As the weather warms, the days grow longer and our routines
slowly adjust, so do our eating patterns. As Summer arrives we tend to crave
lighter and smaller portions for our meals, seeking out those eateries offering
scrumptious seafood, breezy alfresco courtyards, or picturesque waterfront
locations. We have done the hard work for you and rounded up our top picks to
keep you making cooler choices this Summer.
The Meat & Wine Co | Circular Quay NSW | Southbank VIC | Hawthorn VIC
Sparing no expense in providing a sensational steakhouse
experience, The Meat & Wine Co have hand selected each of their unique
locations to offer a truly authentic dining experience. Although the theming
says steakhouse, with its rustic hardwood timbers, round leather booths and
ambient candle lighting; surf is a highlight just as equally as the turf on
their menu. Enjoy the house specialty of the Crustacean Platter to share with
lobster, Moreton Bay bugs, King crab legs, oysters and prawns, perfectly paired
with a bottle of icy Moet et Chandon Imperial on a warm Summer’s night.
Capannina | NSW
Screaming long Summer evenings is La Capannina in Milsons
Point, displaying absolute waterfront views of Sydney Harbour Bridge. A
contemporary interior has been created with polished wooden fittings, wide
spanning glass windows and a classic colour scheme of cream and black, giving
an air of elegance for diners to experience a modern Italian inspired menu.
Hand-picked from the daily markets, the seafood at La Capannina is a popular
choice from the menu with dishes of paccheri served with crab meat, chilli and
cherry tomato sauce and the Grigliata di Pesce – grilled prawns, Balmain bugs
Vale Café | NSW
While in Willow Vale, escape the heat this Summer when the
nearby beach is a little too far for a dip, and head to The Vale Café residing
on Argyle Street. Take a seat on one of the brightly coloured outdoor settings
and enjoy a healthy and freshly squeezed juice or fruit smoothie with a light
and luscious breakfast of soft goats curd on sourdough with smashed avocado,
strawberry, dukkah and honey.
Yum Angourie Café and General Store | NSW
After a morning spent at picturesque Spooky Beach in
Angourie, dust the sand from your feet and follow the locals to Yum Yum
Angourie Café and General Store. Take a seat in the quaint alfresco dining
area, fit out with long timber communal tables, an eclectic mix of chairs,
vases with freshly picked flowers and upbeat tunes filling the air. Sourcing
ingredients from within 150km, a menu of only the freshest dishes has been
created. Tuck into a flavoursome Hungry Carnivore breakfast with free range
local eggs, herb greens, grilled tomato, mushroom, premium bacon, organic local
beef sausages and hash brown.
Cantina | NSW (pictured above)
Nestled on the top floor of art deco hotel, The Rose of
Australia, is the restaurant putting a gastronomy stamp on pub dining, Howard’s
Cantina. The ideal place to meet friends over Summer for casual drinks and
tapas, choose dishes like the black garlic cured cobia with beetroot, celery
and potato or perhaps the baked Sydney rock oysters with pork skin and
Pho Vietnamese Kogarah | NSW
Vietnam is a country that braves the humidity year-round,
which has seen the rise of hawker style eateries and street carts being a
popular choice for snacks on the go which are light and easy to eat. Bringing
the flavours from their motherland to Kogarah, is Me Pho Vietnamese, serving
tasty and healthy dishes like the beef and spring roll vermicelli and the green
pawpaw chicken salad with shredded pawpaw, carrot, mint leaves and special
dressing, ideally washed down with their refreshing blood orange and ginger
syrup iced drink or iced lychee green tea.
On the Beach | NSW
For breathtaking waterfront dining in Newcastle, look no
further than Jonah's On the Beach. Located within the Noah's On the Beach
Quality Hotel, this award-winning restaurant gives diners picturesque views
over Newcastle Beach and Pacific Ocean in a classy, yet relaxed setting. Making
the ideal location for a birthday celebration or intimate sunset dinner as the
days grow longer, Jonah’s On the Beach have a menu to suit any taste, creating
impressive dishes like the saffron linguine with prawns, clams, cherry tomato,
fennel, rocket and chilli or the seafood tower for two made with a selection of
locally sourced and sustainable seafood.
