Cuisine: Modern Australian

This is Paddington’s best-kept dining secret right now. While its renovations are on hold, this former hatted fine diner has ditched the bentwood chairs and white tablecloths and morphed into a casual eatery with free-standing grey vinyl banquettes and a blackboard menu, offering great value. A massive wagyu burger with shoestring fries, or mains such as chicken rogan josh, fish of the day with couscous and preserved lemon, or fettuccine with asparagus and oyster mushrooms are all $18. Quality has not been sacrificed in a salad of tiger prawns, scallops, mussels and squid, Mirrool Creek twice-cooked lamb ribs with ratatouille, or roasted pork belly with parmesan and rocket salad, all $26. It all adds up to the best-value flavour-driven menu in this otherwise pricey ’hood.

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Cuisine: Modern Australian,Italian

By name, this supremely cool multi-level restaurant makes reference to the ’60s John Coltrane album A Love Supreme and produces pizza just as emotional as the jazz composer’s music. The muted lighting and funky vibe are the perfect complements to straightforward Italian fare made with as much organic produce as possible. The thin, crisp pizza crusts are made with organic flour and the toppings range from the traditional such as Papa with prosciutto, tomato and grana padano cheese $19.90/$25.90/$33.90 to the slightly more contemporary, such as Leone with lamb sausage, silverbeet, stracchino cheese and harissa $18.90/$24.90/$32.90. Mix things up with bruschetta (on Iggy’s sourdough) $6.50 and a roasted beetroot, walnut and goat’s cheese salad $10. Pasta and risotto selections $16–$21 include plenty of vegetarian options.

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Cuisine: Modern Australian,Italian,French/Modern French,Modern Australian

Combine contemporary cooking techniques with classic French culinary genius and a dash of oriental flavour served in a warm 70s-inspired setting and you’ve hit on the Vamps concept. It’s a multicultural adventure of the tastebuds that could begin with garlicky escargots au gratin $16.50 (one dozen) or Asian-influenced crevettes $16.75, an entree of crispy wonton pastry-covered prawns lathered in sweet mango and coriander coulis. Mains hail the classics such as duck in orange-flavoured liqueur $34.50 or seafood crepe drizzled with prawn bisque sauce $34.50. To end, try the divinely tongue-smacking lemon tart $14.50 with rich chocolate sorbet or, for a second hit of orange, crepes suzette $16.50. A three-course prix-fixe menu is available at $48 per person.


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