“The reason I opened Restaurant Orana was to highlight the connection and sophistication of indigenous Australian culture, their ingredients, and their connection to the land.”
Kangarilla marron cooked over hot coals with green ants and native honey; seared kangaroo with eucalyptus smoked potato, native elderberry, seaweed, and pandanus kombucha; and Set buffalo buttermilk with strawberry juice and strawberry eucalyptus.
There are so many aspects to Restaurant Orana that the dishes they present almost seem an afterthought. It’s a remarkable tour de force by Jock Zonfrillo to bring the nuances and flavours of native Australian produce to the table in a series of finely crafted and approachable tasting menus. The starting point is “alkoopina” – up to fifteen tasting dishes that surprise, provoke, educate, and thrill. Zonfrillo is fully immersed, citing the Nyul Nyul people from the Kimberley as his hero producers for their wild harvest jilungin tea, minmin, native lily tubers and gubinge (Kakadu plum).
Inspired by the indigenous Australian philosophy to heal and be healed by the land, his not-for-profit The Orana Foundation is busy collating a native food database to help create new food-based enterprises for indigenous communities.
Restaurant Orana, by the way, means “welcome” – and its presence, and effect, could not be more welcome.
“Dining at Orana is unlike dining anywhere else, not least because the graceful, harmonious dishes speak of a true sense of place.” goodfood.com.au
Drawing on the botanic gardens & local producers to create a unique dining experience