Eleven Luxury Domestic Travel Destinations

Discover the country’s most unique and engaging experiences — to dream (and book) now.

By Natasha Dragun 06/07/2021

Ultimate Outback Charter

At a time when distance is arguably the world’s greatest luxury, exploring the Australian outback in a private plane with just six other people could be considered the epitome of travel experiences. Abercrombie & Kent’s journey around South Australia doesn’t cut any corners—or compromise on style. Over eight days (pick between dates in August 2021 and March 2022), you’ll have the opportunity to glimpse attractions both from the air and on land en route.

Your journey begins in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park—all red peaks, gorges and valleys of striated rock. Your pilot will take you low over Wilpena Pound before landing at Rawnsley Park Station, your base for the night and gateway to the rugged Bunyeroo and Brachina gorges, providing a window through 130 million years of the Earth’s history. Onwards you’ll visit Australia’s smallest town, William Creek, population 16. And then Coober Pedy, the country’s opal capital, where your accommodation for the night takes you deep underground—cave hotel, anyone?

Certain Australian sights bear an enormity that can only be grasped from the air: Kati Thanda, or Lake Eyre, is among these. Come sunrise, you’ll continue by gliding over this spectacle to witness the area’s surreal salt flats that shimmer all the way to the horizon. Your next destination is Mt. Ive Station, where Lake Gairdner’s own glistening salt pans cut a stark contrast against the hills of red sand that surround. The scenic whiplash continues as you reach Coffin Bay on the coast, and the brilliant blues of the Southern Ocean.

Swap sky for sea and cruise out to discover how the region’s Pacific and angasi oysters are grown and harvested, with dolphins, seals and seabirds as your travelling companions. Back on shore, national parkland reveals untouched beaches and dunes, bordered by ancient sandstone cliffs that cast long shadows over the land. Between here and Port Lincoln, your only diversion is for refreshments at a winery—more of which awaits at your final destination, the seafood capital of Australia.

abercrombiekent.com.au

Torres Strait By Superyacht

Set your super yacht’s GPS for about as far north as you can travel in Australia and you’ll reach the Torres Strait Islands, one of the world’s last true wilderness frontiers and a place that steals the soul with its sheer, unadulterated beauty. Off the tip of Cape York, the archipelago of 274 islands strings across the ocean between Queensland and Papua New Guinea, fringed by the northernmost reaches of the Great Barrier Reef—minus any of the crowds you’ll find snorkelling further south.

This remoteness guarantees nature writ large, whether on powdery beaches or atop volcanic peaks on drops of land that emerge from gin-clear water. The same blissful isolation means this part of the country is not easy to explore, unless you’ve chartered the shiny De Lisle III for $165,000 a week.

The price tag provides your group of 10 unfettered access to this 42-metre super yacht, custom fitted with teak and brass, and topped with an enviable jacuzzi for scenic soaks between anchor drops. Which may well be in the middle of nowhere, to snorkel with dugongs, dolphins, sea turtles and giant marlin, totally unperturbed by your presence—because they’ve likely never seen another human before. Then cruise out to more remote haunts to find hidden curves of sand, opaline bays and tiny villages that nurture Indigenous culture and traditions dating back more than 70,000 years.

Many Torres Strait Islands are also people-free, with only 20 inhabited and just a few others permitting visitors. Thursday Island, the area’s capital, is one; sleepy today, but once a bustling hub for pearling with hundreds of ships and divers based here. This part of the country—between Australia and the rest of the world—has also played a major role in defence over the decades, and you’ll still find decaying reminders of this heritage on far-flung outposts. Like Thursday Island’s 1891 Green Hill Fort, built to protect against a potential Russian invasion. And various gun emplacements, trenches and a wrecked aircraft on Horn Island, the only place in Australia where Aboriginal and European-descended soldiers served side by side.

