If you asked the average urban diner to recommend a great place to eat, chances are it wouldn't be difficult for them to rattle off a list of review-worthy inner-city venues. This month, we wanted to show you something different - four regional dining destinations across Australia causing some serious chatter. Think of them as the perfect incentive for a weekend away in the country...
Dan Hunter's restaurant has been lauded not only as a phenomenal dining experience, but also a new national benchmark. The setting itself speaks volumes - 30 acres of productive land used to inspire and shape the seasonal menu. At $180 per head (an additional $120 for matched wines) the 12-course set menu features produce grown from Brae's own on-site organic harvest. The website's daily harvest list is a nice touch, with diners able to check out the goods of the day and deduce what might feature on the evening's agenda.
Address: 4285 Cape Otway Road, Birregurra Vic 3242
Phone: (03) 5236 2226
Nestled amidst the Southern Highlands of NSW, Biota's gastronomical menu has a distinct focus on locally sourced products and foraging. The result is a testament to the vision of chef James Viles: "It's about telling the stories of our land, the seasons and the ingredients it provides us with." Basically, it's farm-to-table dining at its best. The venue even boasts an on-site automated glasshouse growing over 40 varietals of seed all year round. Two degustation menus are on offer each night with dishes such as smoked hen, creamed corn, grains and sunflower, fried fish throats, nut milk.
Address: 18 Kangaloon Road, Bowral NSW 2576
Phone: (02) 4862 2005
If inclusion on this list is not enough to convince you that Lake House is a regional dining experience not to be missed, the sheer volume of awards the venue has received may do the trick. The two hatted Victorian restaurant claims the 'Best Regional Wine List' (The Age Good Food Guide) as well as 'Hot 50 Restaurants in Australia' (The Weekend Australian). The menu is directed by executive chef and co-owner Alla Wolf-Tasker and executed by head chef David Green, and the kitchen produce practically everything (from house-baked bread to the charcuterie selection) in house.
Address: King Street, Daylesford Vic 3460
Phone: (03) 5348 3329
The Farm Byron Bay (coming soon)
The boys from Three Blue Ducks have been busy of late, trading their popular Bronte view for the green pastures of Byron Bay. The Farm has a simple goal: grow, feed and educate. To do this, the collective will comprise of The Farm Shop (a farm store loaded with produce direct from their own land and local farming community); Three Blue Ducks Restaurant and Café (too good to keep in Bronte alone - under the supervision of Darren Robertson, Mark Labrooy, Jeff Bennet, Sam Reid and Chris Sorrel) and The Bakehouse (an artisan wholesale bakehouse).
Address: 11 Ewingsdale Road, Ewingsdale NSW 2481
Phone: (02) 6684 7888