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Former AHA Chef of the Year Brad Sloane loves to reinvent pub classics, like the smoked beef cheek schnitzels with mustard and parsley aioli he served as canapes at his former venue. The Town Hall in Balmain or dishes such as crumbed fish fingers with aioli, lemon, rosemary salt, the spicy korean fried chicken wings or jalapeno and bacon poppers with smoked cheddar and tomatillo he is offering at the now revamped Greenwood Hotel in North Sydney.

The same applies at the Duke of Clarence where head Chef David Penistone has worked with Chef consultant David O’Brien to create a short and sharp share menu at this new British-inspired bar in Clarence St, which has just picked up a Time Out People’s Choice award.

High above the harbour at Australia Square in Sydney, head Chef Darren Templeman offers aromatic duck & chicken spring rolls, rock lobster tempura with lemon mayo on a soft taco or miso salmon fishcakes with tamarind dip as you soak up the revolving Sydney skyline at O Bar and Dining.

Ex Merivale and Longrain Chef Freddie Salim has just unveiled Nu Bambu at Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL, which features a menu inspired by his Indonesian childhood, his mum’s kitchen and his restaurant experience. Beer and baos are proving hit, while pork skewers and wagyu beef tartare with lemongrass, lime leaf and quail yolk on sesame crackers are both proving to be one-handed wonders.

Other amazing morsels include South Melbourne’s Hercules Morse Kitchen + Bar and their cheesy puds piped with prosciutto goats cheese, white anchovies with tomato butter and parsley oil on toast fingers, strips of fried sweet corn dusted in smokey bacon salt or cauliflower and cheese balls with lemon-rosemary salt and dijon mayo.

Chef James Privett’s Misfits bar menu in Redfern seeks global inspiration in bar snacks such as polenta chips with blue cheese and bacon jam, crab & prawn rolls with tarragon mayo, and gem lettuce and always popular steamed sticky beef bao with pickles and shallots.

Consultant Mikee Collins also points to Monopole Chef Brent Savage (also at Yellow, Bentley Bar and Cirrus) as an excellent curator of bite-sized offerings, as well as the Kitty Hawk team (also at Lobo Plantation and Big Poppa’s) with baked camembert or NOLA’s grilled jalapeño cornbread, fried okra, voodoo wings or BBQ pork ribs, all menu items which he says are punching above their weight.

In addition to his a la carte menu, Ete Restaurant executive Chef and owner Drew Bolton (ex Vine, Double Bay) offers some great house-made charcuterie, terrine and cheese plates, plus a chicken liver parfait with salted plum jelly and baguette chips to the casual dining crowd wandering through his Barangaroo venue throughout the day.

The Late Shift menu at Federal Delicatessen in Auckland, caters for the midnight cowboys and girls looking to chow down on pea and pastrami croquettes with habanero mayo, a NYC-style street dog with relish and mustard mayo or killer chicken hoagies with chicken skin cracklin’ and gravy.

Find out more about TRENDS ON PLATE