Degustation Menus: The Best in Australia

Degustation menus, once the pinnacle of fine dining, took a backseat for a brief while for other food fads took over (notably the ‘designed to share’ menus we were seeing everywhere for a period of time). Over the past few years, however, degustation has reinvented itself and has been re-established as an innovative and playful way to dine. Luckily for us, Australia’s major cities are now brimming with mouth-watering multiple course menus that are nothing short of delectable creative brilliance and headed by some of the country’s most ingenious and imaginative chefs. Many of these restaurants have spun a new menu from a fusion of relatively different cuisines which has resulted in a unique experience.

There is a variety of options to choose from wherever you are and there won’t be a shortage of choices in our major cities, however sifting through the list can be difficult; so here is a collection of some of the best degustation restaurants from our favourite state capitals.

Gourmet Degustation

Nestled between two of Australia’s favourite wine regions, Adelaide is teeming with more fantastic food and wine that we can get to in one visit. Not only are there endless options of great local wine, but Adelaide’s restaurants also follow a huge trend of using only local ingredients as well. One of the city’s must-try degustation dining experiences is at Orana. Known for its massive 18-course menu, the ingredients used are renowned for being quintessentially Australian, utilising both local and native ingredients. One also can’t go past Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant where you could almost argue it is actually a wine degustation with food to match.

Urbane Restaurant is Brisbane’s three-hatted degustation that is all the rage. With a focus on blending local produce and innovate technique, Urbane offers a considerable variety that anyone would be content with, including a vegetarian menu. Not only has it won awards for its food and its wine, Urbane has also been praised for its design. Other great options for Brisbane include Ristorante Tartufo and Alchemy.

Sydney is home to a huge amount of amazing degustation restaurants including all-time-favourite LuMi Bar and Dining, offering a unique fusion of Italian and Japanese. The restaurant to look out for in Sydney right now is Sixpenny; it was established in 2012 and hidden in an old historical building in Stanmore.

Offering six to eight locally and ethically sourced dishes, the intimate experience of dining here is as perfectly balanced as the carefully constructed plating. The chefs present the meals themselves giving an intimate experience for all guests who are dining. And if the cosy dining room seating of 30 isn’t quite big enough for you, there is also a private room available with space for up to ten people.

Gourmet degustation

The pioneers of molecular gastronomy in Victoria’s capital is very easily Attica in Melbourne’s suburb of Ripponlea. In 2018, Attica made number 20 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list; and for good reason.

The restaurant focuses on bringing together ‘rare and unique’ ingredients when assembling their dishes with a spotlight on Australian flavours and paired with exceptional wine. On Tuesdays, they do an experimental degustation menu for something even more innovative and delightful than the original menu. Head chef, Ben Shrewy, is deserving of all the accolades he’s received in recognition of this exemplary dining experience. If this visit sparks an insatiable craving in you for degustation menus in Melbourne, try out Lûmé or Cutler & Co.

In Perth, Marumo and Wildflower come in as highest recommendations with not only excellent food but a shockingly modest price tag as well. Whilst Wildflower again heroes local and seasonal produce for a classic fine dining experience, Marumo offers a degustation of delicious Japanese cuisine.

Hobart has a significantly smaller range of restaurants to choose from compared to our other food capitals, but that isn’t to say it is devoid of outstanding food altogether. If you’ve made it that far south, then you must experience Hobart’s Dier Makr known for its unorthodox but surprisingly cohesive ingredient pairings which are again, 100 per cent locally sourced. Praised for its simplicity and lack of pretentiousness, Dier Makr is a must when it comes to culinary experiences in Tasmania.

 

Whatever city you are living in, or visiting, there is no shortage of luxurious menus to choose from. With astonishingly talented chefs and restaurateurs around every corner, and not to mention brilliant wine, step out and treat yourself to a few hours of utter indulgence.

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