The Christmas issue

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

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 28th December, 2016 for your chance to win a share of $50,000!

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Top 35 recipes of 2016

2016 was all about slow-roasting, fresh pasta and comfort food. These are the recipes you clicked on most this year, counting back to number one.

Decadent chocolate dessert recipes for Christmas

13 of our most decadent chocolate recipes to indulge guests with this Christmas.

Christmas vegetarian recipes

The versatility of vegetarian dishes means they can be served alongside meat and seafood, or enjoyed simply as they are. With Christmas just around the corner, we’ve put together some of our favourite vegetarian recipes to appease both herbivores and carnivores alike.

Best travel destinations in 2017

We're thinking big for travelling in 2017 - and so should you. Will we see you sunrise at Java's 9th-century Borobudur Buddhist temple, across the table at Reykjavik's newest restaurants or swimming side-by-side with humpback whales off Western Australia's coast?

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.

What the GT team is cooking on Christmas Day

We don't do things by halves in the Gourmet office. These are the recipes we'll be cooking on the big day.

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.

Christmas ham recipes

The centrepiece of any Christmas feast, hams can be glazed with many ingredients. Here are our favourite combinations.

Bar of the year 2010: Gerald's Bar, Melbourne

Gerald Diffey has worked at and with some of Victoria's great names - Karen Martini, Rita Macali, Tansy Good and Stefano de Pieri among them - and has spread his affable charm wherever he's appeared. But it's at his small bar in Rathdowne Street, Carlton, propped next door to the pizza cacophony that is La Porchetta, that he seems to have distilled all that experience into one idiosyncratic, unique and thoroughly enjoyable package.

Gerald's Bar is not about crack mixology or voluminous lists of benchmark labels. The half-net curtains in the front window immediately put paid to any notions of cutting-edge design. Instead there's a stylish hominess to the surrounds. A turntable and valve-amp sit behind the bar under shelves bearing curious objets trouvés and a compact, carefully curated collection of quality booze that make this everything a grown-up could want in a watering hole.

One of Diffey's more recent ports of call before opening the bar was as sommelier at Stefano's, and the swarms of off-duty sommeliers and wine writers here speak well of the sort of things you're likely to find on-pour on any given day. Chefs, too, have claimed it as their own, whether it's Bar Lourinhã's Matt McConnell propping up the bar or Heston Blumenthal dropping by for a cheeky glass of absinthe downed to the strains of The Specials.

The Melbourne Wine Room's Karen Martini first worked with Diffey as a young apprentice, and describes him as a most likeable character with a story for every occasion. "He has always been cool," she says. "Maybe it's the constant mischievous twinkle in his eye that makes him so very welcoming a barman." Stefano de Pieri, another regular, likes the way the place feels. "You're surrounded by the objects of Gerald's past," he says. "Whether it's a pack of cards or a leaflet from the labour movement, they're displayed without affectation because they're Gerald." 

Perhaps Gerald's Bar's true charm lies in its inclusive nature. Everything on the wine list - a meticulously selected mix of Old and New World labels that steers clear of the obvious and the overpriced - is potentially available by the glass (whatever is ordered first becomes the by-the-glass selection for that evening). The food, cooked by Gerald, is simple, comforting and inexpensive and the eclectic vinyl selection always seems to include at least one track that will have you counting the beat. Best of all, Gerald's is a place where you feel as comfortable (and as welcome) on your own as in a group. And that is the sign of a bar that understands the true nature of bar-dom.

Gerald's Bar, 386 Rathdowne St, Carlton North, Vic, (03) 9349 4748

WORDS MICHAEL HARDEN PHOTOGRAPHY TIM JAMES

This article is from the September 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Hot Plates: Atlas Dining, Melbourne
08.12.2016
Alain Passard is coming to Australia
08.12.2016
Gilson opens in South Yarra, Melbourne
06.12.2016
Where to buy Christmas hams and glazes
05.12.2016
Behind Africola’s new look with James Brown of Mash Design
29.11.2016
Hot Plates: Ume Burger, Barangaroo
29.11.2016
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
The GT x STILY
Christmas Boutique is now open

The smallgoods, homewares, art and more from the pages of GT are now all under one roof, ready to take their place under the tree.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

You might also like...

Albert Street Food & Wine

Philippa Sibley may have left the building, but Albert St F...

Ananas Bar & Brasserie

With a soundtrack laden with dance beats and a dark, moody ...

Aravina Estate

The family-friendly nature of Aravina explains the terracot...

Assaggio

Assaggio's very red, very mod fit-out has undeniable flair,...

Aubergine

The grey-whiskered Ben Willis could pass for a maturing, bu...

Annie Smithers' Bistrot

Annie Smithers may have decamped for Du Fermier, but the bi...

Aquitaine Brasserie

The name is a nod to France's south-west gastronomic heartl...

Bacchus - Brisbane

Rydges doesn't exactly leap to mind when you think "complex...

Balla

Pronounce it "bah-la" for Piedmont-born artist and composer...

Balthazar

The mixing of business and pleasure comes second nature to ...

Boucher

Escargots, foie gras, bouillabaisse - the expected French s...

Carlton Wine Room

The relaxed ambience and witty, irreverent service may say ...

Celsius

A land of smoke and mirrors, Celsius is an urbane, nightclu...

Citron

Mark Newman's cassia beef cheek is the type of dish that ce...

Da Noi

While many chefs bang on about provenance, few can top Piet...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×