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Noma Australia: the first review

Curious about the hype surrounding Noma Australia? Pat Nourse heads to lunch and delivers the first verdict...

Lebanese-style snapper

"This dish is Lebanese-peasant done fancy with all the peasant-style flavours you'll find in Lebanese cooking, but with a beautiful piece of fish added," says Bacash. "The trick to not overcooking fish is to be aware that it cooks from the outside inwards and the centre should only cook until it's warm, not hot. If it gets hot in the middle, it will become overcooked from the residual heat. It takes a little practise getting to know this - be conscious of the inside of the fish and not the outside. Until you get it right, you can always get a little paring knife and peek inside the flesh when you think it's ready; it won't damage it too much."

Coleslaw

"Store-bought and pre-cut coleslaws, and bottled dressings have given the humble slaw a lacklustre rep over the years," says Stone. "Taking a little time (just 10 minutes!) to whip one up yourself reminds us why this salad became popular in the first place. This creamy, crunchy coleslaw comes together in a pinch and can be piled atop a thick piece of brisket or served as a side."

Prego rolls

"This is a Mozambican specialty and one of the foods that changed my life in terms of African cuisine," says Duncan Welgemoed. "The best spot to get a prego roll in South Africa is the Radium Beerhall. It's run by my godfather, Manny, and is the oldest pub in Jo'burg. The meats are grilled out the back by Mozambican staff and are still done the same way today as they were 30 years ago." Start this recipe a day ahead to marinate the beef.

Green salad with vinaigrette

"Our seven-year-old, Arwen, has been making this vinaigrette since she was five - she tastes it as she goes," says Levy Redzepi. "It's fresh and acidic and as good as the leaves. Frillice lettuce is crunchy but it's thin so it's like a perfect mix of cos and iceberg."

Fast Chinese Recipes

If you’re looking for quick and spicy dishes to celebrate Chinese New Year, we have the likes of kung pao chicken, ma po beancurd, XO pipis with Chinese broccoli and plenty more fire and crunch here.

Curried young coconut salad with sorrel

"This subtle salad acts like a palate-cleanser alongside the more intensely spiced meats and vegetables at an African barbecue," says Welgemoed.

Clementine, Yass

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country right now.

Steamed eggplant Shandong-style


You'll need

3-4 Japanese eggplant (about 900gm), rinsed and stalks removed (see note) 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds, or to taste (see note) 1/3 cup (firmly packed) coriander leaves, coarsely chopped 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic chives   Roasted sesame dressing 2 tbsp sesame oil 2 tbsp light soy sauce 1 tbsp rice vinegar 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine 1 tbsp roasted sesame paste (see note) 1 tsp white sugar 1 tsp chilli oil, or to taste 1 large garlic clove, finely minced

Method

  • 01
  • Place eggplant in a single layer in a bamboo steamer basket over a saucepan or wok of boiling water and steam until limp and wrinkled (15-20 minutes). Cool and cut into chunks and chill or keep at room temperature.
  • 02
  • For roasted sesame dressing, combine ingredients in a bowl and stir until sugar dissolves. Just before serving, pour dressing over eggplant, toss lightly to coat, scatter with sesame seeds, coriander and garlic chives and serve immediately.
Note If using Mediterranean eggplant, halve lengthways, sprinkle cut-side lightly with salt and stand for 30 minutes. Rinse and dry using absorbent paper before steaming. Roasted sesame seeds are available from Asian grocers. Alternatively, you can dry-roast sesame seeds in a pan until light golden. Roasted sesame paste is a Chinese-style sesame paste that is available from Asian grocers.

This fabulous cold salad is often eaten during the stifling hot summer months in north China. But it’s so delicious that it is also perfect as a winter starter. Traditionally, the eggplant is steamed and served with a piquant roasted sesame sauce, but sometimes I’ve roasted it for that smoky flavour. I’ve seen this salad presented in chunks, in strips or puréed. I prefer the slender Japanese eggplants but the common Mediterranean variety is also good. — Tony Tan

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Semillon sauvignon blanc.

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