Australia’s best restaurants and chefs for 2018 revealed

This week, Good Food Guide announced its top dining picks and awarded its illustrious ‘hats’ to venues and chefs across the country. Here’s where we’ll be hoping to score a table in the near future.

2018 marks the first Australia-wide edition of Fairfax’s Good Food Guide, scooping up the nation’s best eating and drinking spots in one, as opposed to city-by-city.

Most hats

Some 500 restaurants were reviewed by anonymous food critiques and expert diners for the guide, with just six taking out the top prize of three hats. Melbourne’s Attica continues to shine – earning Best Restaurant of the Year, and maintaining its three-hat status.

Attica is also one of only two restaurants on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant’s list for this year. The other is Brae, which is located in Victoria’s picturesque Otway hinterland – and also has three hats in the 2018 Good Food Guide.

In Sydney, Quay and Sepia are the top spots according to Good Food with three chef hats, while in Brisbane it's Urbane. Another for Melbourne is Minamishima – a Japanese restaurant serving the omakase of Chef Koichi Minamishima.

Best new restaurant

Saint Peter in Sydney’s Paddington was called out as the most exciting opening for the year. The restaurant serves Australian sustainably sourced seafood. The menu shifts daily, as fish is selected each morning, based on quality and availability.

Reviewers picked the restaurant for setting a new dining agenda that’s both creative and forward thinking. Chef Josh Niland’s gill-to-tail style of cooking offers a new spin on marine life sustainability, serving a spectrum of inventive fish offal (even including scales). In addition to fresh fish, Saint Peter has a custom designed cool room that allows fish to be dry aged.

Up-and-coming chef

The Young Chef of the Year award went to former MasterChef contestant Kylie Millar, who’s currently cooking in the pastry and sauce section of Attica.

Impeccable service

The Service Excellence award went to Nikki Friedli of South African barbeque style restaurant, Africola in Adelaide. Nikki was deemed to have the highest standard of restaurant service, ticking all the boxes for attitude, knowledge, and personality.

At just 26 years old, Nikki is skilled at reading her audience – from keeping the mescal flowing for party-goers, to fine tuning first time-diners’ experience of the restaurant’s bold South African flavours.

Best drinking holes

When it comes to wetting your whistle, Great Australian Bake Off judge Matt Moran's Birsbane outpost Aria Brisbane is said to have the best wine list, while late night spot Arlechin in Melbourne is the country’s best bar.

And you’ll find our best sommelier at Osteria Ilaria in Melbourne - Spanish-born Raul Moreno Yague will help you choose the best wine for the moment, and educate you as he goes.

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