Laura – The Hottest Restaurants in Victoria

The Hottest Restaurants in Victoria

Hot 50 Editor and chief reviewer John Lethlean with Dan Stock

Laura – Awarded New Entry Hottest Regional Restaurant

It’s been a mighty few years for restaurants beyond the metropolitan pressure cooker, but only once in a generation will we see the likes of Point Leo Estate, a legacy project for Victorian billionaire John Gandel. He has thrown the best of everything at his Mornington Peninsula cellar door, bistro and bespoke dining room Laura – so named for the Spanish sculpture in full view of the best tables. Restaurants are people businesses and Gandel has recruited with the same uncompromising approach. It’s rare for a place to open with such panache and warmth, but it’s the food that anchors it: an ultra-local approach to contemporary vineyard food through the eyes of an accomplished Sydney chef, Phil Wood, with more than an interest in Cantonese flavours. A tasting here is a Bentley ride around the Peninsula with a cracking chauffeur. Tuerong-cultivated mushrooms with local abalone; Flinders mussels with local seaweed butter and Peninsula corn; Western Port John Dory in pickled estate-grown vine leaves; Somers lamb neck braised in hot and sour sauce; even the bread’s made from local flour. Wood, the man behind Rockpool’s food at its zenith, is a serious chef; Laura is a serious restaurant with a well-defined sense of humour. Out-of-town elegance without a hint of pretension. Love it



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