This sobering reminder of the tragic past somehow makes the destinations you’ll sail to even more appealing; beauty can, it seems, survive and thrive, even when tested by the most extreme of human forces.

oceanalliance.com

Exclusive Sitting At Chae

The most talked about newcomer in Melbourne dining, Chae is a six-seat Korean effort housed in an apartment in Brunswick. That’s right, an apartment—the small home of head chef Jung Eun Chae and her husband Yoora Yoon. This is intimate and elevated home cooking—impeccable in taste and unique in experience, something Australian dining is too often lacking. Book exclusive use and, with a group of friends or family, experience something you simply won’t
find elsewhere.

chae.com.au

The Dreaming’, Kinara Spa, Longitude 131

Uluru is Australia’s spiritual heart, so it’s fitting that the most upscale lodge in these parts offers spa treatments that conjure blissful, soul-salving emotions. Under the gaze of the world’s mightiest monolith, exclusive Longitude 131° features tented villas scattered among native bushland. Prepare not to leave for three hours when you book “The Dreaming”, a reviving ritual based on philosophies tens of thousands of years in the making by the region’s Anangu people. It all begins with a body mud wrap of desert salts and yellow clay, for detoxification. Then you’ll ease into a Kodo (Aboriginal rhythmic) massage, scalp invigoration and lush facial, before ending your experience with a hand-and-foot treatment. Don’t forget to inhale along the way—products are infused with native ingredients including lilly pilly, munthari berry, quandong and wild rosella.

longitude131.com.au

Exclusive Hire, Orpheus Island

The only way to reach Orpheus Island is a private helicopter transfer from Townsville, your sky-high chariot whisking you off the Queensland coast over a coral-studded sea.

As if your ride north wasn’t exclusive enough, on arrival you can have the entire retreat—all 14 luxurious rooms—to yourself and 27 of your closest friends for $25,000 a night.

In the middle of the Great Barrier Reef and set on 1,300 hectares of national parkland, the island and its only resort began life as a humble retreat in the 1950s—back then a favourite getaway among the likes of glam British actor Vivien Leigh, who came to switch off and bliss out.

Today, the design inspiration is Hamptons-chic, replete with sun-kissed rooms, suites and villas bedazzled in crisp whites, azures and emerald greens—think Robinson Crusoe meets The Ritz.
But the goal remains the same as when Leigh roamed the grounds—this is a place where you can disconnect from technology and reconnect with the nature that encompasses the resort.

First stop should be the world’s largest reef, the waters surrounding this island idyll churning with an astounding 1,100 of the Great Barrier Reef’s 1,500 species of fish, not to mention almost every single species of hard coral ever recorded. Strap on a mask and fins to swim with manta rays, sea turtles and even humpback whales during migration season (May-November). Then dry off to make the most of the resort’s on-land natural luxuries, like gourmet picnics on the sand or dinner degustations under the stars.

If bobbing about in the ocean appeals, plan an extended stay on the resort’s opulent 32-metre M.Y. Flying Fish, able to accommodate overnight jaunts around the reef in serious style. There’s space for eight on board, plus a rooftop helipad enabling guests to chopper off to remote sandbanks for sunset cocktails, or opt for beach fishing whenever the mood strikes.

orpheus.com.au

Ultimate Staycation & Seaplane To Jervis Bay

Few hotels in the world boast as enviable a location as Sydney’s Four Seasons, steps from Circular Quay and with swoon-worthy views over the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. If you can tear yourself away from the vista, a feature central to most rooms and suites, then leave the planning of your day in the begloved hands of the hotel’s concierge. Their little black book of “Extraordinary Experiences” covers everything from a private lobster lunch while cruising the harbour, to sunrise yoga atop the world’s most recognisable aforementioned bridge. Or consider the pièce de résistance: a leisurely seaplane jaunt down the New South Wales coast to Jervis Bay.

This is an outing where the journey matters just as much as the destination, your ride soaring over national parkland, crystalline coves and jagged cliffs before dropping you off on a dazzling beach—the South Coast of the state boasts some of the whitest sands in the world. Your hosts prepare lunch while you recline and spot bottlenose dolphins and (if you’re here from May through November) migrating humpback and southern right whales which regularly create a splash in the marine park just offshore from the open-air dining spot.

