Here it is – your monthly guide to the best new restaurants, diners, bars and cafes across the country. Broadsheet’s city editors have picked their top October spots to visit now or on your next interstate trip. We’ve done the digging so you don’t have to. Enjoy!
Chippendale’s new Ukrainian restaurant continues social enterprise Plate It Forward’s commendable mission of change through food. Currently run by 23 Ukrainian refugees who’ve found a home in Sydney, the casual spot sits in the heritage-listed sandstone building once home to the English, Scottish & Australian Bank. The interior has been brightened with new parquetry floors, splashes of blues and yellows, and shimmering chandeliers. It’s the setting for a line-up of home-style Ukrainian dishes, reimagined for a restaurant setting, including the Chicken Kyiv, handmade dumplings, handrolled holubtsi (cabbage rolls), sorrel-laden green borscht soup, and bangers’n’mash. Drinks include a Young Henrys lager, brewed exclusively for Kyiv Social using all-European ingredients, plus cocktails like the Sorrel Martini and Beetroot Sling. For every set menu ordered here, Plate It Forward donates one meal to Ukrainian refugees in Australia and one to someone in Ukraine. There are also weekly lunches for newly arrived Ukrainians.
Like fish and chipperies in Australia or slice shops in the United States, Japan’s curry shops are a ubiquitous part of the culinary landscape. But they’re yet to gain the same traction in Australia as ramen, sushi or other Japanese exports. So, Akiko Asano, the Tokyo-born Melbourne architect behind venues such as The Elysian and Tamura Sake Bar, decided to fill the gap. Together with her husband, Shizuku Ramen owner David Chen, she’s opened Kare, a West Melbourne shop near Queen Vic Market that’s dedicated to the dish. Curries – with slow-braised beef, plant-based meatballs or panko-crumbed vegan chicken – come on a bed of white rice with fukujinzuke (lightly pickled vegetables), or in kare pan – soft milk bread that’s coated in panko crumbs, filled with curry and deep-fried. There’s also a range of sweets, including yuzu canelés and anko (sweet red bean paste) croissants. Plus, drinks like Acoffee espresso-yuzu tonics and kinako (roasted soybean) lattes by day, craft beers and canned cocktails by night.
Aside from a couple of tapas restaurants, paella pop-ups and a certain churro franchise, Spanish restaurants are few and far between in Adelaide. So it’s refreshing to see Niña, a love letter to Spanish cuisine, open in the CBD. The 52-seater restaurant within the Sofitel is co-owned by food blogger Brenda Loveday, former Leigh Street Wine Room staffer Jessica Purcell and chef Leonardo Loureiro of Basque by Leo, the online bakery that churned out the creamy, silky cheesecakes that had a chokehold on Adelaide’s lockdown-era Instagram feeds. You’ll find his popular Basque burnt cheesecake here, alongside other favourites from the region and further afield, including a spin on patatas bravas, plus charred octopus with romesco sauce, and mussels with tarragon aioli. The wine list leans into smaller and, where possible, biodynamic South Australian producers, alongside non-alcoholic drinks and Spanish beers.
Simon Hill (Bar Alto) and Richard Cotton (Brewbakers) share a longstanding partnership. If you’ve dined at one of Hill’s restaurants in the past 14 years, chances are you ate Cotton’s bread. Now the pair have gotten cosier, with Hill moving into the Newstead warehouse occupied by Brewbakers’ production kitchen. The bakery continues to operate at the back of the site each morning, but by night, the shopfront becomes Bosco, an 80-seat grill restaurant. The moody interior is all dark brick and concrete, complemented by large timber tables and dramatic floor-to-ceiling curtains. The focal point is the open kitchen, equipped with a parrilla grill and a fire-powered oven, where the team prepares king prawns with prawn-head butter, quail with boudin blanc and burnt apple, one-kilo mud crab, and generous cuts of Black Angus beef. Snacks include cannoli piped with duck rillette. Hill – who’s often regarded as one of Brisbane’s best sommeliers – has curated the wine list to complement the cuisine; there’s a lot of burgundies, both white and red, along with Tuscan reds, a selection of Spanish wines and some special drops he’s been cellaring for the past 15 years.
Annabella and Victoria La Pegna grew up around the corner from their new Claremont deli. “This was once our neighbourhood deli! We … have memories of visiting to get lollies and treats,” Victoria tells Broadsheet. Together with their father, Albasio La Pegna (owner of Bellissimo Restaurant), the sisters have opened Bottega Deli, which pays homage to the traditional and tasty Italian cuisine of Naples – in particular its “cucina povera”, or “peasant cuisine” – “inexpensive ingredients that create flavourful, satisfying dishes, designed to be shared with family and friends,” clarifies Victoria. The deli’s display cabinet has a range of takeaway salads, vegetable side dishes and a rotating range of pastas and paninis – think mortadella with buffalo mozzarella, giardiniera and Calabrian chilli, or prosciutto with tomatoes, roast capsicum and olives. Desserts – including crisp cannoli and fluffy tiramisu – are all made in-house. And there’s a retail section selling the family’s favourite artisanal products, like Muraca spicy hot cream peppers and olives stuffed with anchovies, peppers or lemon.