Most cooks like to eat, but not all eaters like to cook—especially on Christmas day when your mother-in-law keeps asking if there’s anything she can do, but no thank you, you’ve spent the last 48 hours doing it all, and where the hell was she then? Sometimes it’s best to bite the bullet, and the turkey, somewhere else.
430 Little Collins St, Melbourne, VIC | (03) 9691 3888
For those who don’t want to fork out $450 per person for Christmas Lunch at Vue de Monde, you can enjoy a taste of the action at the more casual Bistro Vue for a comparatively minute $165. Kids will only set you back $65 (hey, it’s cheaper than a sitter), and matched wines come in at $80. It’s six courses; from amuse bouche to petits four, with garlic butter crayfish and wagyu beef with broad beans and bone marrow.
2 Exhibition St, Melbourne, VIC | (03) 9207 7444
If there’s a culture that knows how to feast, it’s the Greeks. It’s just one of the reasons Christmas lunch at GAZI (formerly The Press Club) will be an affair to remember. For $120 per person ($70 for kiddies), you’ll start with a seafood platter and the best souvlaki in Melbourne, followed by the kind of share dishes you don’t want to share—turkey from the spit and 12 hour slow-roasted lamb. Finish with George Calombaris’ take on the Christmas pud, inspired by the Greek rice pudding ￼￼￼￼risogalo.
Ormeggio at the Spit
D’Albora Marinas, The Spit, Mosman, NSW | (02) 9969 4088
For Christmas lunch with a view, it’s hard to go past Ormeggio at The Spit with its outlook of Middle Harbour and Pearl Bay. Add a four course degustation that lives up to the restaurant’s double-hatted status and you’ve got yourself a very Merry Christmas indeed. Children under 12 will easily eat $60 worth of the Italian goodness that awards Ormeggio so much fame, while adults won’t be far behind at $175 per person.
18 Kangaloon Rd, Bowral, NSW | (02) 4862 2005
Christmas is about holidays, so you may as well take one on Christmas day in the Southern Highlands and visit the Good Food Guide’s Regional Restaurant of 2013 and 2014, Biota Dining. Biota is serving up “a decadent Christmas feast” that includes three courses and a guaranteed-to-be-stunning grazing table, highlighting the best Aussie seafood, local produce and traditional cold cuts. With beer and wine included and live music, it’s a bargain at $180 per person.
Sake Restaurant & Bar
Level 1/45 Eagle St, Brisbane, QLD | (07) 3015 0557
Replace eggnog with imported sake this year at Sake Restaurant & Bar. You’ll be laughing at all those suckers carving turkey as you tuck into fresh scallops dotted with salmon caviar and sashimi tacos. Slow braised pork belly replaces leg ham this year, while orange centred black currant mousse glazed with chocolate served with cassis ice cream will make it hard to go back to Christmas pudding next year. Sake is open for lunch on Christmas Day, offering their a la carte menu or Japanese banquets for either $88 or $115 per person.
Wild Duck Restaurant
35 Hampden Rd, Nedlands, WA | (08) 9389 8141
This fine dining, multi-award winning restaurant is serving up contemporary Australian cuisine this Christmas. Confit salmon with Niçoise salad will whet your palate for crispy skin duck breast, while poached pear spiced panna cotta with mango sorbet, coconut ice cream and mango jelly will see your appetite rival Santa’s. It’s only $85 per person (or $125 with wine) and there are vegetarian options too.
War Memorial Dr, North Adelaide, SA | (08) 8211 8555
Come and celebrate Christmas the Red Ochre way, by paying your respect to Australian bush produce. The $145 set lunch kicks off with a tasting platter including smoked ham hock and pepper leaf croquettes, while mains range from turkey breast rolled in macadamia nuts to pepper leaf pasta with pumpkin and ricotta. Save room for dessert—Christmas pudding, berry salad brandy snap basket and plum sorbet with toffee—you’ll be hanging out for the sequel on Boxing Day.
The Boat House
Queen’s Walk, Cornelian Bay, TAS | (03) 62 289 289
Even though The Boat House is just five minutes drive north of central Hobart, sitting outside overlooking the beach and sailboats glide by is enough to make you feel like you’ve been on vacation for a week. And that’s before you try the outstanding food. On Christmas Day, the crew is serving a five course lunch with all the trimmings for $125 per person.