Soar back to the Four Seasons in time for a cocktail masterclass and degustation in the opulent two-bedroom Presidential Suite’s dining room. The hotel’s cocktail craftsman Cedric Mendoza will help you shake and stir your way through a private session, with plenty of time to sip concoctions on the balcony of the hotel’s highest floor, while dinner—a five-course degustation—is prepared. Don’t close your curtains; this is a view you will want to awaken to.

fourseasons.com

Dinner (And Tennis) With MONA’s David Walsh

Ten years ago, millionaire philanthropist David Walsh went on a wild ride to open Australia’s most talked about gallery. His Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) in Hobart lies on a peninsula just a short ride up the Derwent River from the centre of town; when you arrive, you’re greeted by a heritage 1958 Roy Grounds-designed cottage, which then channels you down
a rabbit warren of dramatic subterranean spaces crafted by local architectural firm Fender Katsalidi.

While the museum and its collection of edgy, provocative artworks, themed around sex and death, is the peninsula’s major draw, over a decade the site has evolved to now include accommodation, restaurants, a brewery and neighbouring winery. And you can get a taste for all offerings—and meet their charismatic owner—for $50,000 per person.

The Cultural Attractions of Australia “Dinner With David” offers unheard-of access to this self-proclaimed “maths nerd”. Jet into the Tasmanian capital from Melbourne or Sydney via private plane,
then sit down with Walsh in Mona’s The Source restaurant for a degustation while sipping Moorilla wines, made just a few metres from the dining room.

Sleep soundly in one of the on-site Mona Pavilions—each named after a famed Australian artist or designer—then wake leisurely to enjoy lunch in sensory-exploring dining room Faro. Afterwards, Moorilla’s vintner Conor van der Reest will guide you around the estate, offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse into winemaking in this part of the state. Don’t be surprised if Walsh then challenges you to a hit of tennis—he has a mean backhand, or so the legend goes.

culturalattractionsofaustralia.com

Opera At Uluru

Every year, Opera Australia unites song and spirituality in the heart of the country. Enter the troupe’s exclusive series of September shows at Uluru, which can be enjoyed with just a handful of other select guests, under the stars and backdropped by one of the world’s greatest natural wonders.

Choose Captain’s Choice and fly in for the gala performance on a private, all-business-class charter, sipping fine wines and savouring a gourmet lunch on board before touching down at Ayers Rock Airport beside the Northern Territory’s hulking sandstone monolith.

Your afternoon here is spent wandering through the legendary landscapes of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, with ancient rock escarpments and gorges that appear to cleave off the edge of the Earth. This is a place as inspiring as it is humbling, made even more memorable by the live music that will fill your soul as it does the landscape: such as the dramatic notes of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. You’ll be serenaded by Australia’s finest soloists, led by Opera Australia’s artistic director, Lyndon Terracini AM, in a performance outshone perhaps only by its own setting among the Field of Light.

Created by British artist Bruce Munro, this dazzling union of 50,000 spindles of light blankets the Red Centre’s soil, the stems breathing and swaying through a desert spectrum of ochre, deep violet, blue and pearl. The epic glow—on display only until the end of December—illuminates your alfresco meal, prepared using locally sourced native bush ingredients that speak of the land. When the event ends, check in to your room at Sails in the Desert hotel at Ayres Rock Resort, where rooms encircle a dreamy gumtree-lined pool, and an on-site gallery showcases Indigenous art.

captainschoice.com.au

Flinders Island By Helicopter

Tasmania is known, among other things, for wild landscapes, some of the world’s tastiest seafood and standout wines. These attractions all coalesce on a day trip with Unique Charters. Jump in your helicopter from Peppers Silo Hotel in Launceston, then zip northeast to Flinders Island, the largest of its kind in the Bass Strait’s Furneaux Group. This is a place of untamed, windswept beauty, with precipitous cliffs, empty white-sand beaches and rocky shores blanketed in fiery-hued lichen—look out for seasonal whales splashing about offshore as you near your destination.

