Here's what and how we ate this year (and what we should be sorry for).
Squiducinne! Gnocctopus! If you didn't eat a many-legged sea creature masquerading as pasta this year, did you eat out at all? Nick Stanton's Ramblr came in hot with marrow-dressed curls on a kimchi leaf, but then Fico Hobart's gnocchi! Dier Makr's not-noodles! Tentacular.
Fish selfies: the great 2017 trend. Photo: Instagram
Fish, and it don't stop
Seafood in general came at us thick and fast and chilled. Cutler and Co.'s reopening triumph was plates of fresh bugs and chilled bubbles. Josh Niland gave us crab croissants for breakfast. And behold the greatest Insta-trend of 2017: the glorious, glorious fish selfie.
The reunion tour
Was it just Melbourne that saw '90s and naughties kitchen legends punching back into the headlines? Geoff Lindsay took Lamaro's; Paul Wilson revived his truffled polenta egg at Wilson and Market and is that Donovan Cooke at Ryne? Was there a meeting? Was Farnham there?
Chicken yakitori at Supernormal. Photo: Simon Schluter
It's a big yakistory
Food on sticks, you will never be far from our hearts. You've already conquered Sydney and, praise be, you've come to be a fearless leader of snacking in the south at Adelaide's Shobosho, Supernormal and at the all-new Butcher's Diner – All. Night. Long.
Mad men is done, folks. We've all enjoyed close to a decade of sousing our livers on the dark and dirty manhattans, and most bars are well in stride with the low booze moves. Order a sherry-based, fruit-frilled pebble-iced pearler and enjoy your grown-up drink.
Tagliolini with onion jus and aged parmesan at Fico, Hobart.
It's Italian. Sort of. But newer. Dare we say it may be better. From the onion caramel-sauced spaghetti at Fico in Hobart to Joel Valvasori's blood pasta and braised chicken feet at Lulu La Delizia in Perth – it's a helluva time to be a carb-loving fool.
Smoke 'em while you got 'em and put caviar on top. More a trend prediction than reality thus far, but with nuclear annihilation on the doorstep, we think the era of unstructured cool guy eateries is going to give way to old world elegance and the likes of Sydney's Hubert, New York's the Grill and Melbourne's jazz-filled Mayfair will rule. Dust off the dress shoes.
Desserts getting their sh*t together
Put your hands together and give thanks to the revolt against the deconstructed dessert. If you've been pushed one chocolate soil too far, you're going to weep at the pumpkin pies of the Agrarian Kitchen and the treacle and lemon tarts of Rocker and Saint Peter.
Wine bars are the new pubs
Chicken parfait is the new parma. Where the yoof once gathered around a round of frosties and $12 steaks, they're now down the local bottle-shop/wine bar/casual European bistro being ultra woke.
It's a fun new term for natural wine if you are a loafered bro (PS. if you say this, here's the knife, you know what to do). It is also the linguistic low point of 2017 but hey, US summer tells us we might be getting friesling to replace frose as the dumb drink of summer, so the race is still on.
Trends in the glass
By Max Allen, wine and drinks columnist, Australian Financial Review and AFR Magazine
The rosé project
It won't be long before some canny restaurateur opens a place with nothing but pale, dry pink wine on the list (hello, Chris Lucas). Seriously: sometimes it feels like rosé is all you lot want to drink.
The craft spirit boom keeps booming. But how many more new gins does one country need? How many rare, expensive whiskies? Vermouths and bitters? Plenty more, apparently.
Forget big Barossa bruisers. We want our red wines light and fresh now, thanks: whole bunch pinot meunier; juicy cabernet franc; new-wave, sulphur-free grenache, etc. Which brings us to:
The natural zombie
The trend that refuses to die, despite repeated bashing by old wine fogeys. Cloudy pet-nats, skin-contact orange gear, smashable reds (see above): natural wines continue to crowd lists.
The ubiquitous spritz
Once a drink you only encountered on cafe table in piazzas on holiday in Italy, the prosecco spritz has now become the aperitif of choice for everyone, everywhere.
The national Good Food Guide 2018, in partnership with Citi and Vittoria, is available from newsagencies, bookstores and via thestore.com.au/goodfood, RRP $29.99.