My 100th post – reflections on ten months of restaurant reviews

Opera cake

Opera cake at Bouchon, Las Vegas

What a fun ten months it has been writing this blog. Looking back I thought it would be good to think about my favourite experiences in Australia and overseas; at flagship fine diners and everyday venues.

The ten months has taken me across to Perth several times, to the USA twice, Brazil, Hong Kong, and also up to Sydney. I’ve dined around Victoria in Daylesford, Kyneton, Geelong, Birregurra, Healesville and Emerald, and thoroughly blitzed through Richmond amongst many other Melbourne suburbs in this remarkable city. It goes to show that Gourmet Traveller is well named as a magazine; the two so intertwined.

There are several themes. Kimchi popped up many times along with American barbeque, and Andrew McConnell seems to dominate from a chef/owner perspective. The other theme which has come across to a few friends and colleagues is that I am not a hard marker. I like food and I try to choose places I’ll enjoy or that I’ve been recommended. As a result I am probably not going to be providing my readers with the big “scoop” but hopefully my direction is found to be accurate.

It is extremely difficult to choose my favourites from the past nine months so I’m taking a different angle. I’m going to list the restaurants that first come to mind (without looking at the list of restaurants I’ve been to) and for some categories choose one or two as the experience I most want again and/or one I couldn’t imagine not having had.

Australian fine diners – Momofuku Seiobo, Brae, Cutler & Co., Saint Crispin, Lakehouse. Brae again (please!) and Momofuku Seiobo as a treasured memory.

Overseas fine diners – Chez Panisse (Bay Area, California), Eleven Madison Park (New York), Oleana (Boston), Lung King Heen (Hong Kong). Eleven Madison Park again (and again!) and Chez Panisse as a treasured memory.

Australian casual dining – Supernormal, Luxembourg, Tonka, Supermaxi, Lalla Rookh, Pastuso. Too hard to choose just one!

Overseas casual dining – Saxon + Parole (New York), Union Square Cafe (New York), Bouchon (Las Vegas). Saxon + Parole again but all are amazing.

Australian cafe or cheap and cheerful – there are so many but General Food Store, Low Key Chow House, Kong BBQ, and Crabapple Kitchen spring to mind along with old favourites like Pope Joan. It really is too hard to decide on one, but to see the kimchi epidemic in full swing try Kong BBQ or Low Key Chow House (Perth).

It’s been an incredible first ten months on this blog. Thanks to anyone who takes an interest in reading my reviews, and to those who I’ve shared these meals with along the way!

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