Guild | NSW
When seeing the sights in quaint, rural Milton, pop by
Italian Guild on the Princes Highway to sample an authentic slice of Milano.
Relax in the alfresco area and enjoy the fresh air whilst browsing a menu
filled with scrumptious seafood options like wood fired scallops marinated with
shallot, garlic soy sauce and chilli and decadent desserts of housemade panna
cotta served with fresh seasonal fruit.
Ginger Byron Bay | NSW
Offering Byron Bay locals a beloved dumpling house to
frequent, Red Ginger Byron Bay grew out of a love and desire for Asian food and
culture in the area. Like stepping into the lanes of old Shanghai, the sights,
sounds, aromas and tastes of Red Ginger lures in guests to linger awhile with a
tea in hand and tuck into dumpling delights such as the golden mushroom
dumpling or Japanese pork gyoza.
Folonomo | NSW (pictured above)
To enjoy food for a good cause these holidays, make the trip
to Folonomo in Surry Hills, a profit for purpose restaurant, giving 100% of their
profits made in the café back to charities chosen by venue staff and diners.
Fresh produce is sourced sustainably for a menu structured around Ayurvedic
eating practices that will nourish the body and please palates, with dishes
like the sunflower seed risotto with pumpkin seed, salsa verde and red sorrel.
Targa | NSW
Byron Bay is the quintessential coastal destination for many
Australians, with thousands of tourist and locals alike flooding the sleepy,
soul lifting town every week. Enjoy balmy weather dining alfresco with the
smell of salt from Byron’s iconic beach just two streets away or step inside
Targa’s contemporary space to eavesdrop on the two old locals chattering in a
piece of wall-sized realism art, whilst you sample plates with the likes of
fresh locally caught fish on berlotti bean confit leek and salsa verde.
Olde Bakehouse | NSW
Take the scenic drive from Lake Macquarie to The Olde
Bakehouse and enjoy warm country-style hospitality with a touch of Italian
delight. The refurbished bakehouse provides a cosy space to enjoy the relaxed
country ambiance with a backdrop of painted brick walls, warm honey-toned wood
panels and polished floors, creating the ideal scene to tuck into plates of
authentic Italian dishes like housemade ravioli.
Bouchon | NSW
Whilst in Crows Nest, step into French inspired Le Bouchon,
and feel immersed in another world, enveloped in the warm smells of freshly
baked baguettes and delightful French cuisine, while function guests sneak away
to a private events area with a suave fit out, ideal for Summer soirees. Savour
tastes of provincial cooking seen in the likes of pan roasted duck breasts and
confit duck leg with baby peas and lentil jus, finished with a refreshing mix
of smooth gelatos and sorbet.
High Tea Rooms | NSW
What better way to spend a warm Summer’s day than outdoors
amongst manicured lawns in the charming Parramatta Park, on the Parramatta
River. Gatehouse High Tea Rooms offers guests just this, beginning with a
pleasant tour of the surrounding greenery, before sitting down to an
irresistible high tea featuring the likes of finger sandwiches, freshly baked
scones with jam and cream, housemade petite fours, sweet bites and coffee or a
selection of classic teas and champagne.
Vines Café | NSW
Spend your Summer days perusing Mudgee Wines Estate on Henry
Lawson Drive, and when hunger calls make for the resident Vintage Vines Café,
to discover a rustic café with a warm, cosy vibe where friends gather to share
a meal together and sample wines made from the nearby vines dating back more
than 150 years. Pizza lovers can pick up a slice of barbeque chicken with
mushrooms and red onion, while couples may share in an antipasto platter of
salami, ham, chorizo, chicken, brie, sundried tomatoes and olives, served with
bread sticks and crackers.
For those after a casual, yet stylish eatery when heading
off the beach of Dee Why, be sure to visit Sandbar on The Strand to enjoy a
laidback beachside ambiance. Kick start your morning with the healthy homemade
bircher muesli or linger for tasty lunch options like the Sandbar poke bowl with
grilled Tasmanian salmon, soybeans, vermicelli noodles, wakame salad, avocado
and mint yoghurt dressing.