Your hosts will be waiting with a Flinders Island Gin and tonic—your aperitif while lunch is caught and prepared for you. And what a showcase of local produce your meal is: ocean-fresh crayfish, plump oysters, juicy octopus and cheeses made on neighbouring islets. Your spread is served just steps from the sand at Killiecrankie Beach, a sweeping crescent of azure water that you will likely have entirely to yourself.

If you don’t want the day to end, extend your experience and drop in on some of Tassie’s northern vineyards for a flight or two of a more flavourful kind, before returning to your base.

uniquecharters.com.au

Day Trip To Lord Howe Island

Scenic coastal views across Lord Howe Island.

Off the coast of New South Wales, Lord Howe Island has a permanent population of just 360, and daily visitor numbers are capped at 400. And you’ll be one of the lucky few when journeying here for lunch with Crooked Compass by Air. Before touching down at the petite airport, your private charter plane will circle over record-breaking Ball’s Pyramid, a dramatic hunk of basalt that, at 562 metres high, happens to be the world’s tallest sea stack.

After wheels down on Lord itself, enjoy the morning exploring a setting so untamed and otherworldly that it’s earned a UNESCO listing for natural beauty. Its Jurassic-like landscapes of soaring sea cliffs and tangled jungle serve as the breeding ground for 14 species of seabirds, not to mention 130 permanent and migratory bird species—among them the endemic Lord Howe Island woodhen, saved from extinction by local conservation efforts. They flutter between unspoiled and empty beaches, swirl over the towering kentia palm-clad peaks of Gower and Lidgbird, and swoop low across a crystal-clear lagoon protected by the planet’s most southern barrier reef—you can take a dip here with green and hawksbill turtles, bottlenose dolphins and all manner of fish after lunch. But first, the food.

Your dining venue is Anchorage Restaurant, helmed by executive chef David Chlumsky, who earned his stripes at applauded Sydney restaurants Quay, Otto and Longrain. On Lord Howe, Chlumsky’s mod-Australian menu is produce-driven and seasonal, utilising the best of the island and its surrounds, whether organic fruit and vegetables or sustainably caught seafood.

Dust off the crumbs and decide how to spend your afternoon: gliding about the lagoon in a glass-bottom boat, snorkelling over immense coral bommies to explore shipwrecks in the company of huge schools of Moorish idols, or wandering along the sand being entertained by chattering terns and shearwaters. You’re just here for the day—your private charter plane awaits to whisk you and your entourage of seven back to the mainland in time for dinner.

crookedcompassbyair.com

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The Tod’s SS25 Men’s Collection in Milan Was a Showcase of “Artisanal Intelligence”

It was also the debut men’s collection by creative director Matteo Tamburini.

By Josh Bozin 20/06/2024

Earlier this week, Tod’s presented its SS25 men’s collection at the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea (PAC) for Milan Fashion Week, where all eyes were fixed on Matteo Tamburini and his debut menswear collection as Tod’s newest creative director.

Striking “a balance between tradition and modernity”, was the former Bottega Veneta designer’s intention, and indeed his showcase offerered a spotlight on the quality, materials, and detailing that are central to the Tod’s wardrobe.

“The collection is more about subtraction rather than addition, highlighting the very elevated, timeless and relaxed materials,” says Tamburini via a statement.

Tod’s

In line with Tod’s restrained design codes, the garments presented were characterised by timelessness, unmistakable Italian flair, yet a casualness appropriate for everyday wear. Only the best leathers were used in the collection—thanks to the Pashmy project, which Tod’s unveiled in January to champion high-end Italian materials—used in creating garments like the Tod’s Bomber, the Gio Jacket, the Shirt Jacket, the Di Bag sack, as well as footwear staples, like the Tod’s T-Riviera.

Of course, the iconic Gommino driving shoe wasn’t without an update, too: you’ll find a new sabot interpretation, as well as the Bubble Gommino introduced in a new boat model with the T-bar accessory.

“Craftsmanship” was at the forefront of messaging, with chairman and chief executive officer of the Tod’s Group, Diego Della Valle, reiterating the message of honouring artisanal arts in an increasingly digital-first world.”[It’s] important to uphold artisanal intelligence, keeping under control artificial intelligence as it is now developing rapidly and powerfully,” he said via a statement.

