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Coffee culture: A history

Australia’s love affair with coffee is stronger than ever; it’s become a way of life. But exactly how did a beverage manage to shape our country’s culture?

Tarta de Santiago

"Gordita makes a splendid version of the Galician almond cake Tarta de Santiago, with its dramatic design. Would you please publish the recipe?" Michael MacDermott, Taringa, Qld REQUEST A RECIPE To request a recipe, email fareexchange@bauer-media.com.au or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.

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When you're in need of rejuvenation, there's nothing better than a warming bowl of curry, whether it's gently spiced potato and egg, a punchy Jamaican goat number or an elaborate Burmese fish curry. Here are our favourite recipes.

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Bread and butter pudding

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GT reader dinner: Spice I Am, Sydney

Sujet Saenkham, Spice I Am

Sujet Saenkham, Spice I Am

Sydney Thai favourite Spice I Am welcomes us for a home-style feast, made for sharing.

Spice I Am chef Sujet Saenkham knows a thing or two about home-style Thai cooking: he's built an institution out of it, and has sure had plenty of practice. In a small village south-west of Bangkok, way before he'd even dreamed of owning five restaurants in Sydney, Saenkham developed his understanding of flavour, balance and - you guessed it - spice, preparing meals for his rice-farming family.

"I'm the oldest, so I learned from my mother how to look after everyone," he says. "Now I pass what she taught me on to my family, my staff and our guests at the restaurant."

For this month's reader dinner, Saenkham presents his favourite dishes from his new cookbook, Spice I Am. They span central and north-eastern Thailand, as well as southern-style family recipes learned in Phuket.

For GT readers, Saenkham will kick things off with country-style fishcakes followed by minced pork with rice noodles in broth, then a ginger, roasted coconut, crushed cashew nut and pork-floss salad.

Part of the fun of Thai food is sharing it - and both the slow-cooked beef curry and signature wok-tossed pork belly call for exactly that. A finale of steamed coconut rice pudding makes the perfect complement to the tang and spice of this Fine Dining Lovers event.

Join us for dinner at 7pm on Monday 18 May at Spice I Am, 296/300 Victoria St, Darlinghurst, NSW. The cost of $120 per person includes wines by the glass, S.Pellegrino and Aqua Panna waters, and a $10 donation to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. To book, call (02) 9332 2445. For more on the OCRF, call 1300 OVARIAN or visit ocrf.com.au.

Spice I Am menu
Siam Passion cocktail

* Alto mixed olives
* Thai fishcake with holy basil
* Miniature vegetarian curry puff
Singha beer

* Phuket-style fish curry in banana leaf
* Minced pork and rice noodle broth with steamed pork roll
2013 Pacha Mama Riesling, Victoria

* Salad of pork floss, ginger, coconut, cashew nuts and Chinese broccoli
2013 Nigl Grüner Veltliner, Krems
* Fried king prawn with tamarind sauce
2013 Te Kairanga Runholder Pinot Noir, Martinborough

* Phuket-style curry of cod, Thai black mushroom and betel leaf
* Slow-cooked beef green curry with eggplant
2012 Domaine Pichot Vouvray, Loire Valley
* Stir-fried pork belly with chilli jam
2012 Solar Viejo Tempranillo, Rioja

* Steamed rice pudding

SPONSORED BY FINE DINING LOVERS

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