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Friday 21 October 2016

Trip Advisor slam dunk for the Hunter Valley

The Hunter Valley outshone all its rivals after being named with two of the top three restaurants in the country in the new TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice listing of the best restaurants in Australia.

Now TripAdvisor can be flaky and its advice can easily be manipulated, but two out of three is a tremendous result for the Hunter.

Muse Restaurant at Hungerford Hill (above), run by husband and wife team Troy and Megan Rhoades-Brown. was given the No.1 position in Australia and 15 in the world, while Restaurant Botanica (below) was named No.3 in Australia.

I've eaten in both establishments and they are world class.

"With growing tourism numbers both from domestic and international sources, the Hunter Valley has a lot to boast about: premium restaurants; a full range of accommodation; spectacular attractions; golf resorts; and the wines and their cellar doors," said George Souris, chairman of the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association (HVWTA), who specialises in boring quotes.

The Travellers' Choice awards reflect reviews made by travellers and diners on TripAdvisor.

This year's awards recognise 528 restaurants overall, including the top 25 fine dining in the world and dedicated lists for Asia, Canada, Europe, India, Mexico, South America, South Pacific, the UK and the US.

Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for restaurants around the world, gathered over a 12-month period.

"Hunter Valley Wine Country, only two hours north of Sydney and right on the doorstep of Australia's gateway city, has gained recognition as a premier wine and food destination," Souris said.

Keen observers of the dining scene will note that not one Melbourne restaurant appears on the list (maybe the vote was spread among several standouts), while an upmarket fish and chippery on the Gold Coast obviously made a lot of people very happy.

The Stunned Mullet in Port Macquarie, reviewed here a couple of months ago, also made the list.

Here are the top 10:

1. Muse Restaurant – Pokolbin, New South Wales

2. est. – Sydney, New South Wales

3. Restaurant Botanica – Pokolbin, New South Wales

4. Nobu Japanese Restaurant – Burswood, Perth

5. fermentAsian – Tanunda, South Australia

6. Spirit House – Yandina, Queensland

7. Spice Bar – Mooloolaba, Queensland

8. The Stunned Mullet – Port Macquarie, New South Wales

9. Courgette Restaurant – Canberra, ACT

10. Omeros Bros Seafood Restaurant – Main Beach, Gold Coast

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