Seasonal food from local supplies is the remit for this modern Australian eatery inside a grand 1870s corner building. Done up with art deco touches and exposed brick, the name is an homage to Ballarat’s first restaurateur, John Alloo, who opened a restaurant on the newly minted goldfields in 1854.
It’s a local favourite, and the casual restaurant shapeshifts effortlessly from breakfast to lunch to dinner, becoming Johnnys After Dark on Friday and Saturday nights.
Chef Andy Gale trained at the Michelin-starred Chez Bruce restaurant in London and works with local growers and foragers to showcase the region’s produce.
For dinner, the chef’s five-course tasting menu ($75 per person) is the pick. Expect dishes such as Murray cod with artichoke puree; ham hock croquettes with salsa verde; pork belly with burnt apple, miso puree, gorgonzola, sorrel and fennel; and salted organic kale with black garlic vinaigrette.
Breakfast is a lively affair; the room fills up quickly on weekends. Try the anchovy chilli scramble or The Tradesman (otherwise known as a gourmet bacon and egg roll). Coffee is from Sensory Lab and Wood & Co.
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