Good Food Guide 2022: The It List - road trip-worthy restaurants in Victoria

Brigitte Hafner has built one of Victoria's most exciting restaurants with Osteria Tedesca.
Brigitte Hafner has built one of Victoria's most exciting restaurants with Osteria Tedesca. Photo: James Broadway
  • The Good Food Guide 2022 hub

Restaurants worthy of a little (or large) detour around regional Victoria.

Igni

Aaron Turner's fine diner remains an exciting den of fire and fermentation that sets the trend for of-the-moment eating. Ethically sourced produce is front of mind, from charred sugarloaf cabbage to earthy artichoke finished with ribbon-thin cured scallop. Add warm, intuitive service and a brilliant drinks program, and you have the complete package.

Ryan Pl South, Geelong, restaurantigni.com

Aaron Turner and Joanna Smith at Igni.

Aaron Turner and Joanna Smith at Igni. Photo: Luis Enrique Ascui

Provenance

Long-time Japanophile Michael Ryan has delivered a thoughtful, technically brilliant menu from this grand Bank of Australasia building for 12 years. Surprise: the pandemic has improved it. Now, dinner takes the form of four waves of bento-style courses to showcase Ryan's myriad miso-cured pickles, kimchi, and puffy balls of mushroom tofu.

86 Ford St, Beechworth, 03 5728 1786, theprovenance.com.au

Provenance restaurant in Beechworth.

Provenance restaurant in Beechworth. Photo: Colin Page

Tedesca Osteria

Owner-chef Brigitte Hafner cooks rustic Italian recipes from the heart at this impeccably restored 100-year-old timber farmhouse on the Mornington Peninsula. It might be a saffron and sherry-sauced hapuka fired in the smouldering hearth, or a dry-aged rib-eye respectfully left to its own devices. The only challenge is securing a booking.

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1175 Mornington-Flinders Rd, Red Hill, tedesca.com.au/osteria-tedesca

A spread worth travelling for at Osteria Tedesca.

A spread worth travelling for at Osteria Tedesca. Photo: James Broadway

Underbar

Just 16 diners gather around a centrepiece ash table to experience Derek Boath's stunning 10-course menu twice a week. Bookings, released a month in advance, are as coveted as the gold Ballarat was built on. The lucky few can expect a joyful, seasonal trip with big-city technique shaped by the owner-chef's stint at NYC's three-Michelin-starred Per Se.

3 Doveton St North, Ballarat, underbar.com.au

Underbar in Ballarat is tiny and mighty

Underbar in Ballarat is tiny and mighty. Photo: Lucy Boath

Wickens at Royal Mail Hotel

Follow the spot-lit path through bushland to this space-age dining room and you'll be glad you made the pilgrimage. A kitchen garden fuels a multi-course tasting menu. Expect several surprises, such as alphabet soup spelling chef Robin Wickens' name with flavours of young garlic, or foamy Colac truffle custard with the hidden crunch of salt and vinegar potato.

98 Parker St, Dunkeld, 03 5577 2241, royalmail.com.au

The view from the dining room at Wickens at Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld, Victoria.
Image supplied for Good Food.

The view from the dining room at Wickens at Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld.

The It Lists are brought to you by Citi

This article features in the Good Food Guide 2022 magazine, published on November 30 with presenting partners Citi and Vittoria Coffee, and free with The Age. Also on sale from December 7 in newsagents and supermarkets.