Best Sake List

HARBOURSIDE BAR & KITCHEN, QLD

Harbourside Bar & Kitchen

209-217 The Esplanade, Cairns, QLD
(07) 4080 3000
harboursidebarandkitchen.com.au

CUISINE Tropical Interpretations of World Food
WINE LIST Chris Ford
WINEs ON LIST 940 (26 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($26-$10 by the glass)

The stellar list at Harbourside in Cairns offers a broad and convincing selection, which takes the natural concept – some are even organic – and runs with it. Experienced sake-lovers and newbies will find something to enjoy in this quirky, ambitious and enjoyable list.

CHRISTINE PARKINSON

Finalists

Ishizuka

Level B01/139 Bourke St, Melbourne, Vic
(03) 8594 0895
ishizuka.com.au

CUISINE Japanese
WINE LIST Sarah and David Lawler
WINEs ON LIST 41 (27 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $$ ($49-$10 by the glass)

Another strong list from last year's joint Best Small List (under 50) winner with 41 handpicked wines from Australia and Europe that play beautifully to the restaurant's theme of "lightness, finesse and purity." Aromatic and unwooded whites lead the way and in reds it's all about medium-bodied, cool-climate lighter styles dominated by the pinot noir grape. And, of course, sake is a real feature.

Akiba

40 Bunda St, Civic
(02) 6162 0602
akiba.com.au

CUISINE  Asian Fusion
WINE LIST Fraser Pollard
wines ON LIST 23 (18 by the glass)
WINE PRICES $ ($13-$10 by the glass)

Akiba offers an affordable selection, comprised of smaller producers with a nod to local makers, plus a concise list of craft beers from tap and bottle, and a tidy cocktail selection if you want to play up. What sets Akiba’s drinks list apart is a remarkable selection of sake. It’s an impressive collection that revels a deep-seated passion for sake’s subtle shapes and forms. Spirits also feature prominently, with Japanese whisky taking pride of place. A knowledge and love of all things Japanese defines this uniquely unexpected collection.