Restaurant | NSW
Named after a popular form of folk theatre, Nautanki
Restaurant is the new kid on the Indian block, housed in a Federation-style
building along Station Street in Harris Park. Offering a sunny alfresco deck for
diners and a spacious interior with whitewashed French doors, allowing in
natural light, spicy colours create a warm, rich ambiance, inviting diners to
stay awhile enjoying dishes of punchy chicken kormas, lamb vindaloos and Goan
Bar and Grill | NSW
Be treated to succulent seafood and sparkling sea views at
Steamers Bar and Grill on Marine Drive in Wollongong. Sip on a glass of New
Zealand Beelgara Brut Cuvee as you catch the sunset from the balcony with
friends, sharing in plates of sashimi with wasabi yuzu dressing, noodle and wakame
salad or perhaps a plate of lemon and cracked pepper angel hair pasta tossed
with Blue Swimmer crab, wood fired scampi, chilli, garlic and extra virgin
Café | VIC
When hunger calls and the thought of being in a kitchen
isn’t appealing during the warmer days, head to Zest Café in Emerald tucked
along Belgrave-Gembroook Road. Delve into fried calamari, served with a fennel,
orange, pine nut, lemon, dill and caper aioli with chips or a toasted pulled
pork sandwich with coleslaw and beetroot relish.
Zoes | VIC (pictured above)
Take to Greasy Zoes along Heidelberg-Kinglake Road in
Hurstbridge for a slice of good honest home cooking. A homely, eclectic décor,
reminiscent of grandma’s kitchen awaits, creating a relaxed interior for diners
to enjoy for hours whilst the aromas of freshly baked sourdough waft from the
open kitchen. For a tasty seafood treat, opt for the sea bream with carrots and
pardon peppers, finishing with a burnt fig and beer doughnut.
Patch | VIC
Enter the historic town of Bendigo to discover Pratty’s
Patch sitting pretty, housed in its 150-year-old cottage. Offering a tranquil alfresco
garden courtyard, guests are welcomed to stay a while and enjoy the breeze
amongst the swaying palms whilst cooling down with a plate of oysters
Kilpatrick with housemade Worcestershire sauce and fresh lemon or perhaps a
fresh and light, warm Thai beef salad with crispy noodles.
Milk Bar | VIC
Established in a century old building on Barkly Street,
Jerry’s Milk Bar has become an icon in Elwood, loved by locals and visited by
coastal day-trippers for decades. Take a step back in time as you enter under
red and white striped awnings into a retro dining space styled with vinyl
chairs matching the floor and an inviting candy bar awaiting your perusal. Sip
on a classic milkshake as you devour the scrumptious French toast with caramelised
apricot, mascarpone and fresh mint.
Café | VIC
After a day beating the heat enjoying air conditioning at
Manor Lakes Shopping Centre, put your feet up at Cody’s Café and enjoy a modern
yet relaxed alfresco space. Browse a menu filled with Mod Oz favourites like
chilli caramel pork with apple slaw and puffed crackle or opt for a gourmet
barbeque bacon and brie cheese burger with cheddar, pickles, smoky BBQ sauce,
bacon and American mustard.
Little Birds | VIC
Located in Traralgon, Three Little Birds is a locally loved
deli style cafe serving up a range of breakfasts, brunches and lunches along
with specialty Di Bella coffee. With a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and
creatively artistic design, this cafe oozes contemporary charm; sit outside and
sip your latte or bask in the charming indoor ambiance whilst munching on a
jumbo fruit crepe with tart lemon gelato and maple syrup.
Old Butcher Shop Café | VIC
Be sure to make a stop off at The Old Butcher Shop Café when
travelling along the Warburton Highway of Seville. Enter inside to discover a
cosy interior styled with modern wood furniture, an exposed brick wall and a
classy black chandelier, creating a welcoming space to relax and tuck into
quality café fare like the pulled roast burger with a rich gravy, served with
cabbage slaw on a brioche bun and a side of beer battered chips.