“Individuals and artisanal intelligence at the centre, with its traditions and values, will contribute to keep artificial intelligence in check. Our Italian craftsmanship and supply chain can be an example of the combination of tradition and the new speed of artificial intelligence.”

tods.com

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Pitti Uomo’s Best-Dressed Men Cut Through the Noise With Personal Style

From vintage gems to tasteful tailoring, attendees of Florence’s biannual tradeshow brought their best sartorial selves.

By Naomi Rougeau, Lorenzo Sodi 20/06/2024

Whether or not you’re well versed in the ins and outs of Pitti Uomo, the biannual menswear tradeshow in Florence that brings together buyers, press—and, naturally, a vast ostentation of peacocks—the chances are that photos from the gathering are still making their way into your newsfeed. You might even smirk at the mention of it. To be sure, you’ll encounter plenty of “overdressing” strolling through the main venues but by and large, great personal style manages to cut through the noise.

Part of what makes the Pitti scene so exciting is that menswear moves relatively slowly. It’s less about seeing something earth shatteringly new but rather gradual shifts and discovering fresh ways to put things together. Menswear regulars such as Alessandro Squarzi, owner of a considerable vintage archive that influences his Milanese boutique Fortela, can be relied upon to provide inspiration on how to make tried and true staples and silhouettes feel modern.

Speaking of new old things, vintage fashions made their way into the chat in a big way this June, whether in terms of rare finds or sustainable efforts via upcycling, fabric development and natural dyes (Paris-based De Bonne Facture achieved an ideal medium brown using coffee, for instance). At the heart of the conversation was another bona fide vintage guru Maurizio Donadi who made a case for the timelessness and democratic nature of indigo with his centuries-spanning exhibit of antique garments from around the globe.

Below you’ll find a dozen of our favorite looks from Pitti Uomo 106, lensed by our eagle-eyed street-style photographer Lorenzo Sodi. We hope they inspire.

Lorenzo Sodi

A lesson in simplicity and the power of a classic palette—good quality vintage accents such as a turquoise embellished belt buckle add interest to timeless workwear. Ray-Ban’s universally-flattering Wayfarer sunglasses are the perfect finishing touch.

Lorenzo Sodi

Sans suit and shirt, the neckerchief (of which there were many at Pitti), adds a welcome dose of colour to a white tee and relaxed jacket and proves that sometimes one choice detail is all it takes. A well-loved, slightly-too-long belt and canvas Vans contribute to the casual harmony.

Lorenzo Sodi

Whatever the weather, you’ll find Douglas Cordeaux, from Fox Brothers, looking immaculate in shirt and tie… and a suit made of one of Fox’s many fabrics. British elegance, embodied.

Lorenzo Sodi

Relaxed elegance is the foundation of the Brunello Cuccinelli brand. Here, the maestro himself shows us how it’s done in a double-breasted linen ensemble featuring a few personal flourishes.

Lorenzo Sodi

Designer Alessandro Pirounis of Pirounis offers a masterclass on the rule of three with a contemporary twist, subbing the usual jacket with an overshirt of his own design.

Lorenzo Sodi

A renaissance man takes Florence. True to his roots, US Marine veteran, Savile Row-trained tailor and photographer Robert Spangle blazes a sartorial trail that’s all his own.

Lorenzo Sodi

Cream trousers are an essential element of elegant Italian summer style. Designer Nicola Radano of Spacca Neapolis channels one of the greats (Marcello Mastroianni) in a dark polo of his own design, collar spread wide across his jacket’s lapel for a welcome retro lean.

Lorenzo Sodi

Proof of the power of tonal dressing, that can create an impactful outfit just by sticking to the same colour family. A chic ensemble and in some ways an elevated version of the double-denim look, every element is working hard in service to the whole.

Lorenzo Sodi

UK-based stylist Tom Stubbs has long been a proponent of blousy pleats, lengthy db jackets, and statement-making neck scarves and here, in vintage Armani, he embodies the louche, oversize look that many designers are just now catching up on.

