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Ten of the best: pork belly dishes

Crisp roasted pork belly, Fish and Wine, Coolangatta, Qld
Chef Dean Sammut wowed Canberra diners at Artespresso before seachanging to this beachside locale at the end of 2007, and will be offering his ultra-crisp steamed-then-roasted signature as a winter special, most likely with roast apple and cabbage. Don't miss it.

Rare-breed pig belly with a gentle braise of green-lipped abalone, handmade silken tofu, Japanese mushrooms and chive flowers, Quay, Sydney, NSW
Quay's chef Peter Gilmore is pork belly royalty, having been credited with popularising the neo-classic combination of scallops and belly. Here he takes the surf and turf angle in a different, yet equally winning direction.

Slow-cooked pork belly in shimeji mushroom congee, Verge, Melbourne, Vic
Garnished with nori and on a mission to rock your tastebuds, this Dallas Cuddy creation combines Japanese and Chinese influences to great effect.

Western Plains pork loin with slow-cooked pork belly and seared scallops, Bridgewater Mill, Petaluma, SA
Le Tu Thai only offers this very attractive dish on Sundays, but with the scallops wrapped in pancetta and Northern Summit cherry vinegar forming the dressing, it's well worth seeking out.

Roast pork, Four Seasons Roasting Duck Restaurant, Northbridge, WA (375 William St, 08 9228 9883)
Tim Ha rubs Linley Valley free-range pork with salt, five spice powder, sugar and a little vinegar and roasts it in a very hot purpose-built oven for around an hour. The result: golden, bubbled skin and all that oozy fat and tender flesh beneath which sells for bugger all.

Double-cooked Kurobuta pork belly with black pudding and apple and elderflower purée, Aria, Sydney, NSW
The latest incarnation of this some-time Aria signature sees the old country English marriage of apple and elderflower add perfume to a perfect chock of crunchy-topped pork.

Scallops on pork belly fondant with candied chillies and burnt ruby grapefruit butter, Vanitas, Gold Coast, Qld
Steve Szabo takes the scallops-and-belly combo in a new direction with bright flavours to cut the richness.

Crisp pork belly stir-fried with Chinese broccoli, Spice I Am, Surry Hills, Sydney
A Cantonese-leaning hit from the inner city Thai favourite, this dish nonetheless features plenty of the hot red chilli the restaurant is famous for.

Pork belly with chestnut mushrooms, potato purée, nutmeg and red wine jus, Restaurant Manx, Hamilton, Qld
One of Brisbane's hottest new (ish) restaurants presents its pork belly in a more traditional European context.

Roast pork loin and pressed pork belly on slow-cooked barley and cauliflower, Gills Diner, Melbourne, Vic (360 Little Collins Street, 03 9670 7214)
A thyme-enriched jus makes a fragrant finish for this rustic, hearty offering at one of Melbourne's more interesting new arrivals.



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