Woodpecker Hill is a finalist in the Metro Peugeot Restaurant of the Year 2019 awards for Best Casual Restaurant. To see a full rundown of all our winners, click here.
Parnell didn’t know what hit it when Woodpecker Hill opened a few years ago – the place heralded a long-overdue renaissance on the flutey dining strip. It’s wild inside: think Balinese villa meets country club, a wonderful mashup of timber, ceramics and, ah, plaid. Head chef Che Barrington’s menu is equally loud – low and slow American-style barbecue hitched to broadly south-eastern flavours: fabulous curries with great mountains of fresh herbs, slow-cooked and smoky with pungent, acidic flavours of ginger, lemongrass and Vietnamese mint. We’re very fond of the 14-hour smoked brisket, cooked into submission and served with lemongrass, chilli and galangal, and we also like their authentic green papaya salad. Cocktails are excellent, as is the wine list — though with some of the dishes you might want to drink beer (and they have a good range of those too.) Be sure to book: it’s full every night.
What it offers: Shared-plate options / Good for vegetarians / Outdoor dining / Takes large groups / Bar
A favourite dish: Dry red curry of duck, stir-fried with ginger, snake beans, chilli and cashews
Hours: Lunch, Dinner 7 days
Chef: Che Barrington
196 Parnell Rd