night only (Sat 16 Nov.)


Mission Chinese X Chow’s Table presented by Gage Roads Brewing Co. – from the eclectic streets of NYC to the picturesque valleys of Margaret River, this unique partnering will see Mission Chinese mastermind Danny Bowien collaborate with local legend Malcom Chow for a Chinese banquet like no other (Sat 16 Nov.)


When Bo.Lan Came To Wise presented by Lilydale – Bo and Dylan from Bo.Lan in Bangkok will bring their traditional Thai cuisine with a fine-dining twist and serve it with unforgettable views and wines at Wise Vineyard Restaurant (Fri 15 Nov.)

Lancemore Nabs Two Top Chefs

Joseph's Restaurant - Mansion Hotel
Joseph's Restaurant - Mansion Hotel

Lancemore Lindenderry Red Hill and Lancemore Mansion Hotel & Spa have nabbed accomplished chefs Adam Beckett and David Green to revolutionise the hotels’ restaurants

Hotel group Lancemore has welcomed another revered chef to its culinary line-up, after securing Adam Beckett as Executive Chef of The Dining Room at Lancemore Lindenderry Red Hill earlier this year. David Green, who was recruited from Lake House Daylesford last year, will now also steer the direction of Joseph’s Restaurant at Lancemore Mansion Hotel as Executive Chef.

Beckett previously worked for multiple Michelin-starred UK restaurants and the 3-hatted Quay in Sydney; and was Sous Chef of  Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Head Chef at Paringa Estate.

“After seeing the recently reimagined space, I knew Lancemore Lindenderry Red Hill was something very special on the Peninsula,” he said. “It’s a really exciting time for The Dining Room and I’m thrilled to be a part of such a passionate team with freedom across several menus.”

The Dining Room’s new menu showcases comforting dishes such as Western Plains Pork Belly with persimmon, pine nuts and crackling, Charred ‘Mandagery Creek’ Venison Rump atop a pickled beetroot, goats curd and mushroom gills jus and an indulgent Eton Mess & Eucalyptus Sorbet with vanilla custard, finger lime, and kaffir lime meringue for dessert.

At Lancemore Mansion Hotel in Victoria,  Executive Chef David Green, accompanied by a leading team of hospitality professionals from Lake House Daylesford, is bringing a new energy to one of the grandest hotels in Australia.

Regarding what is in store for Joseph’s Restaurant, Green said, “The rich pastoral history of Lancemore Mansion Hotel is an inspiration to be a part of and there is a real sense of excitement, possibility, passion, and creativity amongst the team as we work to redefine Joseph’s.”

Adopting philosophies from his training at One, Two and Three Michelin starred restaurants in Europe, Green aims to continue the traditions of grand European hotels at the iconic 1870s estate. Some of these traditions include the use of game and wild foods, making fresh in-house produce, bread making, pickling, bottling and preserving.

On Joseph’s new four- or six-course tasting menu you’ll find Raw Robbins Island Tasmanian Wagyu aged in beeswax, fermented shitake, daikon, kombu and mushroom ketchup and Local Barramundi atop Jersey royal potatoes, quail egg, black olive, scampi anglaise and oliveplant. The highlight, ‘The Apple’, a decadent white chocolate and apple mousse, with wild muntries and burre noisette crumb for dessert.

Australia’s Best Paddock-to-Plate Restaurants

Solander, West Hotel, Sydney
Solander, West Hotel, Sydney

Fuelled by local producers and the freshest ingredients, these ten Australian restaurants treat diners to scrumptious cuisine with a conscience

For the past decade, chefs and restaurateurs around the world have been placing greater value on sourcing local and seasonal produce, reducing carbon emissions, minimising waste, supporting sustainable practice by farmers, producers and wine-makers and participating in the local community. This is even more the case in Australia.

More and more diners have simultaneously developed the same goals, wanting to support restaurants with high standards of ethics, integrity and sustainability – while still offering great food, wine and good times.

