Healthy Eating

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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Aløft

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. 

Secret Tuscany

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.

Farro recipes

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

Brae

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.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

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.

Discovering Macedonia

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.

Wonton soup with Sichuan red oil and black vinegar chilli sauce


This wonderful soup has light clean flavours delivered with a punch from the Sichuan red chilli oil, hong you. It may seem like a lot of chilli oil, but once you've tried it you'll be serving it with everything. Begin this recipe a day ahead to infuse the oil.

You'll need

150 gm coarsely minced pork 100 gm uncooked prawns, peeled, cleaned, finely chopped 4 shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped 2 spring onions (white part only), finely chopped 15 gm ginger, finely grated, plus 2 tbsp julienned 1 tsp Shaoxing wine 1 tsp sesame oil 1 egg, lightly beaten 2 tsp cornflour 32 wonton wrappers 1.5 litres (6 cups) chicken stock 60 ml (¼ cup) soy sauce 1 tsp sesame oil 300 gm (1½ bunches) Chinese broccoli, trimmed   Sichuan red oil 250 ml (1 cup) vegetable oil 10 gm Sichuan peppercorns 15 gm ginger, thinly sliced 2 dried long red chillies 1 garlic clove, bruised 1 spring onion, trimmed, split lengthways 1 star anise 1 each green and black cardamom pod, split ½ piece cassia bark ½ tbsp coriander seeds 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes ½ tbsp ground chilli, or to taste   Black vinegar chilli sauce 2 tbsp Chinkiang vinegar 2 tbsp soy sauce 2 tsp finely grated ginger 1 tsp sesame oil 1 tsp caster sugar 1 garlic clove, finely grated

Method

  • 01
  • For Sichuan red oil, combine oil and Sichuan peppercorns and stand at room temperature to infuse (8 hours or overnight). Combine infused oil and peppercorns with ginger, chillies, garlic, spring onion, star anise, cardamom, cassia and coriander seeds in a saucepan and place over low heat to infuse (1 hour; don’t let the oil get too hot), then set aside to cool. Place chilli flakes in a jar or bowl, carefully strain oil over, through a fine sieve (discard spices), season with 1 tsp sea salt flakes and set aside to infuse (at least 4 hours). Makes about 300ml. Sichuan red oil will keep refrigerated for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
  • 02
  • For black vinegar chilli sauce, combine 2-3 tbsp Sichuan red oil with vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, sugar and garlic in a bowl, and set aside until required.
  • 03
  • Mix pork, prawn, shiitake, spring onion, grated ginger, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, egg and cornflour in a bowl to combine well and season to taste. Working with a few wonton wrappers at a time, keeping remaining covered with a teal towel, place ½ tablespoonfuls of mixture in the centre of each wrapper, brush edges lightly with water then fold to form a triangle, press edges to seal, pushing out any air. Bring 2 corners of the longest edge together, squeeze to seal, then place on a tray lined with baking paper, cover with a tea towel and repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.
  • 04
  • Bring stock, soy sauce, julienned ginger and sesame oil to the simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat and season to taste.
  • 05
  • Cook Chinese broccoli in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender and bright green (2-3 minutes), then drain.
  • 06
  • Cook wontons in a saucepan of simmering water in batches until they float and are cooked through (2-3 minutes). Divide among serving bowls with Chinese broccoli and hot broth, spoon Sichuan red oil over and serve hot with black vinegar chilli sauce.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Perfumed, hoppy India Pale Ale.

Featured in

Aug 2014

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