TripAdvisor has just announced the world’s best fine dining restaurants for 2016, based on reviews and opinions from travellers all around the world. Despite the financial crisis, Greece can still boast about its Athenian Funky Gourmet restaurant in Keramikos, which for the fourth consecutive time has featured on the list, with 884 reviews overall from international visitors.
The restaurant opened its doors in 2009, and by 2012 chefs Georgianna Hiliadaki and Nikos Roussos were already awarded their first Michelin star, followed by two Michelin stars in 2014.
Blending gourmet food with innovative presentation in a cosy, relaxed environment, Funky Gourmet is about creativity and food presented as edible art.
According to its two owners/chefs, “it’s all about the taste and the visual pleasure that activates the senses, engaging the guests in a stimulating, exciting and unconventional way”.
If you haven’t had the chance to experience the incredible menu, not to worry. Funky Gourmet is soon coming to Australia to be part of the OMG (Oh My Greek Week) Festival in Melbourne, which will be hosted by our own Greek Australian chef, George Calombaris, from 21-26 November.
Also on the illustrious list, with 815 reviews from TripAdvisor’s community, is Australia’s award-winning little gem Muse Restaurant, located at the entrance to Pokolbin in the iconic Hungerford Hill Winery in rural New South Wales. Husband and wife team Troy and Megan Rhoades-Brown offer a season-driven, contemporary Australian menu, keeping the food fresh and exciting without overcomplicating the ingredients, while using quality produce and sourcing locally whenever possible.
Last but not least on TripAdvisor’s list, with 633 reviews, prestigious and well known for its award-winning service and acclaimed wine list, is est. restaurant, which belongs to the Merivale group.
Set within a beautiful heritage dining room with soaring white columns and luxurious accoutrements, est. delivers dining on a grand scale in the heart of Sydney.
Executive head chef Peter Doyle is renowned for his trademark contemporary Australian food, which is uncluttered, seasonally-driven and executed with French-influenced precision. Supporting Peter is Jacob Davey, who was hand-picked for the distinguished est. team after winning the Young Australian Chef of the Year at the Electrolux Appetite for Excellence Award in 2013.
Have you been lucky enough to dine at any of these winning restaurants?
FUNKY GOURMET (Contemporary-Mediterranean) – Customer Reviews
Christina M – New York
“Amazing, almost twenty course dinner! With top quality products, carefully selected from the owners, who are also the chefs! Absolutely recommend it to everyone who is into something different and exquisite.”
Deb X – West Chester, Pennsylvania
“My last night in Athens was spent dining at the Funky Gourmet. What a treat. I chose the smaller menu with the wine and beer tasting. For me, it was enough. The service was impeccable with the server explaining all the dishes, how to eat them and what the flavours are that you should expect to experience. They were careful to ask about my food allergies ahead of time and made changes to accommodate them. The food was wonderful and lived up to expectations. But mostly, the presentation was over the top, creative and imaginative.”
Jann – Cheshire, UK
“They can do wonderful things with food you would never imagine. We had Menu One with wine tasting. Very expensive and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Each course was more interesting than the previous one. Service was exceptionally good.”
MUSE RESTAURANT (Contemporary-Australian) – Customer Reviews
“Following reading other people’s excellent reviews on Trip Advisor, I booked my birthday lunch there. The meal was excellent − all courses were consistently brilliant, well executed and interesting. The staff really made the experience. So friendly, well-informed and available, without being overbearing or pretentious. Nothing was too much trouble. I was particularly excited to try the ‘Muse Coconut’ and it was divine. Thank you to all the staff and chefs at Muse for making my birthday lunch such a delight.”
SC, Hong Kong, China
“Muse is not your typical Aussie cuisine where they are still experimenting with east meets west fusion. Muse serves one of the best dishes across Australia. The great food starts from the chef’s amuse-bouche to dessert. The decor is also amazing but even if it didn’t have the decor and view, I would still rank it as best Australian restaurant.”
Kimberley, Gold Coast, Australia
“The hype surrounding Muse did not disappoint. This restaurant really is exceptional. The fresh baked bread, complimentary starters, sorbet palate cleansers and refined staff with warm personalities are just a few of the details that set this restaurant in a league of its own. The menu is a creative wonderland, exciting and carefully showcasing local produce in innovative dishes.”
est. (Contemporary-Australian) – Customer Reviews
Steph R., London, UK
“We treated ourselves to an incredible evening at est. and we are so happy we did! It had been recommended by friends so we knew it would be good but it surpassed my expectations by far. Wonderful welcome and incredibly attentive staff who took the time to chat without being overbearing. The food was out of this world, we had the tasting menu with matching wines − oh my goodness … the wines! If you can, I strongly recommend you do the same … if you are going to go to eat, you might as well do it properly. It wasn’t cheap, but it was very worth it for an amazing treat!”
Sal, Durham, North Carolina, U.S.A.
“No amount of praise is too high for this restaurant. From their beautiful space to their excellent wine cellar and wonderful service and food, this is well worth the money while you’re in Sydney.”
Drew, Canberra, Australia
“Great food, and the service and ‘show’ that the wait staff put on was fantastic − All meals arrive and are put on the table at the same time − a great show. Every course was an experience. Looking forward to our next dining experience.”
For the full list of award winners go to www.tripadvisor.com.au/TravelersChoice-Restaurants-g1