Heli Pub Tour in Darwin
The upper parts of the Great Southern Land are teeming with hidden eating experiences that must be explored when in the area:
- Take a pub tour and add a hint of Kanye and you’ll have what is possibly the funnest way to spend six hours in the Northern Territory. Choose three or five stops on the Heli Pub Tour, ranging from the most pubby pub in the world (replete with the largest chicken parmigiana you’ve ever seen made from what can only be the breast of chickenzilla) to a most unique bar in the middle of crocodile infested waters. Bizarrely, a Danish gentleman decided there were few better spots for a bnb-meets-river-side-bar, and inserted himself into Goat Island, only accessible by air or water. Have the barramundi burger here; it's only available when bartered (not battered) fresh fish from the billabong that flows directly in front of the bar for some beers with local fisherman, and it’s possibly the freshest barra burger you’ll ever have. Weirdly, he also has gluten-free bread.
A night under the Australian outback stars at Sounds of Silence
- The stars don’t get much better than in central Australia, during The Sounds of Silence Dinner in the desert of Uluru. The Southern hemisphere sky is captivating, even more so than the Northern, due to the Milky Way rising overhead, and when it’s used as the canopy over a white tablecloth dining experience, it’s nothing short of awe-inspiring. An indigenous performance accompanies the sunset, one which lights up the famed monolith. Just gazing upon Uluru makes you feel deeply Australian and connected to the land. Sparkling Australian wine also helps. A quick amble down the hillock of deep red dirt to find a seat around a table of 12 individuals from around the world and then you may begin a bush buffet and astrology lesson that are all part of the evening.
Fresh pasta is tossed simply with garlic, chilli and oil with fresh prawns at Wharf 1
- Foodies are everywhere in the NT and the level of cookery has soared in the last 18 months. The seafood is freshest in the State’s capital at restaurants like Peewee's on the Point and Wharf 1 and bush tucker like quangdong, wattle seeds and paperbark are exhibited honourably at Sail's in the Desert restaurant in Ayers Rock Resort. Notably, Chef Nick Walsh was among the first to source and exhibit such ingredients 15 years ago before it became a more in vogue trend of the last 2 years. It’s worth coming and tasting how these ingredients were first utilised before the trend made it to capital cities. Peewee’s on the Point in Darwin serves fresh fare right on the water and Wharf 1 has the best fresh pappardelle with prawns and garlic oil in a way that strips back and showcases the ingredients honestly.
Little Miss Korea in Darwin
- The Korean cooking class at Little Miss Korea is held in an industrial building in Darwin's main drag that wouldn't be amiss in Brooklyn or another funky outskirt of an international city. Chef Chung Jae and wife Sam made their mark on Adelaide's dining scene before heading up to the Northern Territory to open the city's first Korean BBQ. Jump into a cooking class where you'll learn to make Jap Chae (Korean noodle salad) and bulgogi, then sit down and feast on all that hard work.
Alleycats Patisserie in Darwin
- Explore the rapidly burgeoning cafe culture of Darwin at funky cafes like Alley Cats, Rabbithole, and Four Birds. Four Birds brought in the coffee craze, and now there are the likes of Alley Cats and Laneway that solidify Darwin’s cafe scene. Spots that wouldn't be amiss in Melbourne or Brisbane are cropping up more quickly than anyone can count, with Alley Cats in particular being a must see. Try the famous cronuts, lavish breakfasts and a cinnamon scroll which can easily compete amongst the world’s best in the category of pastries.
Laksa at the Parap Markets
- There are few more delicious markets than those around Darwin. At markets you usually get quality of food but it's always one type; German, Moroccan, Ethiopian etc. Or, you get variety–markets which showcase food from many continents, but the quality can lack because of the wide scope. In Darwin you get both, and it's very much a tradition of the region to hit at least one of the markets in a weekend, gathering produce for the week and eating anything from brown rice sushi, fresh juices, crepes with banana and Nutella, and of course, laksa.