7 New Australian restaurants for Business Events Groups
From kitchens that cook solely with fire to Adelaide’s highest restaurant, here are some of Australia’s best new restaurants to impress your next incentive group.
For a restaurant that takes fine dining to new heights, look no further than Koomo in Adelaide. Officially crowned ‘Adelaide’s highest restaurant’ due to its prime location on Level 10 of the new Crowne Plaza Adelaide, the views of the city and the Adelaide Hills aren’t the only impressive part of the dining experience here. Koomo’s striking interior is inspired by Art Deco and Japanese design and the restaurant can be bought out for exclusive groups of up to 156 guests. The seasonal menu features South Australian produce and is strongly influenced by Japanese, Chinese and Western cuisines, boasting signature dishes like the Koomo lobster roll, yaki udon noodles and wagyu striploin with king oyster mushroom, truffle and green peppercorn butter.
Located in the heart of picturesque Hobart, the new 221-room Mövenpick Hotel Hobart by Accor makes an excellent base for a Tasmanian incentive program. Guests won’t have to venture far for a quality meal either, with new modern Italian restaurant Tesoro onsite. Describing its offering as an “ode to the Tasmanian farmers, crafters, and purveyors”, the restaurant’s private dining room seats up to 28 guests, and groups can request their own unique ‘Chef’s Roadtrip’ menu – of which no two are the same – featuring delicacies sourced that same day from the ocean and the local farmer’s market. After tucking into dishes like dry-aged sirloin and mushroom risotto with truffle oil, guests can finish the night with a bang by indulging in the pannacotta with prosecco, wild berries and Tasmanian honey.
In the tropical city of Darwin, cocktails and dining go hand in hand. Overlooking Raintree Park in the city centre, Darwin’s first gin distillery, Charlie’s of Darwin, opened in March 2020 and provides a relaxed dinner setting for a business events group. The venue can be hired exclusively for seated private dining for up to 150 guests (or 320 standing), or there are several smaller spaces, including an outdoor terrace, that can be booked individually. The distillery’s food offering, along with its hand-crafted gin, highlights the unique flavours of the Northern Territory with a regularly rotating menu featuring dishes like beef rendang with wattle seed and coconut. For something different, surprise guests with the ‘Ginner’ menu – a five-course dinner matched with five different gins.
A stone’s throw from Perth’s bustling maritime district of Fremantle, Coogee Common opened its doors in early 2020. The reinvention of the historic Coogee Hotel was the brainchild of the team at the wildly popular Bread in Common, an artisan sourdough bakery and restaurant in the heart of Fremantle. Coogee Common offers several spaces for groups ranging in size from eight to 40 guests, including the saloon area, original old kitchen, ferment shed and alfresco areas. After a guided tour of the terraced gardens, where much of the kitchen’s produce is grown via a closed-loop, no-waste farming system, guests will feast on dishes like kohlrabi with miso and black garlic, duck breast with mushrooms and pink pepper and, of course, house-baked woodfired bread.
Hotel group Ovolo has brought together opposing institutions of Melbourne’s dining scene to drive the restaurant offering at their newest property, Ovolo South Yarra. Lona Misa pairs revolutionary vegan chef Shannon Martinez of Smith and Daughters with renowned – and usually meat-minded – chef Ian Curly, of the acclaimed Kirk’s Wine Bar and French Saloon, to create a plant-based menu. The mostly vegan culinary offering, which focuses on a sustainable, shareable, seasonal menu celebrating local Australian producers, combines Martinez’s Latin roots with Curly’s polished European influence. Located in the trendy inner-city suburb of South Yarra, the restaurant can be booked exclusively by negotiation with the hotel, for up to 100 for canapés or 90 for lunch or dinner. Ovolo South Yarra has 123 designer rooms harking back to the days of disco, rock and retro glamour for those looking to make for bed as quickly as possible after a fascinating vegan exploration.
A two-minute drive from Brisbane’s city centre is much-lauded wood-fired eatery Agnes, which opened in late 2020. This former heritage warehouse has been transformed into an intimate event offering, with four handsome spaces suitable for groups ranging from 24 - 68 people. Chef and co-owner Ben Williamson had the kitchen custom-built, installing large hearths. His gas-free and almost electricity-free kitchen honours the slower pace of wood-fired cooking. The result of such care is a stellar menu with highlights including grilled cabbage with butter sauce and cured egg yolk, and aged Burrawong Gaian duck from the New South Wales mid north coast. Commanding attention is the open kitchen where you can watch Ben and his talented team sling the best locally sourced produce across the hot flames.
In Sydney, groups can experience the latest in Italian fine dining at the newly opened Restaurant Leo, from none other than Federico Zanellato, owner of the critically acclaimed LuMi in Pyrmont (and previously from the kitchens of Melbourne’s Attica and Copenhagen’s Noma) and Karl Firla of former Sydney stalwart Oscillate Wildly. With two exceptional chefs heading up the project, the food is unsurprisingly flawless, and while Italian is the common thread, the ingredients are as local and sustainable as possible and the chefs have a penchant for deploying Japanese techniques. The wood-panelled dining room is split in two by the kitchen, with one side creating an intimate space for exclusive-hire dinners of up to 60 guests and the other dedicated to the more casual morning pastry offering Picco Leo which transforms into an aperitivo bar come nightfall.
Header photo credit: Samuel David @marcelvibes