AUSTRALIAN GOOD FOOD GUIDE - Home of the Chef Hat Awards

What’s Trending in 2023 at Readers’ Choice Award-winning Venues?


By Leigh O’Connor, Editor.

As we continue to celebrate our Readers’ Choice Award Winners for 2023, it is interesting to see a number of trends developing around Australia when it comes to what you as a diner are looking for.

We have identified five areas of the industry that consumers have on their radar – read on to find out what is trending at a restaurant near you.

Everyone loves pub grub, but we are becoming more discerning about what we expect on our plates at our go-to local hotel or tavern – we want it to not only taste good but look good, taking comfort food to a whole new level.

Winning the Readers’ Choice Award for Pub Food in the Newcastle and Hunter Valley area for the second year in a row, a touch of royal treatment awaits diners at the iconic Merewether Hotel, The Prince on Morgan Street.

What’s Trending in 2023 at Readers’ Choice Award-winning Venues?
 
Set over two levels, enjoy craft beers and boutique wines, along with a modern approach to pub dining; think daily specials such as yellowfin tuna tartare, soy cured egg yolk, puffed wild rice and yakiniku sauce; before mains like perfectly cooked steak, pickled shimeji mushrooms, roast eschalot, Parisienne potato and jus.

The rise of the American grill is making us salivate over all things smoky and barbequed – we’re not talking burgers and hot dogs here, this is all about smoked brisket, slow-cooked pork and sides like corn on the cob, slaw and cornbread.

Taking out the Brisbane Readers’ Choice Award for American, Newstead foodies head to Smokey Moo in Gasworks Plaza on Longland Street for tender, juicy meat that is falling off the bone. This specialty smoked beef restaurant is a true family business, which began with a dream of carving meat in front of guests in an open kitchen and now boasts a large dining area ideal for every occasion. 

What’s Trending in 2023 at Readers’ Choice Award-winning Venues?
 
Everything on the extensive menu is freshly prepared, the meat is all smoked in house and even the pastrami is cured onsite; chow down on the signature Dirty Dozen – brisket, pastrami, ribs and cheeks, served with loaded fries, mustard, tomato sauce and Smokey Moo jus.

The Japanese culture of Omakase – basically meaning ‘I’ll leave it up to you’ – is really taking off in some of our fine dining restaurants; you are putting your meal in the Chef’s hands and it is up to the restaurant what dishes you are served. Japanese was so popular in this year’s awards that we added a separate Omakase category.

Winning the Gold Coast Award, experience the hustle and bustle of innovative dining at Yamagen in Surfers Paradise. Nestled in the QT Hotel on Staghorn Avenue, this vibrant restaurant blends old-school Japanese tradition with new school Chef invention to dazzle guests with style and speed as robata grill dishes appear before their eyes.

What’s Trending in 2023 at Readers’ Choice Award-winning Venues?
 
Bold red colours and Oriental touches create a buzzing vibe as cooking becomes performance art, with omakase lunch dishes such as Hokkaido scallops, orange, emami enoki, pink pepper, crispy pork belly, Nashi pear, wasabi, watermelon radish and smoked vinegar.

Do you know what a momo is? For those who don’t, these traditional Nepalese steamed and fried dumplings are the ultimate when it comes to street food, or the starter to a great meal. Nepalese restaurants are blooming around the country and none more so than Kathmandu Kitchen on Marine Parade in Kingscliff.

What’s Trending in 2023 at Readers’ Choice Award-winning Venues?
 
For the second time, this locally-loved restaurant has won the Readers’ Choice Award for Nepalese in the Northern Rivers region; you’ll become an addict with Tibetan spiced beef dumplings, served with fresh tomato and coriander sauce; before mains like duck curry, star anise and seasonal vegetables. 

We all know how easy it is when there is a great restaurant within the hotel you are staying at; however, it’s not just hotel guests who are flocking to dine at these venues, locals are also cashing in on the offerings available ranging from fine dining to steak, sushi and ‘new French’.

Find Adelaide’s newest gourmand destination Garcon Bleu on Currie Street in the heart of the city. Nestling in the Sofitel Adelaide, this elegant restaurant exudes class with plush blue velvet seating, polished wood and statement lighting, ideal for romantic rendezvous or after-work drinks with friends.

What’s Trending in 2023 at Readers’ Choice Award-winning Venues?
 
Winning the Regional French category for Adelaide, expect an avant-garde encounter that is uncomplicated and best enjoyed with the flow of great wine and conversation and dishes like duck breast, broad beans, pickled shallots and orange sauce.
 
Did we hit the mark? Let us know of any trends you have identified by clicking here.

Featured Locations

French    $$$$$

Garcon Bleu

Find Adelaide’s hottest gourmand destination introducing a modern ‘new French’ concept at Garcon Blue on Currie Street in the heart of the city. Nestling in the Sofitel Adelaide, this elegant resta...

Nepalese    $$$$$

Kathmandu Kitchen Nepalese & Tibetan Restaurant

Take a culinary journey through the Himalayas from the comfort of Kathmandu Kitchen Nepalese & Tibetan Restaurant, located on Marine Parade in Kingscliff. Encompassing guests in red and yellow hues...

American    $$$$$

Smokey Moo

For tender, juicy meat that is falling off the bone, Newstead foodies head to Smokey Moo in Gasworks Plaza on Longland Street. This specialty smoked beef restaurant is a true family business, which...

Pub Food    $$$$$

The Prince

A touch of royal treatment awaits diners at the iconic Merewether Hotel, The Prince on Morgan Street. There's a breath of fresh air for this local favourite with new ownership and management pumpin...

Japanese    $$$$$

Yamagen

Experience the hustle and bustle of innovative izakaya dining at Yamagen in Surfers Paradise. Nestled in the QT Hotel on Staghorn Avenue, this vibrant restaurant blends old-school Japanese traditio...

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