As celebrated Australian food writer, restaurant critic and cookbook author Jill Dupleix said on the release of her book Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery, which outlines the world’s most exemplary, organic, sustainable, and ethical restaurants:

“We value good food and good friends. We value time over money, community over celebrity and empathy over ego. We value the seasons and the rhythm of nature, and people who work with them rather than against them. And we value being able to dine together and to work together to shape the world we live in.”

And the following restaurants tend to agree. From quaint bistro settings to refined fine dining, these eateries are not only ethical and sustainable, but undoubtedly delicious, too.


CBD, Sydney

One year since its official opening, Solander Dining and Bar has enriched and refined its menu, with its balanced flora and fauna approach. The menu pays homage to its namesake – Daniel Solander, a London-based Swedish botanist who was integral to the early documentation and collection of Australian plants. Along with sustainable meat and seafood options, there are additional options for those with restricted diets. Signature menu items include slow-cooked wallaby shanks accompanied by wattle seed and a rich macadamia crumble-style crème, house-made banksia and acacia pot-bread flavoured using foraged native flowers. Solander is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cocktails served from midday until late.

Gin-Cured Salmon at Solander, West Hotel, Sydney
Gin-Cured Salmon at Solander, West Hotel, Sydney

Three Blue Ducks

Sydney, Rosebery, Byron Bay and Brisbane

This Bronte eatery is all about the produce and the people. It launched in 2011 and is equipped with a kitchen garden, rooftop solar-power system, focus on Fairtrade, organic and local produce – and a legendary avocado on toast. Since then, it has expanded to three additional locations. The Byron branch in particular houses animals, chooks and beehives on eighty-five acres of farm and market gardens; turns rainwater into sparkling water for guests; offers fifty-six taps to reduce bottle waste and has installed milk-dispensing Jugglers to reduce needless milk packaging. The food itself – with standouts like a kingfish poke bowl, coal-roasted lamb and a farm-grown salad – is simple, fast, fresh and undoubtedly flavourful. Three Blue Ducks is open for breakfast and lunch daily, as well as dinner from Wednesday to Saturday.

Three Blue Ducks
Three Blue Ducks

Peel Street

Adelaide, SA

Peel Street is colourful and casual with the kitchen open for all to see and a long polished concrete bar in the front. Chefs Jordan Theodorous and Martin Corcoran dispense full-flavoured dishes that are strongly Mediterranean but with a healthy dash of Middle Eastern energy and the occasional Asian spice. The menu is displayed on a blackboard in order to make timely changes in sync with the season and their vegetable and community gardens. The always-fresh fusion cuisine includes a banana blossom salad, Spencer Gulf prawns, a hefty Coorong mullet and a yogurt, fruit and nut Persian delight. The restaurant is open for lunch Monday through Friday, with dinner service on Monday and Wednesday to Saturday.

Peel Street, Adelaide
Peel Street, Adelaide


Surry Hills, Sydney

While the outside screams Brooklyn warehouse, the interior and menu of NOMAD proudly showcases Sydney and its surrounds. Charcuterie and other hero ingredients are made right on site, while Chef Jacqui Challinor’s menu taps into local producers only, such as Melanda Park Pork and Willowbrae Chevre Cheese. The sustainable focus extends to the use of Blackheath Firewood, recycling of used cooking oil into biofuel and the careful separation of waste. Wine is a focus here, the list celebrating biodynamic farming, minimal intervention and small-scale Australian producers. The food however, which boasts house-made Jersey milk halloumi, a David Blackmore 9+ Wagyu tongue and a glazed Fremantle octopus, is the real selling point. NOMAD serves lunch Wednesday to Saturday and dinner from Monday to Saturday.

NOMAD, Surry Hills, Sydney
NOMAD, Surry Hills, Sydney

A Tiny Place

Battery Point, TAS

This accurately-named French bistro may be small, but has flavours that rival some of Australia’s largest and most well-known sustainable eateries. Founder and Chef Philippe Leban serves French-inspired, Tasmanian-sourced cooking that is designed to not only please but showcase overlooked vegetables. Locally grown organic leeks, for instance, are served roasted, with foraged pickled slippery jacks, cauliflower purée, turnip and soy jelly, to deliciously spotlight a deeply neglected vegetable. Leban pulls from local resources, such as fisher Mark Eather, to make his surrounding produce the star. In addition to the vegetarian creations, test out a Tasmania scallop pudding or a steamed Ray’s bream with a fruity twist. The unique, cottage-like restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.

