Restaurants where you’d be loco to go local
Written by Oryx
London is crackers for Indian curry and New York has a new take on Italian, while Melbourne clamours for Cantonese. Whether it’s historical connections binding one country with another cuisine, or a trailblazing new chef making their own mark, try something completely different in a known destination. Greg Sunning reveals three great restaurants on our network that outdo the cuisine of their host country.
Top tips: when to ditch local
Trying the local cuisine often provides a sense of place. But ditching local sometimes tells you more. When you’ve had enough Italian in Rome, or bratwurst in Germany, experiment. Streets with clustered cuisines from large migrations (think Chinatown, Koreatown), or small bistros with a compact menu are top bets.
Playing up to the historical connections between London and the British Raj era in India, this Michelin-starred restaurant in Mayfair has taken London by storm. Centred on a ‘gents‘ club’ socialising vibe, the wood-panelled walls and polo photos contrast with the superb modern cuisine, which focuses on masalas and marinades.
Distance: 5,219 km
Flight Time: 7 hours, 35 minutes
Frequency: 6 flights a day
Locanda Verde, New York
Nowhere does Italian quite like New York Italians. And while Robert De Niro is co-owner of this ‘local’ joint in TriBeCa’s Greenwich Hotel, it’s more good times than Goodfellas. The thrumming atmosphere is complemented by stellar, friendly service and the ‘Urban Italian’ cuisine from Emilia-Romagna-trained top chef Andrew Carmellini.
New York, USA
Distance: 10,792 km
Flight Time: 14 hours, 10 minutes
Flower Drum, Melbourne
Forty years in restaurant-time is an eternity, but this fine-dining Cantonese stalwart (with a nod to Sichuan) has more than managed it. Evolving with new dishes, fantastic flavours, and a finesse at service-time, plump for the Peking duck to witness translucent pancakes and terrific warmed hoi sin sauce.
Distance: 11,973 km
Flight Time: 13 hours, 30 minutes