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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."

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.

Oyster dipping sauce

"To me, eating raw things is integral to any good meal, especially during a barbecue in summer," says Rene Redzepi. "You can do it with oysters on the half-shell with a bit of lemon juice, or something like this sauce. It's a perfect start - rich, fresh, creamy, with the crunch from the raw vegetables and a lot of acidity from the parsley, vinegar, and all these things that give brightness."

Corn salad with prawn salt

"Corn, or mielies, is an essential part of African eating," says Welgemoed. "It's a staple across the continent and is used in different forms as an accompaniment for the majority of meals."

Mezze


You'll need

  Lemon, honey and fennel pork skewers 1 kg piece of boneless female pork belly, cut into 2cm pieces 125 gm honey 2 lemons, juice only 2 tsp crushed fennel seeds 12 vine leaves in brine, drained, halved   Haydari 500 gm sheep’s milk yoghurt 1/3 cup finely chopped dill 55 gm (1/3 cup) finely chopped walnuts 1 tbsp finely chopped mint 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 garlic clove, finely chopped   Köfte 400 gm each finely minced lean beef and lean lamb 75 gm fine fresh breadcrumbs ½ cup finely chopped mint 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 tbsp dried oregano 1 tsp each ground cumin and ground coriander Large pinch chilli powder   Cucumber salad 2 tbsp caramelised red wine vinegar (see note) 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 tbsp honey 2 Lebanese cucumber, peeled ¼ cup each (firmly packed) chervil, dill and flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • For lemon, honey and fennel pork skewers, combine pork, honey, lemon juice and fennel seeds in a non-reactive dish. Season liberally with freshly ground black pepper and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for haydari, place yoghurt in a fine sieve over a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to drain. Discard drained liquid and transfer yoghurt to a bowl. Add remaining ingredients, season to taste and refrigerate until required.
  • 03
  • Drain pork and thread 3 pieces onto a skewer, separating each with a folded piece of vine leaf. Refrigerate until required. Makes about 12 skewers.
  • 04
  • For köfte, combine ingredients in a bowl. Fry a small amount of mixture in a small non-stick pan to check for seasoning, then season mix to taste and roll mixture into golf-sized balls. Makes about 26.
  • 05
  • Preheat a barbecue or char-grill pan over medium-high heat. Cook skewered pork and köfte, turning occasionally until cooked through (15 minutes).
  • 06
  • For cucumber salad, combine ingredients in a bowl and toss until honey dissolves. Serve with köfte, pork skewers and haydari.
Note Caramelised red wine vinegar is available from select delicatessens. If unavailable, substitute with a good-quality cabernet sauvignon vinegar.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Assyrtiko, a crisp Greek white, or a crisp, dry Hunter semillon.

Featured in

Jan 2009

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