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Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.

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Mango recipes

Nothing says summer like mangoes. Go beyond the criss-cross cuts - bake a mango-filled meringue loaf with lime mascarpone, start off the day with a sweet coconut quinoa pudding with sticky mango, or toss it through a spicy warm weather Thai salad.

Chilled recipes for summer

When the mercury is rising, step away from the oven. These recipes are either raw, chilled or frozen and will cool you down in a snap.

Shark Bay Wild Scampi Caviar

Bright blue scampi roe is popping up on menus across Australia. Here's why it's so special.

Dark chocolate delice, salted-caramel ganache and chocolate sorbet

"The delice from Source Dining is a winner. May I have the recipe?" Rebecca Ward, Fitzroy, Vic REQUEST A RECIPE To request a recipe, email fareexchange@bauer-media.com.au or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.

Summer feta recipes

Whether in a fresh salad or seasonal seafood dish, feta's creamy tang can be used to add interest to a variety of summer dishes.

Koh Loy Sriracha Sauce, David Thompson's favourite hot sauce

When the master of Thai food pinpoints anything as his favourite, we sit up and listen.

Paul Carmichael's great cake

"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

Gifts under $100 at our pop-up Christmas Boutique

Whether it's a hand-thrown pasta bowl, a bottle of vodka made from sheep's whey or a completely stylish denim apron, our pop-up Christmas Boutique in collaboration with gift shop Sorry Thanks I Love You has got you covered in the $100 and under budget this Christmas.

Where to eat right now

Mad Cow, Sydney
You can read the full review for all the details but, for those with appetites bigger than their attention spans, here’s the word: high-stakes steaks in a room with a look that owes more to The Love Boat than Peter Luger. The disposition and clothing of the staff, and the volume and selection of music, say fun and whimsy but the wine list (and bill) say that there’s some muscle under the hood here, and some smarts, too.
Mad Cow, Ivy, 320-330 George St, Sydney, NSW, (02) 9240 3000.

Fish & Wine, Coolangatta
The Gold Coast has moved up in the food world but for all the hype about places like Absynthe and Vanitas, there’s still not much good in between them. Enter Fish & Wine. Proprietor Dean Sammut traded kitchen whites at Canberra’s award-winning Artespresso for a front-of-house role at this very casual beach-bar restaurant. Tasting the incredible beer-battered bream and chips served here in a cone, it’s no surprise to learn Sammut worked with Steve Hodges, of Sydney’s Fish Face fame. Amazingly, Fish and Wine’s version might be, dare we say it, even better, and the rest of the menu follows suit.
Shop 6, Reflections Tower, 2 Marine Pde, Coolangatta, Qld, (07) 5536 7775.

Divido, Perth (pictured)
A little over three years ago, Jason Jujnovich opened the doors of his first restaurant in downtown Mount Hawthorn, doing wood-fired pizza and modern-Italian diner fare, much of it inspired by his time with Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray of The River Cafe. A complete revamp in 2007 saw Jujnovich get serious about the decor at last. The wood-fired oven is still there but, these days, it’s used to roast meat, not pizza. There’s also a quirky, balanced wine list, which hits all the right notes. Jujnovich has a good sense of what works. Consider braised cotechino sausage served with a fragrant  stew of Puy-style lentils. With some good bread, a glass of something unpronounceable and a dollop of lemony salsa verde on the side, it’s about as good as it gets.
Divido, 170 Scarborough Beach Rd, Mount Hawthorn, WA, (08) 9443 7373.

Royal Mail, Dunkeld
Picture, if you will, the year 2007: the wealthy, wine-loving owner of a rather smart hotel in country Victoria finds himself thinking he needs a chef to complement his vast wine list. Meanwhile, a Melbourne-born cook leaves one of Europe’s most talked about and innovative restaurants only to find himself at something of a loose end. It might sound too good to be true but, more than six months down the track, the proof really is in the (deconstructed, rare flower-garnished) pudding. In Dan Hunter, the Royal Mail Hotel has found the captain to pilot it confidently into the unknown waters of being a destination restaurant. In the Royal Mail, the Mugaritz-trained Hunter finds a welcoming home for his talents and a patron with the vision and inclination to support his endeavours. Worth a detour? And how.
Royal Mail Hotel, Glenelg Hwy (Parker St), Dunkeld, Vic, (03) 5577 2241, www.royalmail.com.au.

The Wine Underground, Adelaide
The Wine Underground, which has now reopened since an arsonist destroyed the restaurant’s original building in 2005, is causing a mild sensation in the heart of Adelaide. Much has changed after the rebuilding, there’s now a bistro and a bar at street level to complement the dining room. Today John Gabel and Cindy Halasz are at the stoves. The dining space is now brighter and whiter, and the menu embraces some extravagant touches with confidence; a delicately flavoured foie gras brulée to start; buttered Kangaroo Island lobster with ponzu dressing, sushi rice and wakame; main of lamb rack with a garlic pearl barley risotto and labne; dessert of Bollinger sorbet topped with toffee. Nice.
Wine Underground 121 Pirie St, Adelaide, SA, (08) 8232 1222, www.wineunderground.com.au.

WORDS JANE CORNES, FIONA DONNELLY, SUE DYSON & ROGER MCSHANE, JOHN LETHLEAN, PAT NOURSE AND DAVID SLY PHOTOGRAPHY MICHAEL CHESTNUTT

This article appeared in the April 2008 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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