By Freya Ensbey.
As January 1 rolls around, the festive activities tend to slow, the leftover chocolates are gobbled up and the booze train slows to a halt. Many of us begin to make the annual pilgrimage back to the gym, inspired by a 12-month blank canvas of hopes and dreams which lay ahead of us. For those who still enjoy eating out whilst aboard the ‘new year, new me train,’ we have collated the smartest picks of restaurants to make sure you stay in the driver’s seat.
Wholefood spread at SeraBar.
SeraBar | QLD
After a morning at Burleigh Heads, head to SeraBar, tucked away behind the Burleigh Heads Hotel to satisfy ravenous hunger. SeraBar is a family owned and operated café, with a passion for healthy living, offering a completely vegetarian menu. Start your day on the right foot with a Green Dream smoothie bowl with banana, frozen mango, kale, lemon, ginger and spirulina whilst the lunch crowd enjoys the likes of nachos with cashew sauce, guacamole and chilli beans.
BTS at The Spirit House Restaurant of soft shell crab with yellow curry powder and garlic.
Set in the hinterland haven of Yandina, discover a worldly trip abroad at The Spirit House Restaurant. Be seated overlooking the calming waters of the lake as ambient traditional music fills the air, transporting diners to a place of relaxation to enjoy a peaceful meal. Begin by sampling authentic flavours with entrees like the Harvey Bay scallops with red curried corn and salted coconut before a hearty main of whole crispy fish with chilli tamarind sauce, ideal with a side of watermelon salad with green apple, ginger and hot mint.
When hunger strikes travelling along the Bussell Highway of Margaret River, re-fuel your body with fresh seafood to keep it running at its peak at Katch-Up Seafood Grill & More. Slide into a comfortable red booth or opt to dine in the alfresco courtyard and bask in the morning sun as you peruse a menu of handpicked seafood from the surrounding region. Be tempted by Fremantle mussels in white wine sauce with Italian style olive oil, fresh tomato, garlic, chilli and Italian parsley served with a rustic baguette whilst the seafood platter is perfect for sharing, filled with fresh and cooked seafood serves including lobster, prawns, smoked salmon, mussels, calamari, oysters and fish fillets.
Organic kale and silverbeet from New Life Farm at Ground Earth.
Ground Earth | NSW
Set in the quiet and trendy Mid North Coast area, a scenic drive North of Coffs Harbour, is local eatery Ground Earth leading the field for health-conscious gourmands. Chef, Dusty Bowie-Ford and his business partner Sasha, were both inspired to create the niche cafe by the lack of dining options which could cater for both of their children’s food allergies. The dynamic duo has created a menu which not only celebrates healthy food, but celebrates diners with food allergies, making them feel accepted and understood. The eclectic mix of natural furniture mixes with an industrious space, creating a relaxing interior to reside for hours, delighting in dishes like the lentil tagine with cumin, carrot ferment, drunken apricot, charred flatbread and herbs or perhaps the applewood smoked fish with wilted greens.
Umii Modern Izakaya | NSW
Follow the locals of Drummoyne to Umii Modern Izakaya to discover a contemporary and modern dining space inspiring the imagination to wander to the streets of trendy Japanese sake bars of the homeland. Ambient lighting enhances the dramatic effect of the murals adorning the walls, whist basket pendents and traditional stylings create an authentic space with suave soul. Take your time perusing a menu filled to the brim with morsels of colourful sashimi whilst you opt for plates like the Mushi Gaki Ponzu with steamed oyster, scallion, ginger and ponzu sauce, the Salmon Belly Aburi or the spider roll with soft shell crab, cucumber and avocado.
Spanish mackerel with ginger and carrot kimchi at Host.
Host | VIC
Whilst in Victoria’s suburb of Brunswick, discover Host restaurant set along Brunswick Street. Inside emanates an intimate ambiance thanks to a culmination of rustic features with exposed timber beams and rough brick aesthetics lit in a soft glow for luring theatrics. Host offers a menu which is heavily influenced by seasons and designed for flexible dining with an emphasis on an engaging delivery. The health conscious may find the likes of char-grilled zucchini, smoked eggplant and spring salad or the king salmon, fennel, fermented chilli and charred grape. The sweet tooths are not forgotten, with alternative options like ginger frangipane, coconut ice-cream and fermented lime.
For breathtaking water views over the Tamar River, paired with spectacular seafood make the visit to Hallams Seafood Restaurant in Launceston, Tasmania. Catering to a wide range of dietary requirements, Hallam's Chef's source only the highest quality seafood from the pristine waters around Tasmania such as; Blue Eye Trevalla, Flathead, Spring Bay Mussels, Oysters, Scallops and Crayfish to name a few. Begin with an entrée of spanner crab cakes with dill remoulade or citrus cured salmon and hazelnut dukkah before moving onto a main of grilled blue eye trevalla, roasted carrots, radish, beetroot and sauce Provençal.
Robe crayfish with sweetcorn custard, native spinach, tarragon oil and crayfish bisque at Gather Food and Wine.
Gather Food and Wine | SA
Owned by dynamic husband and wife duo, Chef Tom and Sarah Tilbury’s passion for wild food gathering and foraging has been the driving force behind the ethos of their award winning restaurant, Gather Food and Wine. Residing along Smillie Street in Robe, Gather offers diners a unique sampling and insight into the flora which flourishes naturally in the surrounding Limestone Coast. Standing for sustainability, low produce miles and a minimal environmental footprint, Chef Tilbury creates dishes like Robe crayfish, sweet corn custard, native spinach, tarragon oil and crayfish bisque along with heartier mains of Andinda Rose Veal, cauliflower cooked in butter, wild morsels, cauliflower puree and veal jus.
Kings Wholefood Artisans is the place to go when seeking a healthy dining alternative in Darwin. Beat the heat and head inside to discover an eclectic venue, where colourful chairs, wooden slab tables and mismatched crockery have been donated by friends and guests, celebrating the recycling movement. Sip on a local mango, coconut and ginger smoothie before your morning meal of tofu scramble arrives, served with guacamole on rye bread, whilst the lunch crowd can enjoy a bun-less burger with black bean and pumpkin patty with roasted veggies, tomato relish and a side of sautéed kale.
For those also needing a little inspiration in their own kitchen to keep your pact of healthy eating, browse our nutritious and low GI recipes to keep you on track.