We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.
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We asked our favourite confectioners and cafe owners from around the country for their hottest tips.
Sydneysiders revive a landmark restaurant in country New South Wales.
You’ve got another chance at last winter’s sell-out drop from Four Pillars.
A bar for art’s sake pops up at Semi Permanent.
Attica chef Ben Shewry has been thinking about your buttocks, and wants to introduce them to an Australian design classic.
Charleston, the antebellum jewel of the Carolina coast, has embraced its Lowcountry roots, writes Shane Mitchell, and now shines anew.
Our June issue is out now, and it's all about breakfast. Pat Nourse kicks things off with his editor's letter.
Andrew McConnell’s Cantonese-inspired restaurant will become a classroom for a night during the Emerging Writers’ Festival.
There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet.
Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.
Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.
Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.
Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.
A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.
This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.
Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.
Fish sauce, or nuoc nam in Vietnamese, is at once a condiment, a dipping sauce and a flavour added to Vietnamese soups and noodle dishes. And just as a wine's quality is judged on bouquet, colour, finish and "legs" on the glass, so, too, is that of fish sauce.
While you're still laughing, here's the bad news: the Vietnamese fish sauce you've been cooking with in Australia is probably the wine aficionado's equivalent of cat's pee. That's because Vietnam will not export the good stuff, keeping it all for the demanding domestic market.
There's precious little you can do about it, though. Except, perhaps, look closely next time you're in the arrivals hall. That Vietnamese lady who staggers through customs under the weight of that cardboard box is, more than likely, carrying a dozen bottles of Vietnam's finest for her friends and relations back here.
What you pick up at the supermarket or the Asian grocer is unlikely to be good quality. It has probably been made by a process of hydrolysis, whereby artificial colouring and acid have been added to enhance fermentation.
Real fish sauce takes time. The good stuff is made by fermenting long-jawed anchovies. The fish are thoroughly washed and placed into large earthenware or wooden vats that have been lined with sea salt. They are topped with more salt (roughly three parts salt to one part fish) and a large bamboo mat, weighted with rocks, is placed on top. The fish and salt are then covered with mosquito netting and the is vat sealed, before being left for several months.
The natural fermentation process draws the liquid from the fish. This is the beginning of nuoc nam, the literal translation of which is "fish water". The fish mixture is, from time to time, exposed to direct sunlight. Finally, it is strained, placed in a clean vat and allowed to air for several weeks to remove any lingering "fishy" smell.
This first draining is not unlike like the first pressing of a good olive oil - as close to pure as possible. The label of a quality sauce will say "ca com" - an indication that anchovies have been used. It will also indicate the protein level (40% is the highest available) in the sauce. Oh yes - a good fish sauce is pressed after the tops of the vats have been removed and the mixture exposed to three consecutive full moons.
Inferior sauces are made from second or third distillations,
after salt water has been added to the slurry left from the first
If you tip a little of the good stuff into a wine glass, swirl it and hold it up to the light, it will cling to the glass and roll evenly down the sides - it's got legs. It should have a non-cloudy caramel colour and no acidic or fishy after-taste.
This article was published on Gourmettraveller.com.au in June 2009.
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