This was an arduous task, throughout the last 3 years literally hundreds of eateries have been sampled and after much deliberation my 5 finalists (in no particular order) are below;
- Niche – Corn Fritters, Avocado Mousse, Cajun Creme Fraiche
Beautifully fluffy corn fritters, fresh and so light that it’s been mentioned that they are made out of real clouds. They can also be used as a pillow, but be careful, they can make a mess of your Egyptian cotton sheets. Apologies for the lack of review, it was before this blog was even thought of.
- Tonka – Soft-Shell Crab Pakora with Pickled Cucumber, Lemon, Chilli and Mint
Belinda Carlisle wrote a song about Tonka’s soft shell crab pakoras called “Oooooh Heaven is a place on Earth” and she wasn’t lying. Down a back alley, behind bins and homeless people you can find soft shell crab Mecca. http://pleasesirbyoliver.com/2014/02/19/tonka-one-of-the-big-5/
- Red Spice Road – Pork Belly, Apple Slaw, Caramel & Black Vinegar
Red Spice Road is a surprising little joint, great food for exceptional prices, the set menu is always a staple when large groups of friends come to town which include; knock your socks off Barramundi curry and slow cooked beef cheeks. By far the star of the night is always the Pork Belly which is soft but crispy and sweet and spicy. Cheeky.
- Chin Chin – Hopkins River Beef Massaman Curry
Always a go-to dish at Chin Chin, the 3 hour wait is well worth it (kind of). The no booking, first come first serve policy is testament to their food and no doubt the hundreds of people that take the Massaman pilgrimage to Chin Chin each week.
- Gelato Messina – Salted Caramel and White Chocolate Gelato
The Salted Caramel and White Chocolate Gelato at Gelato Messina is turning into their flagship. With 2 spaces up for grabs it’s pretty tough competition to get a place in my pot especially as I like to try new flavours. Somehow the Salted Caramel always seems to nail a place as the first in, leaving the rest of the flavours to battle out a space between themselves. Well done Sir, survival of the fittest and you’ve nailed it.
Special mentions have got to go to Hammer & Tong 412 for their Soft Shell Crab Burger. Attica would take the vegetarian dish of the day with their Russian tomatoes, red wine vinegar gel, dried beetroot with 10 different varieties of basil and finally Vue De Monde for their Chocolate soufflé.
What are your thoughts, anyone I’m missing, any suggestions?