Eight Chairs Charlton North | VIC
Soak up the sunshine curb side with a frosty champagne in
hand at Thirty Eight Chairs Carlton North. This spacious family friendly
restaurant welcomes guests into a light filled dining space with a tiled
feature wall and wooden tables and chairs creating a relaxed vibe. Linger with
friends for long seafood lunches of A Tunnat e Mar – peppered yellow fin tuna,
crispy shallots, caper vinaigrette and micro herbs or perhaps the Purp e Patate
– slow cooked cold octopus, potatoes, parsley, garlic and olives.
Charcoal Restaurant | SA
After a day spent basking in the sun, get a little loco at
Hoosegow Charcoal Restaurant in South Australia’s St Morris. Set amongst an
ambient vibe, guests dine surrounded by vibrant red, pink and orange hues, dark
timbers and colourful artwork, mesmerised by tempting aromas wafting
throughout. Embracing fresh, local produce and fiery chillies, Hoosegow offers
tantalising Latin American, Eastern and Asian fusion dishes cooked on crackling
Mallee Root charcoal, creating plates like the harrah barramundi, tangy
coriander and chilli tahini sauce, mixed green vegetables and toasted almonds.
Paddock | WA (pictured above)
As the weather warms, enjoy blue skies above the swaying
trees from Samson’s Paddock’s cosy courtyard on Glyde Street, Mosman Park. This
locally loved watering hole is a tapas haven for friends seeking light bites
and ice-cold drinks. Order a pear cider to match plates of panko crumbed
whiting and prawns with spinach and daikon salad, the decadent baked camembert
goat cheese with honey, walnuts and crispy bread or the grilled Freo octopus
with basil pesto, sundried tomatoes and pine nuts.
on Burleigh | QLD
For the pinnacle of Summer feasting, stroll along Burleigh
Heads beach to find Oskars on Burleigh. This Gold Coast icon has held its own
for over 30 years, wooing diners with its absolute beachfront location,
offering a coastal inspired interior styled with white tables linens, potted
greenery, beige finishings and floor to ceiling glass allowing in the view of
the crashing waves beyond. Enjoy a long lunch ocean side and slurp down fresh
oysters with cucumber, finger lime and salmon roe before moving onto a main of
succulent bugs with preserved lemon and curry leaf butter, squid ink risoni,
broccoli and macadamia pesto. P.S. We hear that Oskars will
be closing early March – so book while you still can.
Beans | QLD
For a great cup of coffee to get your Summer mornings
started on your way to work, pop into Simply Beans at Logan to get your coffee
fix from house roasted blends, perfect with a flaky honey, ham and aged cheddar
croissant or perhaps a chicken, mango and macadamia filo for a tropical twist.
Grill and Lounge | QLD (pictured above)
For many families, the Summer season wouldn’t be complete without
a trip to the Gold Coast and when hunger strikes after a day splashing about at
Wet n Wild theme park, head to Clifford’s Grill and Lounge in Surfers Paradise
to satisfy any hunger. Share a selection of tapas with dishes like the King prawns,
chargrilled with garlic and herb sauce or the line caught seared tuna with
avocado emulsion, crispy pancetta, diced mango and citrus dressing.
Bistro | QLD
For an elegant dining experience, in the heart of chic
precinct Emerald Lakes, venture to LakeFront Bistro in Carrara. Meet friends
for a long, light lunch, take in sprawling water views and enjoy a menu filled
with local seafood, with the likes of golden tempura prawns with a sweet mango
salsa or perhaps the chilli salt squid with an Asian herb salad, matched
perfectly with a chilled glass of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc.
and Co | QLD
Escape the city hustle at inner-urban cool café Kin and Co
on Macquarie Street in Teneriffe. Whether grabbing a brew on the run from an
always open coffee window in the outside brick façade, or enjoying a leisurely
lunch in the chic, minimalistic interior, guests can relax and catch up over an
all-day brunch menu of café classics with a twist seen in dishes like the
breakfast burger with maple bacon, sunny side egg, caramelised onion, heirloom
tomato, spinach, gruyere and lemon mayo.
For a little at home inspiration, why not hit up your own kitchen
and create your own Summer soirée with these drool-worthy warm weather recipes.