When you say “hotel meal” to most Australians, they think of a $5 counter lunch at the local pub, but in recent years, some of the nation’s top hotels have invested in star talent in the kitchen in a bid to lure guests to stay with them.
In Melbourne, Crown is bringing one of the world’s greatest chefs, Heston Blumenthal, to town next year, first with his acclaimed 3-star, The Fat Duck, then an antipodean version of his Mandarin Oriental restaurant in London, Dinner by Heston. Meanwhile, The Darling at The Star in Sydney has one of the world’s hottest chefs, New York’s David Chang, with Momofuku Seiobo, as well as Steve Manfredi’s Osteria Balla and former Nobu chef Chase Kojima’s Sokyo.
Amee Evans from HotelClub.com said that hotels in Australia have followed the food revolution inspired by the likes of Masterchef.
“The dining experiences they offer have become a much bigger priority,” she said.
“We see our HotelClub members looking for hotels with a point of difference, often that includes the uniqueness of the dining on offer where they choose to stay.”
With that in mind, Business Insider asked HotelClub.com to nominate its picks for the best hotel for foodies in Australia.
Here they are
Located in the iconic St George House building, The Terrace is a tiny 15 room hotel that offers perhaps the grandest accommodation in Perth. The onsite restaurant has our vote for its short but classy menu that focuses on quality produce and technical finesse. The slow cooked pork belly is a sure winner, and for those with a sweet tooth be sure to drop by in the afternoon for a decadent (yet unpretentious) high tea.
A lifestyle of the rich and the famous is not all you will get a taste of in this gold dipped luxury hotel. You’ll also have the option to dine at one of two award winning restaurants.
There’s one chef’s hat winner (Gourmet Traveller Magazine) Vie dishing up simple yet progressive cuisine in a lovely marina setting. Try the 3 course lunch menu for $49 which features wagyu beef cheek.
For a more high-end dining experience head to Vanitas Restaurant (2014 Brisbane Times Good Food Awards, 1 chef hat) and splurge on the 7 course degustation menu, which also has a vego option. If a la carte is your choice then the quail ballotine is not to be missed. Photo: Palazzo Versace Gold Coast
Peppers Ruffles is a hidden gem offering treehouse villas with private infinity pools and cosy fireplaces. The on-site restaurant, Vue 175, offers first rate views and food to match. Executive chef Francesco Trucco offers a world class seasonal menu guests rave about. Ingredients are either sourced from the herb garden just outside the kitchen door or from around the coast. The bush dukkah-crusted lamb loin is a must. Photo: Peppers Ruffles Lodge and Spa, Gold Coast
Hotel Hotel is everything you want in a hotel. Unique and down right trendy in design, yet cozy and friendly enough for you to feel at home. On-site all day eatery and bar, Monster Bar and Grill, only opened early this year but it’s already making waves having won Best Bar in a Hotel at the ACT Australian Hotels Association last month.
Hearty share plates and snacks feature heavily here with dishes like the super-rich smoked eggplant with goat’s curd, pulled lamb shoulder, slow-cooked pork cheek and roasted brussel sprouts.
Located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, this luxury hotel offers an award winning dining experience at Luke Mangan’s glassy and classy Glass Brasserie. It has been awarded one chef’s hat (SMH Good Food Guide 2013, 2014) two years running for it’s impressive and creative global menu. Start with the sesame-encrusted prawn toast with smoky chipotle and be sure to try the organic egg omelette with blue swimmer crab, enoki mushroom and herb salad in a miso mustard broth.
Just steps away from Melbourne’s famed St Kilda Beach, The Prince offers a rare and decadent stay in one of 39 sleek art-house rooms, but downstairs is where the action is with three very distinct dining experiences. The Prince Public Bar, Acland St. Cantina and award winning Circa.
The Prince Public Bar serves pub staples for footy goers and pre-gig drinkers heading to the famous Prince Bandroom next door. Acland St. Cantina is the newest addition, dishing up a wonderful mix of Baja Californian-Mex at reasonable prices. Here fresh is best so the fish tacos are a hit.
For the ultimate foodie experience, head to hallowed halls of Circa, a Melbourne fixture since the 90s. Its latest incarnation with a Pan-Asian theme has seen it awarded a chef hat at the 2014, The Age Good Food Awards. While the six course-tasting menu gives diners a great overview of what’s on offer, we highly recommend ordering a serve of the melt-in-your-mouth pork buns.
Located just 80 minutes from central Melbourne, Daylesford is Melbourne’s culinary playground. The Lake House, set on the picturesque Lake Daylesford, is at the centre of Daylesford’s food scene, having merged quaint accommodation with top notch dining for over 25 years now.
The Lake House Restaurant has maintained a solid two hat rating in the Age Good Food Guide for quite a few years and it’s easy to see why. The menu focuses on freshly foraged ingredients and locally source products, like guinea fowl served with freshly sourced pine, slippery jack and black trumpet mushrooms. For peanut butter lovers, there’s a delectable peanut butter parfait for dessert. Photo: The Lake House Daylesford
Set within the heritage listed Gowings department store and State Theatre, QT merges flamboyant design with classic Sydney style. Their onsite restaurant, Gowings Bar and Grill, is an all day 120 seater serving classic European bistro fare and was recently awarded a chef hat at the 2014, SMH Good Food Awards.
There’s a wood fire rotisserie in the open, theatrical kitchen, so it’s no surprise the menu features heavily with wood fired techniques. Try the Kinkawooka mussels and the delightfully smoky rare rib-eye minute steak.
Photo: QT Sydney
Freycinet’s rugged granite mountains, stunning white sandy beaches and sapphire blue waters set the scene at this stunning 20 suite luxury boutique resort. Then there’s Palate, showcasing the very best of Tasmanian produce and award winning wines exclusively to guests. It took out the Boutique Hotel Awards 2013 'Culinary Excellence' award. Start with some oysters and a glass of Chardonnay and then move on to the 5 course tasting menu with matching wine; it’s designed around the freshest produce available that day. Saffire also offers cooking classes with the chef.
There is no better foodie haven than the mammoth complex that is Crown Casino. From the recently refurbished food court (try the chilli pork dumplings at 10 Miles) to a growing list of high-end restaurants.
Neil Perry has three places here; all with 2 hats in the 2014 The Age Good Food Awards. Rosetta offers traditional Italian food in plush surrounds served by serious waiters in white coats. Spice Temple goes Chinese than you thought possible with dishes like tingling prawns and kung pow chicken. For classic bistro food done well, try Rockpool Bar and Grill and dine at the bar with a burger or minute steak, or go a little fancier in the dining room.
Other notable restaurants at Crown include one hatter French-inspired Bistro Guillaume, world renowned Japanese joint Nobu and the ultimate seafood diner The Atlantic.
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