By Carolina Holzmeister

Summary:

The ‘melting pot’ of ethnic diversity in Australia and the range of exclusive native produce has contributed to the multiplicity of cuisines in this country and collaborated in the creation a unique ‘Australian Contemporary Cuisine’. The present paper aims to explore the multicultural effects on the contemporary Australian cuisine by evaluating the influences in 40 menus of Sydney and Melbourne-based contemporary restaurants.

In order to quantitatively address this issue, 40 menus of Contemporary restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne were analysed. The distinctive cuisine influences of Sydney and Melbourne-based diners were examined and the significant differences between cities were compared.

The results show that the most prevalent cuisine influences on Contemporary menus were French, Australian, Italian, Japanese, Asian and British by order of importance. Being a source of inspiration for chefs in Sydney and Melbourne, diverse culinary styles are in a process of assimilation into the contemporary Australian cuisine.

 Viewpoints from Aussie Cuisine

  • Being a source of inspiration for chefs in Sydney and Melbourne, diverse culinary styles are in a process of assimilation into the contemporary cuisine.

  • In search of Australia’s own culinary identity, Australia’s contemporary chefs are in the process of understanding its origin, looking for inspiration worldwide and widely adopting native ingredients on their menus.

  • The outstanding international reputation of the finest restaurants in Australia, such as Attica and Sepia, is setting the benchmark for Australian contemporary cuisine in the global scene. It might also serve as a branding strategy of putting Australia on the international culinary tourism map with the appeal of a genuinely unique dining experience.

Method:

Samples of 20 online menus of contemporary restaurants in Sydney and 20 online menus of Contemporary restaurants in Melbourne were collected. The restaurants were randomly chosen based on their cuisine style (Contemporary) and their diverse score according to the Gault&Millau 2017 Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra Restaurant Guide (Gubler & Dorrell, 2016).

The Gault&Millau evaluation system is based on independent written reviews, which are responsible for scoring restaurants out of 20 points and awarding them with the corresponding number of hats. 20 points is equivalent to five gold hats, 18.5 to 19 points is equivalent of five hats, 17 to 18.4 points is equivalent of four hats, 15 to 16 points is equivalent of three hats, 13 to 14 points is equivalent of two hats and 11 to 12 points is equivalent of one hat.

The 20 chosen Sydney-based restaurants and their respective score according to the Gault&Millau 2017 restaurant guide (Gubler & Dorrell, 2016) are listed below by alphabetical order:

  • Bentley Restaurant + Bar – 16 points – three hats
  • Bills Bondi – 13 points – two hats
  • Chiswick – 15 points – three hats
  • Ester – 16 points – three hats
  • 4Fourteen – 16 points – three hats
  • Gastro Park – 18 points – four hats
  • Jonah’s Restaurant – 16 points – three hats
  • Lachlan’s Restaurant – 12 points – one hat
  • Monopole – 15 points – three hats
  • Nomad – 15 points – three hats
  • O Bar and Dining – 15 points – three hats
  • Oscillate Wildly – 16 points– three hats
  • Public Dining Room – 14 points – two hats
  • Quay – 17 points – four hats
  • Rockpool – 16 points – three hats
  • Sepia – 18 points – four hats
  • Sixpenny – 17 points – four hats
  • The Bellevue Dining Room – 13 points – two hats
  • The Bridge Room – 17 points – four hats
  • The Hill Eatery – 11 points – one hat

The 20 chosen Melbourne-based restaurants and their respective score according to the Gault&Millau 2017 restaurant guide (Gubler & Dorrell, 2016) are listed below by alphabetical order:

  • Attica – 19 points – five hats
  • Circa – 16 points – three hats
  • Cutler and Co – 16 points – three hats
  • Dinner by Heston Blumenthal – 17 points – four hats
  • Dish – 13 points – two hats
  • Eureka 89 – 14 points – two hats
  • ezard – 18 points – four hats
  • Fabulous Fine Food – 12 points – one hat
  • Lûmé – 19 points – five hats
  • Matteo’s – 15 points – three hats
  • Meat Fish Wine – 13 points – two hats
  • No 35 – 15 points – three hats
  • Pei Modern – 13 points – two hats
  • Saint Crispin – 15 points – three hats
  • Syracuse Wine Bar & Restaurant – 14 points – two hats
  • The Graham – 14 points – two hats
  • The Metropolitan Hotel – 12 points – one hat
  • The Point Albert Park – 15 points – three hats
  • Vue de Monde – 18.5 points – five hats
  • Woodland House – 17 points – four hats

View full article:

An investigation of Sydney and Melbourne’s menus through the lens of contemporary cuisine