Corella takes flight into Gourmet Traveller Awards stratosphere | HerCanberra

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Corella takes flight into Gourmet Traveller Awards stratosphere

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Success has come quickly for a tiny bird-themed bolthole in Braddon with an Australian native bent.

It’s big news for new-kid-on-the-block Corella Bar and Restaurant which has been plucked from relative national obscurity to become a finalist in this year’s annual Gourmet Traveller 2022 Restaurant Awards.

Lockdowns last year prevented the 2020 awards from going ahead but Editor Joanna Hunkin says, “This year, our team of editors took on the challenge with gusto, eating their way around their states and navigating ever-changing restrictions to uncover the very best dining experiences to be found across Australia.”

Corella’s moody interiors. Credit: Ohboi Creative.

Corella is one of 10 venues vying for the coveted title of Best New Restaurant. Its nomination reads: “Trying to describe the difference between a wine bar and a restaurant is almost as difficult as defining ‘Australian cuisine’, but Canberra’s bright newcomer Corella takes a confident stab at both with its cheery wine-buddying plates sprinkled with hits of both native ingredients and nostalgia.”

“Nearby wineries and Australian distilleries are celebrated on the sharp drinks list; the clever cocktails evoking the same spirit as a menu that might include Davidson plum teriyaki, bush tomato balsamic and Bundy Rum ice-cream.”

Corella is owned by Wes Heincke and was created by the team behind Assembly, which is located just across the road. Wes said of the high-profile recognition, “It was a bit of a risk for us to do something like Corella. It was outside our comfort zone and to receive this recognition so early on in our existence is incredibly rewarding and quite humbling to be honest.

“For us it comes down to hard work and understanding your product – trying lots of different native ingredients and how they work with traditional-style cooking, finding balance and providing a delicious experience.”

Corella is a small venue, seating just 30 inside but with outdoor dining on its way. Somehow we feel that after today it’s going to be even harder to get a table once lockdown restrictions are eased and fine dining resumes across the city.

Brady Scholes and Wes Heincke. Photo by Ohboi Creative.

Find the full Gourmet Traveller list of finalists here, but we will all need to wait until 24 October for the winners to be announced online.

You can also read our write-up from when Corella first opened its doors back in April.

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