Cuisine: Modern Australian

Water views in the Hills district are few and far between but you can get an eyeful of the manmade Norwest Lake from the balcony here. Even without being able to see the water, the restaurant’s stylish, modern interior lifts it that next level up from a cafe, as does the menu. An entree of smoked salmon and ocean king prawn salad with capers, dill and walnut oil emulsion $18 is a lovely way to begin, easing you into either more seafood (baked barramundi with shiitake mushroom glaze, perhaps?) or elegantly prepared meats. Herb-roasted rack of lamb is succulent and slightly pink, served with a mustard and thyme jus $34, and tender braised Parisian duck leg confit $30 comes with a bright purple beetroot risotto. The location makes it popular for a business lunch but you’ll get plenty of thanks for taking that special someone.

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Cuisine: Modern Australian,South African,Indian

“Get the bobotie,” recommends a South African friend on hearing we’re dining at this tiny one-waitress/one-cook restaurant. Pronounced bar-boor-tie, it’s as sing-song to taste as to say — a sort of shepherd’s pie with a base of minced meat, dried fruit and nuts and a top layer of omelette $15.30. One of numerous dishes on this Indian-influenced menu you’ve probably never tried, it’s gone in seconds; as are the bite-sized fish samosas $5.40 and the curry of peri-peri fried prawns in fish-spiced tomato chutney $17.90. Have this over a scoop of pap — a smooth maize porridge $3.90 — instead of rice. The street-food meal of bunny chow — curry served in a bread bowl $10.90 — is a tasty tummy filler. Leave with some housemade chutney, spices and imported goodies from the store and pay forward the recommendation.

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