The Weekend Australian

Hot 50 Restaurants 2014

Great restaurants need constant attention. Equally, and ironically, they also need constant referencing against, and inspiration from, elsewhere. The great restaurateur must therefore manage the double act of looking in and out at the same time: half the brain knows what the team is up to, half the brain knows what’s happening in New York, London, Paris and God knows where else. Somehow there must also be empathy with the clientele, an intuitive feel for what they want, balanced against what the restaurateur wants to give them. Which is our way of saying Lake House – at 30 years – is aging with remarkable style. Alla Wolf Tasker is a great restaurateur, and a fundamental part of that is the ability to embrace change and surround herself with younger, yet equally ambitious, staff. A stunning melange of raw, smoked, poached and pickled freshwater seafood, with crisp fish skin and tangy gels called Rivers and Lakes, is not only one of the great dishes of the restaurant but a bellwether of its more relaxed, in-tune-with-the-times food approach. Discipline is up, formality down. The givens here are great produce, even better service and a wine list (with service to back it) the equal of any regional restaurant in Australia. A serious restaurant – maintaining important standards – that knows how to have some fun.

MUST-EAT: Rivers and Lakes

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