If you find yourself in one of the nation’s capital cities for work or pleasure, be sure to take the opportunity to treat your taste buds and try out some truly exemplary restaurants.
Read on for a culmination of recommendations of the top restaurants for each State and Territory capital, from our in-house foodie travel writer Anna Howard – with the majority having a place in the Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 Restaurants in 2017.
Hubert - Sydney
If you love restaurants, then the quintessentially French restaurant Hubert is for you.This gem is located in the centre of downtown Sydney and open for lunch Monday to Friday, and dinner through to late night supper Monday to Saturday. At Hubert there is a big focus on ambience, good conversation and laughter, to match the amazing French wine list, and food by chef Dan Pepperell.
Franklin - Hobart
In Hobart’s heart with a floor and bar of poured concrete, a full open kitchen and a ten-ton, wood-fired Scotch oven lies Franklin. The menu that leans slightly to more seafood dishes is very fairly priced with the entrees like the periwinkles at $11, the raw tuna $9 and the sea urchin $6. The food is partnered with an incredible wine list that includes many of the Apple Isle’s finest drops. Dinner bookings are recommended, but if you haven’t booked why not pop in and see if you can chance an available table.
Lourinha - Melbourne
Lourinha has maintained its well-earned reputation as Melbourne’s favourite go-to for late-night tapas. The kitschy memorabilia provides the perfect backdrop to the casual Mediterranean small plate tapas approach to dining. Matt McConnell and his team keep your taste buds tingling with delightful plates of spiced cauliflower croquettes and spiced oxtail. Be sure to try the yellow kingfish “pancetta” in lemon oil – truly, a new flavour sensation.
Madame Wu’s – Brisbane
Executive head chef Brendon Barker has developed a menu designed to excite the senses and ensure the best Queensland produce is used. From dumplings to duck, the classic and modern Asian dishes are perfect for guests to get in and share. Chef Barker has also brought together classic dessert flavours with Asian mainstays to create an irresistible dessert menu. Madame Wu’s CBD riverside location also provides a great setting for their funky cocktail bar that is open every day until late.
Capitol Bar & Grill – Canberra
Restaurateur Robert Marchetti, Creative Food Director of QT Hotels has brought together the styling and design approach of this chic and groovy hotel chain to this Italian themed concept restaurant. Finding a good Italian food place is always comforting, and with its mix of refreshed Italian favourites teamed with prime cut steaks, Capitol Bar & Grill does not disappoint.
Hanuman - Darwin
Following on from the success of legendary Melbourne restaurants Monsoon, Shakahari and Isthmus of Kra, Jimmy Shu and his team decided to establish Asian restaurants in Darwin and Alice Springs. To ensure menu authenticity Jimmy has sought chefs from Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, India, and Indonesia. This authenticity is blended with tastes inspired by Jimmy Shu's childhood, and results in Hanuman providing guests with a fresh and exciting menu of small dishes, mains, noodle dishes plus desserts from across Asia.
Golden Boy - Adelaide
Adelaide’s East End houses a contemporary Thai eatery furnished with an eclectic mix of colonial and 50s Retro in a CBD Federation building. The menu includes delicious Betel leaves stuffed full of seafood flavours, an amazing jungle curry, a spice rubbed pork dish, plus a fragrant yellow duck curry, sweetened with pineapple and Thai basil – that is simply not to be missed. With attentive and knowledgeable service and ingredients and wines sourced locally from Australia’s food bowl, the combination creates a dining experience that will have you lining up again and again.
Wildflower - Perth
Across the Nullabor in the Western Australian capital’s CBD is Wildflower. Positioned right at top of the COMO The Treasury, Wildflower ramps up the concept of seasonality, with chef Jed Gerrard using nothing but WA produce. Patrons will sample local delights like Shark Bay blue swimmer crab with finger lime, preserved daikon and eucalyptus, emu smoked over jarrah embers, and slow-cooked Doodlakine pork with Chinese cabbage and sea parsley.