Amazing Regional Cuisines That Are Worlds Away From Their Homelands
Including Korean in L.A., Middle Eastern in London, and Italian in Sydney.
London's Levantine Craze
When Yotam Ottolenghi opened his first café in 2002, Middle Eastern food in London meant falafel and hummus. Not anymore. Hot on the heels of Ottolenghi’s fourth namesake project—a café-bar in Spitalfields (entrées $16–$23)—is Sesame (entrées $5–$19), Ottolenghi alumnus Noam Bar’s updated ode to the smoking grills of the eastern Mediterranean. At Soho’s Palomar (above; entrées $10–$29), the founders of Jerusalem’s buzzy Machneyuda serve dishes like pork-belly tagine, and the mod-Kosher menu at Zest (entrées $20–$57) has wowed critics all over town. —Emily Mathieson
David Chang and Roy Choi laid the groundwork for modern Korean cooking in America—and now the next breed of young, ambitious chefs has emerged. Rachel Yang recently opened Trove (below; entrées $7–$14), in Seattle, where the pork-and-kimchi dumpling dipped in caraway chili oil is already a cult favorite. Jiyeon Lee, a former Korean pop star, runs the show at Sobban (entrées $14–$20), in Decatur, Georgia, turning out shrimp and rice grits with miso-kimchi kale. Former Momofuku cook Deuki Hong is New York’s rising star: his Koreatown spot Baekjeong (entrées $26–$39) showcases inventive barbecue cuts like pork collar. —Matt Rodbard
Modern Italian in Sydney
Australia’s largest city may have outdone Rome and Milan in creating envelope-pushing Italian food. Chef Federico Zanellato’s Parmesan chawanmushi—inspired by savory Japanese custard—at LuMi (below; tasting menus from $73) is a dazzling Exhibit A. Across town, old-school hip-hop sets the stage at Acme (entrées $6–$18), where kimchi is the surprising, umami-laden ingredient in the maltagliati pasta with cured pork jowl. And at 10 William St. (entrées $19–$22), kingfish crudo dipping sauce incorporates artisan-made Italian wine. — Pat Nourse