A Tiny Place, Battery Point | Photo by
A Tiny Place, Battery Point | Photo by


Barossa Valley, SA

Barossa-born top Chefs Daniel Murphy and Emily Murphy showcase their region in the best way possible, producing world-class, regionally-inspired dining. This serenely-relaxed restaurant has vineyard views and resides in The Louise, one of Australia’s most luxurious regional resorts. The menu serves free-range pork and an award-winning wine list – two Australian dining must-haves – in addition to Japanese and Korean flavours, such as house-made miso and kimchi. Guests can indulge in a pork neck with fermented vegetables, roasted baby fennel with an Asian twist, a quince with marzipan and honey and so much more amidst breathtaking views. Appellation serves its sumptuous fare for dinner Tuesday through Friday.

The terrace at Appelation, The Louise, Barossa Valley
The terrace at Appelation, The Louise, Barossa Valley

Captain Moonlite

Angelsea, VIC

Offering seaside dining at its finest, Captain Moonlite lies in a real, active Surf Life Saving club and treats guests to stunning wave views. Chef Matt Germanchis has created a delectable seafood menu, from a fremantle octopus served with a side of potato cake to a prawn-and-seaweed cracker to a best-in-show fish and chips, while the surrounding community works to ensure the Anglesea inhabitants’ well being. In addition to a ban on plastic straws, the restaurant supports local organic suppliers such as Kinsfolk Farm. Those who prefer their fish in the water can additionally indulge in non-seafood dishes, such as a toasty, beetroot-capped saganaki or a lamb souvlaki. Dining starts with breakfast and lunch from Friday to Monday and ends with dinner from Thursday through Sunday.

Captain Moonlite, Anglesea, VIC
Captain Moonlite, Anglesea, VIC


Albany, WA

This aesthetically-pleasing bar invokes feelings of a grand bistro in Paris, yet promotes the produce of the Great Southern region in the most flavourful way possible. Founder Amy Hamilton’s love for her region shines with locally-produced seafood dishes and Western Australian inflections that pull from France and Vietnam.  The bar is as equally impressive; Bar manager Keryn Gills creates cocktails in line with the changing seasons, inventing drinkable creations as she goes. If the cured Australian salmon or the sheep’s yoghurt mousse don’t convince you, an entertaining programme of themed nights and events dot the hangout, making it ideal for a relaxing night with friends. Lunch and dinner are served Monday to Saturday.

Liberté, Albany, WA
Liberté, Albany, WA


Brisbane, QLD

Although owners Shaun and Tanja Malone may not hail from Italy, the cuisine speaks otherwise. Much of the produce at Bucci comes from sustainable farms and the local market, while the pasta is made in-house and everything else is sourced as locally as possible. For instance, the truffled honey dressing on the explosively creamy burrata is made from honey harvested from hives in the street and the capesante con prezzemolo e aglio sources scallops from Hervey Bay. A smiling staff greets newbies and regulars alike, offering bowls of warm olives and bringing a Sicilian Sunday dinner down under. Order the linguine al granchio (spanner crab with chilli, parsley, and lemon) or the tagliatelle con cicale di mare (Moreton Bay bug) – you won’t be disappointed. Bucci serves its Italian fare for lunch and dinner daily.

Bucci, Brisbane, QLD
Bucci, Brisbane, QLD

Pialligo Estate Garden Pavilions

Canberra, ACT

Following a fire that destroyed Pialligo’s Farmhouse Restaurant in 2017, the estate’s dedication to sustainable dining led to a new restaurant in four covered garden pavilions. Ingredients are sourced from both local suppliers and the estate’s own farmland, which includes a grove of 400 Coriggiola olive trees, a two-hectare market garden that dates back 100 years and a 1000-tree orchard fragrant with peaches and nectarines. This means that even the simplest dish – zucchini flowers stuffed with pumpkin and ricotta, perhaps – comes with the most delightful views. The smokehouse however, is another highlight; from an award-winning bacon to a signature charcuterie board, it is possibly the restaurant’s main attraction. Stop by for lunch or dinner Wednesday through Saturday, lunch on Sunday or a weekend breakfast.

