When you’re in the mood for fresh, plant-based food, Australian cuisine is usually a good bet. Influenced by a broad range of cultures, the country is known for its excellent brunches and its focus on using the best ingredients. If you fancy getting a taste of Australia in London, here are the restaurants in the UK capital where the food is just like the food down under.
Restaurant, Australian, $$$
Exterior of Antipodea | Courtesy of Antipodea
As the name suggests, Antipodea is about all things Australian. The all-day brasserie, which has four London locations, transforms from a laid-back brunch spot to a slick evening dining space at its Kew and Richmond sites. Try the meat from the robata grill or relax with a pizza and check out the extensive selection of Australian wines. Among the desserts are Aussie classics like Anzac biscuits.
Australian café and natural wine bar Milk Beach is named after a beach in the Sydney Harbour National Park and does brunch daily, as well as a small-plates dinner menu from 6pm Wednesday to Sunday. Like all good Australian restaurants, Milk Beach lets the ingredients shine in dishes like smashed avocado with green goddess sauce, white anchovies and sourdough croutons, tuna tartare or orecchiette in spinach and garlic sauce with cured egg yolk. All wines are sourced from small, independent winemakers and the speciality coffee is traceable all the way back to the farm or cooperative.
Stoke Newington in North London is known for its buzzing restaurant scene, and you can get food from most corners of the world here, so it’s no wonder that it was in Stokey that Alexis Noble opened her restaurant Wander after travelling around America, Asia and Europe. She’s worked at a number of high-end restaurants in Sydney, and the Aussie chef’s own space features an ever-changing menu with fun dishes like sourdough with whipped Vegemite butter, trout crudo and pea and feta ravioli. The neighbourhood restaurant is inspired by her travels and is a cosy space decorated with friends’ artworks, bare-wood furniture and gorgeous ceramics.
The Pear Tree is a local neighbourhood restaurant inspired by Australia, and even has a grab-and-go deli for when you want some of that Aussie goodness on the run. Choose a sit-down meal to really explore the yummy menu, which has everything from a fresh salmon gravadlax starter to surf ‘n’ turf from the robata grill. The light, elegant space in Surrey Quays is just as nice to visit for brunch or dinner, and the dishes at The Pear Tree feature plenty of healthy vegetables, Australian-style.
“Sunny, easy-going and generous” is how Granger and Co describes itself — a thoroughly Australian attitude. Headed up by Aussie food writer and chef Bill Granger, the flagship restaurant resides in sunny Sydney, where it is famous for serving up the best scrambled eggs in town. Now you can get them over here, too, thanks to a spate of restaurants dotted all over London. The light, inviting spaces all feature inventive, unusual menus that embody the Australian spirit. For a proper dinner experience, you can’t go wrong with the exciting barbecue dishes, which include shrimp burger and coconut-braised beef short rib.
Part of the oh-so-pretty Daisy Green collection and located in picturesque Broadgate Circle, Beany Green is so much more than a place where you can grab a quick salad between meetings. It’s designed with two coffee hatches, which means there’s a constant buzz about the place, and it serves up Australian-inspired dishes, fresh juices and some of the best coffee that we’ve managed to get our caffeine-loving hands on. If you’ve got time, dine in here and enjoy the presentation of the food and the atmosphere as well as the fresh ingredients and delightful combinations.
“A little bit of Australia in London”, Lantana in Shoreditch is a long-time favourite of both city workers and hipsters. The café and restaurant sells intriguing dishes that nod to Asian cuisine, like pork belly banh mi bap and crispy tofu katsu, as well as more traditional fare. There are plenty of plant-based options and small bites to try, too. While Lantana is best known for its brunch – try the corn fritters or the tiramisu french toast – it’s also well worth a visit for dinner, whenever you have a hankering for healthy, tasty food with an Antipodean feel.