The annual culinary beauty contest known as The World’s 50 Best restaurants is out again next Monday and everyone is wondering whether Rene Redzepi’s Copenhagen restaurant will be named No. 1 again, but in the lead up to the announcement, organisers announced their Division 2 sides – the restaurants listed at 51-100 and three Australian restaurants are featured – two from Sydney and surprisingly, one from regional Victoria that’s just 18 months old.
Peter Gilmore’s Quay, at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal, a former top 50 restaurant, is the best performer at 58, followed by the current Good Food Guide restaurant of the year, Sepia at 84.
The most impressive performer was Dan Hunter’s Brae, near the small country town of Birregurra, in Victoria’s central west, about 2 hours from Melbourne, at 87.
Hunter, a former head chef at top 10 Spanish restaurant Murgaritz, was previously at the Royal Mail at Dunkeld and is regarded as one of Australia’s best chefs. He opened Brae, his first restaurant, in December 2013, so making the notoriously Eurocentric list is a massive achievement. Around 800 people, including a handful of Australians, are invited to vote in this foodie Eurovision, making Hunter the Guy Sebastian of the kitchen.
The multi-course meal at Brae costs $180 and features numerous ingredients Hunter has grown in his own gardens on the property.
Another Australian chef, Tetsuya Wakuda, also features in the top 100, with his Singapore restaurant, Waku Ghin at 70.
And while he might be a smash hit in Australia, with the restaurant solidly booked out during its six-month locum in Melbourne, British chef Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck is a meal too far away for the voters this year, it seems, with the former number 1 dropping out of the top 50 to 73, although he take some consolation in the fact that his London restaurant, Dinner by Heston, has enjoyed top 10 status for the last few years – and a second version of that concept is coming to Melbourne after The Fat Duck closes in August.
When the top 50 is announced in London early on Tuesday morning, expect to find Melbourne’s Attica, run by New Zealand-born Ben Shewry, on the list once more, and most likely the sole Antipodean flag bearer.
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