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.
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.
Where would Spanish cuisine be without the chorizo? This versatile smallgood lends its big flavours to South American stews, soups, and salads, not to mention the ultimate hot dog. Let the sizzling begin.
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.
Glamour, sophistication and luxury have arrived on the Peninsula, with a crack-team of staff assembled to make it a success.
Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.
Every year, we produce the Australian Hotel Guide to scout the country for the very best in hotels: from city to country, coast to coast, club sandwich to club sandwich. We check into reviewed hotels anonymously and pay our own way. What we experience at these top Australian addresses is the same as what you, our readers, would experience. No special treatment; no added extras. Just honest, informative reviews of the best hotel experiences around the country. It's time to get packing. Pick up a copy of our 2017 Hotel Guide with our June issue, out now.
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.
There's something faintly romantic about lychees. Beautiful and exotic, the dimpled crimson fruit evoke a distinctly Chinese image and always remind me of Maggie Cheung in her red cheongsam in Wong Kar-Wai's movie In the Mood for Love.
Peeling away the lychee's thin brittle "shell" reveals the smooth, white, translucent flesh, which is sweet, but has a delicate flavour. Silky yet firm, a perfectly ripe lychee bursts with juice under the tooth. I was tempted recently by a box of bright red lychees at the counter of an Asian grocer. I put them in a blue ceramic bowl to serve after dinner simply chilled in their shells - to eat them just as they are is a sensual pleasure. They were exquisitely perfumed and deeply refreshing.
Lychees originated in south-east China and grow in tropical and subtropical regions on large evergreen trees with long, lush green leaves. Here in Australia they grow from Far North Queensland down to northern New South Wales. Fortunately for us, this extensive growing region gives us a particularly long season, from November through to early April. And production here is expanding. A large number of trees have been planted, mostly in the northern Queensland sugarcane regions, where farmers are diversifying into other crops.
When lychees ripen, they turn bright red or red-pink. Their
brilliant colour quickly fades after harvesting and they go brown
within a few days, meaning the colour of the skin is a good
indicator of freshness. They should be kept chilled, partly because
they're particularly delicious when cold, but mostly because they
quickly deteriorate at room temperature. They last up to a week in
a plastic bag in the fridge.
Memories of tinned lychees served with vanilla ice-cream at your local Chinese restaurant may have turned you off the fruit for good. Alas, the enticing perfume and beautiful crunch of lychees is all but lost when they're canned, and the feel of lychees in the mouth is largely what it's all about. While I love the sweetness and fragrance of lychees, it's their exquisite silky texture I find most enjoyable. Pair them with something simple such as ice-cream (ideally, for me, my freshly made coconut ice-cream) to really appreciate them at their finest.
As splendid as they are in desserts, there are plenty of savoury uses for lychees, too, playing off the sweetness and that wonderful firm yet giving texture. It's not uncommon to see the fruit paired with duck or pork in South East Asian cuisine. In Thailand, for example, lychees appear in red duck curries, often in tandem with pineapple. Added just before serving, they make a refreshing contrast to the earthiness and heat of the dish.
Lychees also work very well with meats that have been roasted, sweetened and spiced or caramelised, such as Cantonese-style roast duck or char siu pork. Chef Geoff Lindsay serves pork spare ribs with a lychee and mint salad at his Melbourne restaurant, Dandelion. I like to make a simple salad of char siu pork with lychees, mint, Thai basil, bean sprouts and a nam prik dressing. I can also vouch for the uplifting powers of a salsa of finely diced mango, lychee and coriander teamed with grilled sambal prawns.
It might sound a bit girlie, but I also rather like lychees in cocktails. I love sitting up at the bar at Longrain with a Ping Pong, one of that fine establishment's signature drinks. It goes something like this: lychees with lime juice, passionfruit, lychee liqueur, lemon-infused vodka and ice. Cooling and delicious.
Working with tropical or Asian flavours such as mint, lime, coconut, mango, pineapple, chilli or star anise, it's hard to go wrong. At Cutler & Co., chef Andrew McConnell expands on this idea with a gorgeous dessert of fresh lychees, coconut tapioca with a hint of ras el hanout spice, coconut sorbet, aloe vera, and fresh ginger granita.
Miraculously, I've got a few lychees left over from my purchase earlier in the week. I'm thinking that tonight they'll make a fine dessert with almond milk custard, a star anise syrup and caramelised pineapple. If they last that long.
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