2016 - year in review

2016 has been another fantastic year in Darwin foodie culture with lots of new cafes, restaurants and at home businesses croppping up. The Darwin Foodies team look back and provide their individual highlights for the year.

Optimus Prime Rib

It was hard keeping this list short, but here are my highlights for the year.

The Quarter

Favourite destination - The Quarter

The Northern Suburbs finally have an after hours eatery, and not just any eatery, but a dazzling uber slick setup with a host of big name venues. The family and I are now regulars here on any given weeknight. We still head out to the CBD to eat of course, but it's nice to have an option closer to home.

Best burger - The Meat House

Super juicy and full of flavour, the hamburger at The Meat House took me by surprise. Great venue that's a little hidden half way between Darwin and Palmerston.

Second place - Chicken burger at Besser

Casual dinner hangout - Cafe 21 Smith

Not your ordinary cafe as this place is bigger than most restaurants in Darwin. Very spacious with a gorgeous fit out. Friendly service and good value food that's on the money. I go here often with the family for an easy, relaxing weeknight dinner.

Foodie event - Persona Indonesia, Darwin Festival, India on Mindil, Greek Glenti

Fun and food, these events are always a highlight for me throughout the year.

The great outdoors

During the dry season, these are the places I often found myself at to make the most of the perfect weather: Lola's Pergola, Eva's Cafe, Darwin Trailer Boat Club, Cafe de la Plage, Malak Markets, Nightcliff Markets.

Getting fancy - Pavonia Place

Renee and her team know how to pair excellent service with amazing food. If we feel like splashing out, this is the place we go. Runner up goes to PM with their super fresh grilled local seafood.

Pigging out - OKA Chinese and Malaysian

On the weekends these guys do "Chee Chaa", their version of a buffet / yum cha / tapas. $22 all you can eat Asian goodies? SOLD!

Coffee fix - Harvest Coffee shop

Great coffee and a quiet relaxing place to hang out in the mornings and get some work done using their free wifi. Cyclone Cafe and The Foreshore are also great spots for a cuppa. 

Favourite dishes

So many to choose from, so here's a list in no particular order:

Brioche of Tarth

Oh gawd, where do I start?
This year we said hello to new places and a website. There were some bittersweet goodbyes too.
Here's my list for 2016:

Favourite destination - Malak Marketplace

The food is fantastic, but as I mentioned before it's the people that pops the cherry on top!

A holistic farm-fresh marketplace that stands out from the other already famous markets in Darwin and is the first marketplace to:

  • ban soft drinks
  • have almost 100% organic foods
  • inter-vendor support like never seen before
  • actually have seats space

We look forward to what they have in store for 2017!

Favourite takeaway dinner - Thai Tastic

I kid you not, the partner and I cannot go a week without eating our usual from Thai Tastic. Super friendly staff, delicious food with generous servings topped with fresh bamboo and herbs - can't go wrong. 

Foodie event - MasterChef Dining & Bar Singapore

We got to meet and greet the great Marco Pierre White and dessert genius Reynold Poernomo. It really was a once in a lifetime gig - I don't think my heart could survive anymore!

The great outdoors - Rachael's Seafood on the Boardwalk

Rachael's expanded from her little shack to the Boardwalk where the Boatshed Cafe in Cullen Bay. The menu's expanded a little with a little salad bar and the best seafood, can't go wrong. 

Getting fancy - The Poolside Restaurant at DoubleTree by Hilton Darwin

Sure it's not as fancy as the other hotels, but the Hilton team know how execute excellent service with amazing food. Perhaps one of my favourite meals for the year.

Coffee fix - Kopi Stop

Great coffee and a quiet relaxing place to hang out in the mornings and get some work done using their free wifi. My other favourite was Besser Brew Bar with a side of toastie yummmm.

Some goodbyes

In no particular order, some places we said goodbye to :(

  • The Black Pig
  • Mt Fuji Japanese Curry & Hotdog
  • Cold Brew Cafe
  • Cafe 300
  • Rawgasm
  • Cucina Italian Diner Palmerston
  • Happy Chappy Coffee