October 17, 2016

Darwin: a multicultural melting pot of flavour

We know Darwin isn’t the first place you think of as a foodie haven – but you couldn’t be more wrong! In fact, Darwin’s multicultural roots makes it one of the up and coming food scenes to watch. Whether its fine dining or cheap eats, there’s something for everyone up north.

Here’s our pick of the top 6 must-try food experiences in Darwin.

1.     Mindil Beach Sunset Markets

It would be remiss not to mention the famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, on every Thursday and Sunday night from 4-9pm. Balmy Darwin evenings are perfect for strolling through the food stalls – from Aussie fish and chips to Italian wood fire pizzas, Malaysian laksa to Greek yuros, French crepes to Spanish paella. Take your feast down to the beach and watch the spectacular sunset over Mindil Beach!

2.     Moorish Café

For tapas to tickle your taste buds, look no further than Moorish Café. There’s a relaxed and friendly vibe, with flavours inspired by Spain and North Africa. Don’t miss the beetroot fritters and the locally sourced seafood dishes, although frankly, you’ll leave wishing you could have tasted everything on the menu! Its usually packed on weekends, so be sure to book.

3.     Hanuman Restaurant

Jimmy Shu opened Hanuman in Darwin over 25 years ago, making this place a classic. His menu is inspired by authentic Asian flavours from Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia and Thailand to name a few – and his fusion dishes have won him praise from some of Australia’s most well-known chefs. Matt Preston rates the Masaman Beef Curry, and so do we!

4.     Lola’s Pergola

Affectionately known as Lola’s by the locals, this carnival-themed, family friendly bar and kitchen is one of Darwin’s more unique places to dine. With its quirky, brightly coloured décor and its prime position on Cullen Bay Marina, it’s a got a great atmosphere and plenty of favourites on the menu – burgers, pizzas and the most delicious chips. The open deck is perfect for chilling out with a drink.

5.     The Pearl

Want something a bit classy? The Pearl has a French bistro vibe with food flavours to match – think venison tartare, duck fillet with fig and raspberry and pistachio brulee! If you want to linger over your dinner, try their reasonably priced (and delicious) degustation menu. Ladies – they’ve recently introduced a Champagne High Tea to their weekend offering, perfect for an afternoon with the girls.

6.     The Magic Wok  

Down an unremarkable arcade, you’ll find The Magic Wok. OK, so it’s not much to look at – but this hole-in-the-wall establishment is cooking up delicious stir-fry’s, made to order from ingredients picked by you. The proteins include classics like chicken, pork and beef, and some more adventurous options too – think crocodile, emu and deer! Choose your veggies and your sauce, and watch the chef sizzle it up for you on the spot. Beware - at lunchtime, there’s usually lines out the door, so get there early to avoid the crowds.