Lorenzo Sodi

A tailor splitting his time between Berlin and Cologne, Maximilian Mogg is known for his strong-shouldered, architectural suiting. Yet in Mogg’s hands, particularly with this non-traditional colour scheme, the effect is always modern and youthful.

Lorenzo Sodi

If Max Poglia’s relaxed Hawaiian shirt and suit combo is any indication, summer has truly arrived. But it’s an excellent example of how to wearing tailoring in more casual fashion. This cream db would look perfect with shirt and tie at a wedding in August and just as chic here with slippers and a laid-back shirt.

Lorenzo Sodi

Another example of how tailoring can be laid-back and breezy for summer, from a dude who looks no stranger to enjoying the best of the warmer months. Jaunty pocket square, sandals, untucked linen shirt…go forth and emulate.

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The 13 Best Watches From Pitti Uomo, From Rolex to Patek Philippe and Piaget

Each year in Florence, Italy, men walk the streets in the finest fashions, and they pair their watches perfectly.

By Allen Farmelo, Lorenzo Sodi 20/06/2024

Pitti Uomo is a major fashion gathering in Florence, Italy where brands bring their best to buyers and fashion editor alike. But, perhaps more interestingly, Pitti Uomo transforms the streets of Florence into an urban runway on which guys from around the world with more than a passing interest in style go about their business—even if in some cases that business seems just to be hanging around waiting to be photographed—in their best threads and, of course, some excellent watches.

We pondered the relationship between men’s fashion and watches in more detail earlier this year, and what’s fascinating about the intersection of fashion and watches is how to situate the timepiece within an ensemble. To give you a sense of how that plays out, this year we saw a tonal pairing of a tasty vintage Rolex GMT Master Pepsi (red and blue) with rose and mid-blue summer plaid, and we saw high-waisted military green Bermuda shorts paired intelligently with a beat up old Elgin field watch with a matching green strap. Both looks were killer, the watches working as perfect accents, and there are many more great pairings to consider below.

As is often the case at fashion shows (including Pitti Uomo in previous years), Rolex dominated. Horological snobs might look down on this choice because the Crown is so often the default choice for so many, be they collectors signalling their access to rare references or those just getting into this obsession. But a more nuanced read on this tendency is that Rollies are fabulously versatile watches that one can rock with each new outfit—which some men will swap throughout the day. Breakfast might call for a casual look, lunch something more daring, and dinner that perfect summer suit. What better than a Rolex for all occasions?

But it wasn’t just Rolex at Pitti Uomo this week. The urban catwalk brought out Paiget, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Cartier, as well. But our favourite watch was a vintage Tudor Sub on a turquoise bracelet.

Below are the 13 best watches from Pitit Uomo 2024.

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The 10 Best Omakase in Sydney

Sydney’s best Japanese chef’s-table dining experiences.

By Belinda Aucott-christie 06/06/2024

In Japan, where food is a cultural art form, omakase stands for traditional Japanese foods made with seasonal ingredients. A good omakase meal, prepared with purity and mindfulness, can make an unforgettable imprint on the culinary memory. Yet in a land defined by seasonal traditions, omakase is a relatively new concept.

Omakase originated in Japan in the 1970s as affluent Japanese began to dine more regularly at first-rate sushi counters. Bowing to the expertise of the sushi master, omakase loosely translates to “I’ll leave it to you.” In a setting where money is no object, letting the chef decide was designed as a chic way to take the awkwardness out of ordering.

In Australia where there’s an abundance of fresh seafood, omakase menus have experienced a recent rise in popularity. Today omakase is any series of small dishes served directly by the chef to the diner. Each part of the meal is presented on beautiful ceramics and lacquer wear, with a great —and somewhat— intimidating reverence for elegant details. It’s a chance to see a chef’s knife skills up close and get a feel for their cooking style.

Omakase menus are based on whatever is freshest at the market and can be influenced by the chef’s mood, expertise, and response to the guest. They can be slowly paced like a ceremony—hushed and reverential—but they can also be rowdy, humorous, and personal.
Here we give you 10 of the best to try in Sydney.