Pialligo Estate Garden Pavilions, Canberra, ACT
Pialligo Estate Garden Pavilions, Canberra, ACT

Birch Restaurant Dishes Up Classy Comfort Food in the Southern Highlands

Birch Restaurant, Moss Vale, Southern Highlands, NSW
Birch Restaurant, Moss Vale, Southern Highlands, NSW

As one of the Southern Highlands’ newest culinary players, Birch hasn’t wasted any time impressing Sydneysiders and locals alike

There’s nothing quite like a weekend amid the rolling hills of the Southern Highlands to revive a weary Sydneysider, and a drive down there on a Friday night in peak hour traffic to get their tummy grumbling. So it’s a good thing I have a reservation at Birch.

As one of the the Southern Highlands’ newest culinary players, Birch makes the most of the region’s bounty with a menu where seasonal produce takes centre stage. This is not a new concept for regional Australia’s much-lauded and oft-Hatted restaurants, but it doesn’t make it any less enjoyable – or impressive, when well executed. There is something inherently comforting about eating a meal made with ingredients you know have been locally grown, picked and prepared, and in the lush and fertile Southern Highlands the produce is as good as it comes.

Birch is located in in the old Moss Vale post office – a beautiful, historic building with arched windows and high ceilings, and while the interior is simple and timeless, nodding to a fine dining elegance, it is also on-trend with its wintery, moody walls softened by white tablecloths and floral, berry-toned art. An intimate, blank canvas of a space, I find out the staff introduces styling changes to the space each season like a fashion store showcasing a new collection, and as a result not only do the locals get an ever-changing menu, but  a refreshed interior, too. Needless to say Birch is a restaurant unlikely to get stale or lose its appeal any time soon.

The relaxed, personable and passionate approach of owners Renee and Glenn Wallace is felt throughout the restaurant, lightening what could otherwise be a too-formal affair. They talk about their dishes and local wines with an inspiring enthusiasm. “Don’t be misled by the fact we’re in a small, regional town,” says Wallace. “The execution is up to the standard of a capital city and we have a small but experienced team to thank for that…The Southern Highlands has long been a brilliant destination for foodies and we hope Birch will be an additional reason for people to spend time in the region.”

As for the food, Head Chef Ben Bamford’s relationships with local suppliers is evident on the plate with a menu that changes daily depending on the seasonal produce, and a considered approach to each ingredient. “Our suppliers know if they have a trial crop or an abundance of a particular vegetable, that produce will always have a home at Birch. Although we start chatting with producers months in advance to forward-plan for the next season’s dishes… we’re also equally as reactive to what they have available, week-to-week,” says Bamford.

Diners can go the whole hog with a seven-course degustation, but we decide to take the shorter router after the long drive down and opt for a-la-carte. I can’t resist choosing the black tiger prawn, wasabi greens, finger lime, tomato and cucumber, and my travel companion opts for a paddock-to-plate starter of carrot tarté tatin, crisp pastry, cappuccino, truffle mascarpone and coconut. I watch him, bemused, as he eats his way around a delicious plate of carrots three (or was it four?) ways with complete, in-the-moment focus.

For mains, it’s braised duck pappardelle, porcini, zucchini, baby spinach and basil for me and for him, noisette of lamb, buttered turnips, smoked celeriac, rosemary, mint and spinach. The servings are huge – neither of us get through them – and rich, but after that dose of carrots we figure we can be let off the hook… until we opt to share Birch’s signature baked apple, crisp pastry, cinnamon anglaise and vanilla ice-cream – a modern take on apple pie that’s baked to order.

