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5 Incredible Dining Experiences You Have to Try in Australia

Prachi Joshi

Last updated: May 3, 2018

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How far will you travel to eat well? How about all the way to the land Down Under? MasterChef Australia has already given us a ‘taste’ of the gorgeous local produce grown there and most 'Aussie' restaurants take pride in serving up dishes that showcase it. Combined with some lovely local wines, Australian restaurants promise to celebrate the good life. Here’s our pick of 5 incredible dining experiences in Australia that you must absolutely not miss.

Zaaffran, Sydney

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Zaaffran offers stunning views overlooking Darling Harbour
 

Invoking that prized spice saffron, Sydney’s famous restaurant Zaaffran brings a taste of India to Australia. Zaaffran is located on the waterfront of Darling Harbour and looks out over Cockle Bay. Owner and Chef Vikrant Kapoor has brought creative, modern Indian cooking to Sydney and has gone beyond North Indian cuisine. Zaaffran’s menu showcases regional Indian cooking beautifully – so you have some Lucknowi dishes as well as Goan specialties to select from. Fresh local seafood is used in delectable dishes such as Machchli Charminar and Sarson de Jheengay and succulent lamb goes into the Peshawari Seekh and Birbali Nulli. Vegetarians can look forward to delicacies such as Subz Miloni and Khuswale Baingan. Go for the à la carte or enjoy a 3-course Indian meal, which is guaranteed to satiate any homesickness you might be feeling! Zaaffran also has an extensive wine list designed to complement the Indian spices.

ARIA, Sydney & Brisbane

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An award winning hatted restaurant, Aria offers an intimate dining experience
 

If you follow MasterChef Australia avidly, you’d be familiar with one of the guest judges who was quite a regular for the first four seasons – Chef Matt Moran. His passion for using seasonal local produce means that ARIA Sydney (and sister concern ARIA Brisbane) has some phenomenal food to offer. ARIA is a two-hat restaurant – Chef’s Hats are awarded by The Good Food Guide in Australia, and can range from one to three. Located at Circular Quay at the edge of Sydney Harbour, ARIA commands a view to remember, which includes the famed Sydney Opera House. Savour a two-course dinner where you can look forward to beautifully plated entrées of oysters, marron, Wagyu beef or truffles. Mains include a choice of crispy skinned Barramundi, Roasted Duck and the like. ARIA also boasts of an award-winning wine list, including well known as well as boutique wine producers.

Showboat Dinner Cruise, Sydney

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On this elegant cruise you will enjoy glamourous performances combined with a delicious 3-course meal
 

Fancy a little cabaret to go with your dinner? Step on board the Sydney Showboat Dinner Cruise for a three-hour long dinner and show, as you cruise the Sydney Harbour. MakeMyTrip’s package ensures that you get priority seating with the best view on the cruise. You will feel like you have stepped into the Moulin Rouge, as glamorous Australian showgirls in shimmering costumes flit about while your entrée is being served. As the showboat departs, ‘Mr. Showboat’ will bring magic right to your table! Relish the 3-course dinner that has been freshly prepared on-board. In between courses you can even head to the outdoor decks and gaze onto the Sydney skyline, not to mention the iconic Opera House. Dessert is usually accompanied by a magic show and this is followed by the showgirls putting up a spectacular performance. It’s an evening you will never forget!

Colonial Tramcar Restaurant, Melbourne

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Savour a delicious meal on board the first travelling tramcar restaurant in the world | Photo Credit: Liamdavies/Wikimedia
 

When it comes to giving you an unforgettable dining experience, Melbourne is not far behind Sydney. The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant is a fleet of vintage trams that have become the first travelling tramcar restaurant in the world. The tramcars reflect the country’s colonial past and the ambience is lavishly Victorian. A 3-course dinner features many Australian specialties such as Duck Terrine and Eye Fillet of Beef or an Eggplant Involtini for the vegetarians, followed by a cheese platter and a selection of desserts. All of this is accompanied by some excellent Australian wines. So take a ride into the past, cruise down the streets of Melbourne and get a taste of one of the best dining experiences in Australia.

Read more: Places to Visit in Melbourne

Boathouse Restaurant, Melbourne

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Enjoy a laid-back meal at this beautiful riverside restaurant
 

Another Melbourne institution is the Boathouse Restaurant, which is owned by MasterChef Australia’s lovable co-host Gary Mehigan. Sitting pretty on the banks of the Maribyrnong River, surrounded by grass banks and river terraces, the Boathouse is a genuinely hospitable restaurant – marrying fine dining with a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy a 2-course menu that celebrates fine Australian produce and almost seems like comfort food. Order a mezze platter to share or one of their signature pizzas, including toppings such as pear, gorgonzola and prosciutto or salmon, capers and dill. You’ll find good ol' Fish & Chips as well as gourmet burgers, followed by Gary’s famous Cheesecake and other delectable desserts.

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