Yoshi’s Omakase at Nobu Crown Sydney

Crown Sydney, Level 2/1 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo. Open: 12–3 pm, 5:30–9:30 pm Phone: 02 8871 7188 Reservations: F&B-SYD-Nobu@crownresorts.com.au; $380 per head (including matched wine and sake). Crownsydney.com.au

Sushi Oe

16/450 Miller St, Cammeray; Tue – Sat. SMS only 0451 9709 84 E: jizakana16@gmail.com Phone: 0426 233 984 $230 per head. jizakana.com.au

Kisuke with Yusuke Morita

50 Llankelly Place, Potts Point; Tuesday – Saturday: 17:30 – 10.45 (closed Sunday/ Monday) $185-200 per head Kisukepottspoint.com

Haco 

102/21 Alberta St, Sydney. Lunch, Friday to Saturday 12 -2:00 pm Dinner, Tuesday to Saturday 5:45 pm – 8:1 5pm (closed Sunday & Mondays) P: 0408 866 285                                     E: haco@hacosydney.com.au; $150 – $210 Hacosydney.com.au

Kuon

Shop 04 2/58 Little Hay St, Sydney, Lunch: Fri-Sun 12:30 pm. Dinner  Tue-Sun 5:15 pm or 7:45 pm sittings.  Reservation via SMS at 0488 688 252; $220 per head @kuon.omakase

Sokyo 

The Darling, Level G, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont. Open dinner Monday to Thursday from 5:45 pm P: 1800 700 700 $300 per head Sokyo.com.au

Kuro

368 Kent St, Sydney; Open Tue – Wed – Thur: 6 pm Fri & Sat: 5:30 pm P: 02 9262 1580, reservations@kurosydney.com $220 per head. Kurosydney.com;

Choji Omakase

Level 2, 228 Victoria Ave, Chatswood —upstairs from Choji Yakiniku. Every Monday to Wednesday at 6.30 pm. One seating per day only. $295 per head. Chojiomakase.com.au

Gold Class Daruma

The Grace Hotel, Level 1/77 York St, Sydney; 12–2:30 pm, 5:30–9.00 pm Phone: (02) 9262 1190 M: 0424 553 611 booking@goldclassdaruma.com.au·$120 – $150 per head Goldclassdaruma.com.au

Besuto

Besuto Omakase, Sydney Place precinct, 3 Underwood Street, Circular Quay. Omakase is available to book for dinner – Tuesday to Saturday. 5:30 pm & 8pm sittings. From $250. Besuto.com.au

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is no soy and wasabi offered during my omakase meal?
Even though sushi and sashimi are being served, the chef is serving each piece of sushi so quickly and directly that the chef is applying the wasabi and soy to the sushi themselves. Watch as they brush the top of the fish with soy and dab a tiny amount of wasabi on the rice, under the fish. You should not need to add extra, and in fact, it can be insulting to the chef to add more. Bathing the bottom of the rice of your sushi in soy sauce is considered bad manners, as it is seen as detracting from the flavour of the fish.

Nobu, Sydney

Can an omakase experience accommodate my dietary needs?
Although there is often little variation once the chef has set the daily menu, some customisation is possible. Advise the restaurant when you book and remind them of allergies or aversions again as you sit down. They will let you know when you book if your allergy is possible for the chef. Japanese menus feature a lot of seafood and dashi so accommodating a no seafood request can be genuinely tricky.

What are the golden rules for chopstick etiquette?
Use your chopstick holder in between eating, rather than putting chopsticks on your plate. Don’t use your chopsticks to gesticulate or point; if offering food to someone to try, never pass food directly from your chopsticks to theirs. Rather place the food onto a small plate and let them pick it up.
Never touch communal or shared food with your chopsticks. The longer, slightly larger chopsticks are like sharing cutlery, never put these in your mouth.