The wine list works in unison with the menu, and we are also treated to delicious local drops hand-picked by Renee that give us a glimpse of the impressive wines being produced in the region. There is also a selection of bespoke seasonal cocktails available, created in collaboration with the chefs to ensure the dining experience extends beyond the food. You can even craft your own cocktail, if you’re game – which of course, I am. It’s Friday night after all.

Say Cheese: Foodie Experience Launches at Australia’s First Igloo Village

Alpine Nature Experience
Alpine Nature Experience

In addition to hitting the slopes, Mount Hotham visitors can now sit back and relax with a glass of wine with expertly-paired cheese, or indulge in an extravagant cheesy feast fit for the whole family

Alpine Nature Experience, which runs memorable moments in the snow, is launching a series of events centred around the wonderful world of cheese at Victoria’s top skiing destination, Mount Hotham.

With the help of Mount Hotham Resort Management Board, the adventure company has built a sustainable eco-village to hold these cheese-inspired activities. The new village resides just outside of the main village and is accessible by snowshoe or skidoo. In addition, it boasts a central heated tipi, an outdoor bar, three snow domes and two real igloos.

The Wine and Cheese Masterclass follows founder Jean-Francois on a gastronomic journey across the world of cheese and wine, pairing 10 French and Australian cheeses to six wines from the North East Victoria. Classes can take up to 24 guests.

Perfect for the whole family, the Cheese Feast Raclette Lunch invites guests to a cheese feast like no other. Grill a half wheel of French cheese to serve with fresh baked potatoes, all accompanied by delicious charcuterie, smoked meats and a selection of wine and craft beer. Classes can take up to 16 guests.

Both events are two hours long and $75 AUD per participant, including snowshoe rental. They will be offered every Thursday from July to the end of September, with the masterclass occurring at 10:30 am and the lunch at 11:30 am. Bookings are essential and can be made at

Be SEEN at Bangkok’s Dazzling New Rooftop Restaurant

Avani+ Riverside SEEN Restaurant Bar and Seating
Avani+ Riverside SEEN Restaurant Bar and Seating

Bangkok’s latest restaurant and bar offers fine dining and cocktails in a trendy setting above the Chao Phraya River.

With unrivalled skyline views, bold flavours, fantastical mixology and sultry beats, the accurately-named SEEN has debuted in the Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel, 26 floors above bustling Bangkok. Opening a year after its Lisbon-based sister, da Costa’s, it is the vision of Olivier da Costa, one of Portugal’s most successful “chef-preneurs” and social scene moguls.

SEEN was designed by M&J London and is a 1980s-meets-Art Deco hideaway. It features both indoor and outdoor spaces and seating up to 185 guests.

The restaurant’s cuisine is led by Executive Chef Alexandre Castaldi, who has experience in both Michelin-starred Parisian restaurants and some of Asia’s hottest dining establishments. Using locally-sourced, organic produce, the global and refined menu boasts an epicurean tour with artisanal tapas, a sushi bar and signature dishes including truffled lobster salad and prime tomahawk steaks.

Bold interiors and a starry underfoot surface create a dreamlike and intimate setting in the main bar, where award-winning Head Mixologist Mochammad Fadli has curated a wide range of cocktails, wines and Champagnes. Creative cocktails are served with contemporary Thai twists such as the Sin to be Seen long drink, blended with jackfruit-infused plantation rum. Having led award-winning bars from Palmer & Co. in Sydney to 1515 West in Shanghai, Mochammad’s concoctions have been recognised by the industry’s leading publications.

In the rooftop garden, plush daybeds overlook the Chao Phraya and hypnotic beats spun by a roster of jet-setting DJs selected by Music Director Scotty B, set the mood. The Ministry of Sound regular is a master of Nu-disco, soulful house and tech.

For exclusive events and functions, the more private 27th-floor sky bar is available via a private glass lift and offers skyline views for up to 64 guests. The iconic Avani+ Bangkok rooftop infinity pool is also a common venue for stylish pool parties.

SEEN is open daily 6.00 pm – 1.00 am. Spaces are also available for private events.