Brae has won every award imaginable—especially considering it's a restaurant with no set menu, a solid 130kms from Melbourne’s CBD, and placed happily aside a crumbling cemetery.
After an entry during their inaugural year on the World’s Best Restaurants list at #87, the accolades kept coming: Dan Hunter was crowned Citi Chef of the Year, and following that Brae was named Santa Vittoria Regional Restaurant of the Year—plus, the coveted 3 chefs hats.
But is the food delicious? After all, awards don't necessarily equal deliciousness.
When we went, we were given some amazing dishes: from a meaty asparagus spear bathed in sea butter, to a delicate and tangy scallop and lemon aspen tart, and an airy nut butter crisp topped with plump trout roe and fragrant edible flowers. The latter could have slipped into lavender soap territory so easily, but the complex balance between the salty and floral tastes were spot-on.
Perhaps the highlight of the lunch was the delivery of a two-part prawn dish, with the instruction to ‘suck the brains out of the head first’—music to my ears. Clearly no one at Brae takes themselves *too* seriously.
We ended three hours later with a tiny rhubarb and pistachio cake which was made with blood—because this is Brae, and of course it was enhanced with blood—and we emerged into the unseasonably warm Melbourne afternoon completely dedicated to an immediate return.
Image credit: Colin Page for Brae