Whether you need somewhere new for your next special occasion or wanting to turn your next city stay-cation into a foodies’ delight, we have some of the best dishes and restaurants for you to add to your bucket list. With the help from a few MasterChef 2021 contestants, we have compiled a list of their favourite dishes and restaurants in their local towns. Be prepared to be taken on an internationally inspired culinary journey as you read their suggestions and finish with an appetite to try these dishes for yourself.
Nel. in Surry Hills offers an eight-course degustation menu that changes every 10 weeks."There is so much warmth and personality in their menu. The dining experience is homely, yet the food served is very expressive and creative. It has been drawn on the head chef’s memories or based on a theme."
If you are a seafood lover, Saint Peter in Paddington needs to be on the list. "Josh Niland is a pioneer in changing the way we approach seafood and an innovator in the way he adopts nose-to-tail in his cooking. He even turns parts of a fish into dessert!". You must try this one for yourself to believe it.
Dessert should always be on the menu and KOI Dessert Bar by former MasterChef alumni Reynold Poernomo and his brothers in Haymarket, will exceed all expectations. "The desserts are works of art and taste just as good as it looks".
To start your morning like a local with great croissants and coffee, try Rollers Bakehouse. Located in Manly, it is a constant for locals and visitors, with croissant flavours on rotation. Wynona loves the eggplant, hummus and za’atar croissant if you have a chance to try it for yourself.
Wynona’s favourite restaurant in the Northern Beaches is Chez Maurice Et Linda. Say oui oui to a two or three course dinner, served in a restaurant with 30 years history of sharing French cuisine with diners. Wynona cannot go past "the garlic prawns starter, chateaubriand with bearnaise for main and crepes for dessert."
For casual dining Wynona recommends Sunset Sabi for Japanese and Pocket Pizza for Italian. Both casual dining options are located in Manly and if you need a quick decision for Pocket Pizza, Wynona recommends the mushroom and kale pizza or the fusilli with vodka sauce and burrata added.
Conor’s current chosen restaurant in Melbourne is Embla. Located on Russell Street in the CBD it offers "simple, elegant modern Australian plates all cooked superbly." Surrender to your afternoon, as you enjoy a wine or two with tapas, in this intimate industrial feel wine bar.
When asking Conor for his favourite dish, there was no delay in confirming ‘"..the yoghurt, brown sugar charred pita and chickpea dish from Moroccan Soup Bar. An absolute institution and the food stacks up against the food I had in Morocco." Moroccan Soup Bar offers a laidback dining option in Fitzroy North with a range of popular vegetarian dishes.
The markets in Melbourne are some of the best in Australia and Trent cannot go past Agathe at the South Melbourne markets. "One of my favourite things to eat in Melbourne is the pandan flan at Agathe. Anytime I go to South Melbourne Market, I make it a habit to stop by Agathe to see if they have the pandan flan in their roster of pastries for the day."
"Pandan is a flavour that I grew up with, so it’s nostalgic to me—the bright green tint from the extract and intoxicating aroma remind me of the Southeast Asian desserts I grew up with. And when you’ve got a velvety and slightly warm pandan-flavoured custard encased in a buttery, flaky puff pastry ,with a slight toothsome chew, nothing makes me happier!"
Kishwar will take you on a journey through regional Victoria with some of her favourite restaurants. The Independent in Gembrook will provide you with authentic and creative Argentinian dishes. All dishes are inspired by Head Chef Mauro’s childhood upbringing in Argentina.
Doot Doot Doot is a fine dining restaurant located at Jackalope Hotel on the Mornington Peninsula. This two hatted restaurant focuses on farm to fork dishes with a tasting menu staged in several parts. To fully enjoy the evening at Doot Doot Doot, stay the night at Jackalope Hotel in one of their Signature Suites.
Morning and afternoon tea should never be skipped, with Pie in the Sky in Olinda and Miss Marple’s Tea House in Sassafras, offering all the baked goods needed to accompany that tea or coffee. Both dining options are famous and heavily awarded, so do not be surprised to find a crowd enjoying the pastries and scones.
With NSW and Victoria well looked after in recommendations, we could not miss shouting out to former MasterChef alumni with their own restaurants for you to try. With experiences and learnings from world-famous chefs, these alumni will have you inspired to explore more.
Poh Ling Yeow’s Jamface in Adelaide
Callum Han’s Sprout Cooking School in Adelaide
Laura Sharrad’s Nido Bar in Adelaide
Brendan Pang’s Bumplings in Fremantle