The Shorehouse | Image credit: Louise Coghill
From million dollar fit outs to beach-side hangouts, from celebrity chef openings to novelty concepts, 2015 was huge in the Australian and New Zealand restaurant scene.
Here are some of the most exciting restaurant openings from 2015. Did someone say bucket list?!
Gauge | South Brisbane
Gauge is the brand new South Brisbane offering from Jerome Batten, the man behind popular Newstead cafe and grocer, Sourced Grocer. Similar to Sourced Grocer, Gauge’s menu focuses on the freshest locally-sourced produce, artisanal fare made in-house, and a breakfast and lunch menu unlike any other in Brisbane. This is not your typical breakfast cafe. It's better.
Les Bubbles | Fortitude Valley
Once an illegal casino and brothel and now a classy French-style bistro, Les Bubbles in Fortitude Valley is Damian Griffiths’ latest restaurant venture. The menu is centered around one signature meal, traditional steak frites, cooked to medium rare perfection and accompanied by an unlimited supply of fries. Yes, unlimited fries. The fit-out is pure Paris with a long banquette and bar running down the length of the restaurant and cosy red leather booths dotted alongside. In a nod to the building's seedy past, you can walk down a secret staircase to get to the restaurant's decadent Bathhouse bar, complete with a 15-person spa tub.
Long Chim | Perth CBD
David Thompson’s Thai street food restaurant, Long Chim—another jewel in the State Buildings’ crown—marked Thompson’s return to Australia after 14 years overseas and was one of Perth’s best restaurant openings in 2015. Located in the vaulted cellar beneath the State Buildings in the heart of Perth’s CBD, street art by renowned Thai artists Alex Face, Diamond One and Gong adorn the walls while on the menu, delicious Thai eats like cumin and turmeric beef skewers, garlic and pepper squid, roast duck with pickled ginger and crunchy pork with Chinese broccoli have ensured Longchim’s popularity since opening. Wash everything down with a few Thai-inspired cocktails and you’ll be in foodie heaven.
The Shorehouse | Swanbourne
Gorgeous new beachside eatery, The Shorehouse is the latest and greatest Perth casual dining restaurant to open its doors. Finding a home in the old location of The Naked Fig in Swanbourne, The Shorehouse is the brainchild of the crew that brought you The Beaufort Street Merchant, The Trustee and Enrique’s School For To Bullfighting and has already established itself as the perfect place for ocean gazing and grazing. This casual dining restaurant is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and features two menus—a casual offering for the deck and a slightly more sophisticated menu for the restaurant—both with a big emphasis on WA producers.
Automata | Chippendale
With the experience of working at Momofuku Seiobo, Head Chef Clayton Wells has opened his very own restaurant in Sydney and we love it! Automata is revamping Chippendale’s Old Clare Hotel with a five-course dining experience focusing on Australian and European influences. Don't become too attached to the menu though, cause it's set to change regularly. Using the very best seasonal produce, Automata’s menu may be high-brow but fortunately, it doesn’t come with a fine dining price tag— the five-course set menu giving you decent change from a hundred.
Master | Surry Hills
Having honed their skills at Quay, Noma and Momofuku Seiobo, the team at modern Chinese restaurant Master, in Surry Hills, is setting high expectations as one of Sydney’s best new restaurant openings. Boasting a beautiful space and excellent service, the surprising, delicious and punchy food (think pork jowl, burnt cabbage and an insanely special scallop silk) has seen Master establish a cult-like following since opening. Even the plainest of vegetables gets rock star treatment here. Open for weekend lunches (long lunch, anyone?) and dinners every night except Mondays, head to Master to learn a thing or two from the masters.
Tipo 00 | Melbourne CBD
Tipo 00 on Little Bourke Street was one of Melbourne’s best openings in 2015 for some of the most delicious, authentic and flavour-filled Italian foodie fare. While the pasta is without doubt the showstopper, don’t miss out on the delicious seasonal produce like fresh figs and pickled fennel, or beautiful desserts such as the white chocolate mousse with passionfruit, baby basil and sesame tuile. It’s a tough gig to stand out when it comes to Italian food in Melbourne but Tipo 00 really does.
Lume | South Melbourne
South Melbourne’s new fancy pants restaurant Lume, is already establishing itself as one of Melbourne’s best degustation spots. With a whopping 18 course (EIGHTEEN COURSE!) menu spanning a few hours, this is what you call a true dining experience. The seasonal dinner menu at Lume offers clean, fresh flavours with a familiar contemporary Melbourne taste.
Saan | Ponsonby
Ponsonby got its very own slice of Northern Thailand this year, and Aucklanders are officially hooked! The younger sibiling of Cafe Hanoi and Xuxu, Saan will take your taste buds on a flavour journey, thanks to head chef Lek Trirattanavatin’s family recipes that have been passed down over many generations. Created by Cheshire Architects, the restaurant’s design is gorgeous and the food on offer is some of the best in town. Plus, any place that serves pork crackling as a side is a winner in our books.
Beirut | Auckland CBD
An eatery that's a cafe, sexy bar and stylish restaurant all rolled into one, Beirut is worlds apart from your local kebab joint, serving up some of the best contemporary Middle Eastern fare in Auckland. With its top notch location, mysterious vibes and delicious menu items designed to be shared (think slow braised goat, fig leaf cheese curd and Arabic doughnuts), Beirut is a stand out on the Auckland dining scene and one of the best openings for 2015.
Looking for the best spots to eat and drink on the Gold Coast? Check this out!