PHOTO CREDIT: Sabz, Five Dock.
Forget the greying roots, the furry legs, or the retro mullet; one of the most challenging aspects of lockdown life is the inability to go out for a meal.
Dining out has always been an integral part of Australian culture, but the industry has suffered greatly since the onset of Covid-19 in March 2020; with annual revenues dropping by over $7 billion AUD between 2019 and 2020 according to Stastica; and prolonged lockdowns continuing to have a devastating impact on our favourite restaurants, bars and cafes.
We asked our Instagram followers to share the restaurants they can't wait to get back to, and the response was so great, we had to share some of them.
The best part? Most of the restaurants featured below are BYO, so as soon as you are able, be sure to pop your favourite bottle into one of our personalised leather wine cooler bags and check them out. Until then, you can show your support by ordering takeaway.
With an average 5-star rating on Google from over 300 happy customers; it's no wonder Sabz Persion restaurant is on our "miss you!" list. Their mouth watering menu is organised by protein, covering a range of chicken, vegetarian, beef, lamb, and seafood to cater to a wide range of tastes and dietary requirements; (and to compliment just about any wine you might decide to bring!) Please call for all enquiries.
Situated along the picturesque Esplanade at Balmoral beach in Sydney's North Shore, Pasture of Balmoral is normally buzzing with happy patrons, who have come from near and far to soak up the ambience savour the deliciously fresh cuisine, which is created based on a "pasture to plate" ethos, grown sustainably and sourced directly from the producer. Popular dishes include the breakfast quinoa bowl with smoked salmon and goats cheese; or if you are bringing your bottle of white to enjoy with lunch, try the Tagliolini Allo Scoglio.
Brimming with all the delicious Thai classics you know and love, such as Chicken Pad See Ew, with extra doses of "yum" thrown in for good measure; such as BBQ Pork and Coconut rice; this lively little gem in Newtown is rated one of the Top 5 Thai restaurants in Sydney by Uber Eats.
This sleek, upscale Japanese establishment is located in Sydney's Star Casino. Bringing together the best of Sydney and Tokyo, it offers an adventurous sharing menu with contemporary sushi & grilled meat dishes and sake list. A must-try if you're out to impress.
Located in Mortdale in southern Sydney, Firehouse Grill specialises in Modern Australian and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, and delivers exactly what its name promises; deliciously succulent grilled meats, with plenty of seafood and vegetarian dishes also on offer. The Atlantic Salmon and avocado salmon is apparently delicious and nutritious to boot!
Located in a tree-lined street in Lilydale, EnTHAIced has a reputation for serving up authentic, quality Thai cuisine. The winning dish here is the stir fried seafood with sweet chilli and basil, exploding with fresh seafood; king prawns, mussels, scallops, calamari and veg.
An unassuming little sushi train in Melbourne that serves insta-worthy sushi so delicious, it's always bustling with people, and there are often queues to get in. One of the most popular dishes on offer is the spicy seared scallop sushi.
This warmly lit restaurant is popular with the locals and boasts inventive and delicious Japanese food, including a range of gluten free options. The recommended dish on the menu is Chicken Teriyaki Don.
A Tandoori Indian restaurant situated in Geelong offering a vibrant range of traditional, sumptuously glossy curries and sides loaded with fresh ingredients. We have been told that beef piazzo and chicken biriyani are 'must try' dishes.
It's no wonder that this little bright cafe, overflowing with Instagram-worthy comfort food, holds so many memories for one of our followers. Their muffins, nachos, chai lattes and chips are apparently "the bomb!"
If you're after a sumptuous seafood feast and a chic dining experience when you're next in Surfers Paradise, you can't go past Citrique in the Marriott hotel. Famous for its breakfast, weekend long lunch and seafood market experience, the venue attracts both locals and hotel guests with its fresh contemporary cuisine. With an "ocean to paddock to plate" philosophy, freshness is at the heart of their menu, with 'big' and 'small' plates on offer.
Whether it's a sweet, fluffy stack, or a delicately encased savoury crepe, Pancakes on the Rocks has something for everyone, and has been a much-loved institution since 1975.
Serving up authentic French provincial cuisine made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, Frenchie & Co is so popular, it was recommended by a couple of our followers! Although every dish on their Instagram page tickles the tummy, the duck special is a fan favourite.
Another Thai favourite, the colours from fresh ingredients really pop in the dishes of this popular Thai restaurant in North Adelaide. The crispiness of the pork belly, and the caramelisation & char of the other meat dishes make you want to take a bite out of your screen.
Teppanyaki is all about the dine-in experience and this gorgeous French inspired Japanese teppanyaki restaurant promises to surprise and delight its patrons, serving up a range of set menus for meat and seafood lovers.
Don't let the extensive menu put you off; every dish at Toto restaurant is apparently lip-smackingly delicious! With both Chinese and Vietnamese dishes on offer; including some of the more traditional dishes like Vietnamese Cơm tấm (broken rice) with grilled pork chop and egg, it's fortunate that Western Australians have not had to miss out too much on food this "ngon" (delicious).