Australian/New Zealand restaurants

Old Oct 29th, 2007, 07:59 PM
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Australian/New Zealand restaurants

We're going on a tour of Australia and New Zealand. We'll have some evenings on our own and are looking for restaurant suggestions. Specifically, in Melbourne, Cairns, Sydney, Auckland, and Christchurch. We're primarily interested in local cuisine (why fly all this distance to eat French or Italian?)and really, really good places - I don't think we'll make it back again! Thanks
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Old Oct 29th, 2007, 08:46 PM
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Not local, but I can't pass up an opportunity to recommend Little India, which has 2-3 locations in CH and a new location in Melbourne. The best Indian food I've ever had anywhere, and I've eaten a lot of Indian food.
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Old Oct 29th, 2007, 10:22 PM
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'Local cuisine' in Australia is based on the European (mainly French), with serious Asian influences (mainly Thai and Vietnamese). Melbourne is considered a foodies' paradise, with fine dining in a variety of styles and price ranges. The most authoritative guide to restaurants in Melbourne is "The Good Food Guide", readily available at any bookstore. It's cheap to buy, and a good reference as well as souvenir. Of high reputation at the moment are 'Press Club', 'Pearl', 'Rockpool Bar & Grill', 'Ondine', Vue de Monde', Jacques Reymond' and 'Taxi'.
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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 02:47 AM
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Wagyu beef is the big thing at the moment and although it is Japanese in origin there are some very fine breeders in Australia. Rockpool Bar & Grill at the Casino is noted for serving it along with excellent seafood, but other places do have it available. A very good restaurant is Pure South at Southbank. It specialises in produce from Tasmania and King Island in Bass Strait. King Island is noted for it's beef and dairy products.
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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 02:51 AM
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The above of course is in Melbourne.
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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 05:08 AM
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In Cairns it sort of comes down to what you mean by local cuisine. In my local pub I can get a great meal of barramundi for about $12.00 but I don't think this is what you mean.

For a small regional city, Cairns has a huge selection of eateries, which cover just about every ethnic variation, (this is what most Australians eat),some are dirt cheap but you can go up to silver service dining in such places as Kingsford Room at Cairns International hotel and pay a bomb.

Red Ochre in Cairns city is popular with tourists and locals; well established, native food (bush tucker) - try the local redclaw. Good wine list too.

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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 05:31 AM
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Well, there are some wonderful places to eat (allegedly) in SYD and MLB. But it'll probably be fusion-cuisine. Mod Oz and all that

Unless you want to go ethnic - Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese. Don't even think about "Indian". Most "Indian" restaurants are total crap. There are exceptions but they are of the lino table variety and I suspect that is not what you are wanting.

So - it's Mod Oz - or .. or, really good fish n chips. esp in NZ.

You really can't beat fresh fish, chips made from actual potatoes (peeled and fried) all wrapped in glorious newsprint.

Yeh - that's my top tip - else find any good neighbouthood Thai that does take-out on the side.

What did you have in mind as "local cuisine"? If you are into croc or roo there is a place in the Rocka in Sydney that does both.

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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 07:25 AM
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When you are in New Zealand, try a venison dish. They farm deer there, and the venison is great! One of my favorite meals in Queenstown was venison roast with potatoes and carrots. Mmmmmm.

One of our tour guides told us to ask the servers if their venison was farm bread, since the wild venison has a more gamey taste. We did and were told that they were required by law to only serve farm-raised venison. So, maybe that was a dumb question to ask, but I was glad to know. I've had plenty of gamey venison here in Tennessee and it isn't good. haha
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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 02:13 PM
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When in Christchurch we enjoyed The Chancery On Lane. It's within 2 blocks of the Cathedral in the CBD. It serves excellent local cuisine. If you find your way to the CBD, I'm sure most anyone can direct you there.
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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 02:26 PM
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"Indian" restaurants being "total crap" is indeed total crap and really posters should not post if they don't know what they are talking about. There are some excellent Indian restaurants in Melbourne including Roti Boti on Hampton Street, Hampton. It is listed as one of the top 44 Indian restaurants in the world and having eaten there many times (and in Delhi for that matter) I totally agree!!
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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 02:52 PM
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Given your interest in really good places, you should consider Tetsuya's in Sydney, one of the world's great restaurants and a unique experience. Dinner will set you back AU$195 pp, plus wine, but you won't forget it. The style is best described as Japanese-French fusion with an emphasis on the best Australian ingredients. If you're interested you'll need to book several weeks ahead.

Otherwise, in Sydney and Melbourne I agree that you can be guided by the Good Food Guide, published by the sister newspapers the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Leaving aside the traditional Aboriginal diet, which with all due respect lacks a little je ne sais quoi, there's really no long- standing local cuisine. Until WW2 Australia was at least 95% British, which will give you some idea of the dominant cuisine. That's why a survey designed to identify the most Australian dish resulted in a tie between spaghetti bolognese and sweet-and-sour pork.
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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 05:23 PM
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Auckland central: Wine Chambers

Christchurch (Art Centre)- Annie's

or Curator's House (botanic garden)

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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 10:25 PM
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I have eaten at these and can recomend them as trul excellent
1. Vue De Monde Melbourne . Australian Restaurant of the Year.Stunning degustation menus .They have a lunch bistro as well .Bookings well in advance essential .
2. Pier in Rose Bay Sydney . Australian Gourmet Traveller restaurant of the Year.Fabulous setting especially for lunch on the water.
3.Nu Nu Palm Cove about 30 minutes drive North of Cairns .
Aus Gourmet Traveller Regional Restaurant of the year. Worth the trip On the water front .Also does wonderful breakfasts and lunches
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Old Oct 31st, 2007, 04:21 PM
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One of my faves in Melb is the Stokehouse in St Kilda. Have been going there for years and the food is always great. It also has a lovely outlook over the bay. Do book though. In fact you will probably be advised to book any good/popular restaurants particularly later in the week.
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