Without a menu, how can I know what I am eating during omakase?
Omakase is often a no-menu situation, and you are expected to try new things. Attending an omakase experience with an open, trusting mind yields the best results.
There are Wagyu and tempura omakase that reflect the chef’s personal predilections and training, but in a standard luxury omakase, the format will include a lot of freshly caught seafood and will usually kick off with a delicate appetiser. This will be followed by a sashimi and sushi course, a savoury egg custard (chawanmushi) with meat and seafood, a cooked or blow-torched market fish, a soup course, and dessert.

Can I talk to the chef during omakase? What is the protocol?
Guests at an omakase experience are welcome to ask questions of the chef; in fact, interacting with the chef is part of the experience. It is considered polite to ask questions or inquire about the food so they can explain.

What is best to pair with omakase  in terms of drinks?
In general, wine and sake are a perfect match for omakase. Aged fish and vinegar have strong umami flavours so depending on which course you enjoy, different wine and sake will pair well. Dry chilled sake is a great choice. Amazing sakes are imported into Australia, so trust the restaurant to advise you and take you on a sake journey at the same time.  If you don’t like sake, drinking chardonnay, a crisp young riesling, or even a dry complex Riesling is also totally acceptable. All three styles help bring out the flavour of the fish. Champagne can also be good. Try a blanc de blancs— 100% chardonnay —for a great way to start the meal. As you progress, remember that sake is good for dishes with a strong taste, such as uni and eel.

Nobu, Sydney

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The Sonos Ace Headphones Are Music to the Ears

The audio giant has (finally) revealed its foray in the personal listening category.

By Josh Bozin 20/06/2024

In the ever competitive market for premium headphones, few brands have captured the hearts (and ears) of audiophiles, professionals and enthusiasts alike. Bowers & Wilkins, Bose, Sony, and even Apple come to mind when debating great audio brands in 2024. Then there’s Sonos.

For over 20 years, the American audio manufacturer has been lauded for its high-end capabilities, particularly in a home setting; Sonos changed the game for the integration of home entertainment. But it had yet to venture into the realm of headphones.

Until now. Earlier this month, the company marked its long-awaited entry into the personal-listening category, with the launch of its highly anticipated Sonos Ace over-ear headphones.

“Fans have asked us for years to bring the Sonos experience to headphones,”says Patrick Spence, CEO of Sonos, “and we knew our first foray into the category needed to champion the type of innovation and sound experience Sonos has become synonymous with.”

Sonos

On paper, the Sonos Ace is an enticing proposition: a premium over-ear headphone featuring lossless and spatial audio, intuitive Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), and Aware Mode. Most appealing, however, might be its new immersive home theatre offering; the Sonos Ace can pair to compatible Sonos soundbars with just a tap of a button. The new TrueCinema technology, which arrives later this year, will precisely map your entertainment space and then render a complete surround sound system for an unparalleled listening experience.

Sonos

Retailing at $699, they aren’t exactly cheap, and there more affordable headphones that compete with Sonos in terms of audio output and high-fidelity sound. But where Sonos thrives is in the details. Available in  stealthy black and pure white, the Sonos Ace are sleek and stylish right out of the box. Sure, there is some resemblance to the Apple Air Max Pro—arguably its greatest rival in the over-ear headphone segment—but Sonos has also added its own design touches, and it’s clear the Ace was made to look and feel as good as it sounds.

Its distinctive, slim profile elegantly blends metal accents with a sleek matte finish, and thanks to the use of lightweight, premium materials like memory foam and vegan leather, you get an airy fit that isn’t overbearing, even after extensive use. The design of the Sonos Ace is also intuitive; tactile buttons make controlling the headset a cinch, and pairing with Apple or Android devices is also straightforward. The dedicated Sonos App is also helpful for customising (somewhat) your listening experience, from altering EQ to turning on certain capabilities, like Head Tracking.

Sonos

It does fall short on a couple of key fronts.  I was expecting more from the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) for over-ear headphones of this price point; there’s no way the ANC as it stands will filter out the sounds of a plane engine, for example. I also found the Sonos Ace has an issue, albeit subtle, with the mid-bass, which can sound muddy and lack punch at times.

But these are small nits. The Sonos Ace only adds to the company’s impressive standing as an unimpeachable innovator in the audio industry.

For more information, visit Sonos.

 

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