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New spring recipes

It’s the restaurant issue, so whether you bend the rules or take it old-school, spring is looking full of flavour. Here's a preview of the recipes.

Neil Perry's guide to Hong Kong

Neil Perry takes Maggie Scardifield on a whistle-stop tour of his best-loved haunts in one of his favourite cities.

Introducing Peter Gilmore's Bennelong cheese toastie

What does an Opera House-worthy $22 cheese toastie look like? In a word, cheesy.

Top 10 Sydney Restaurants 2014

Looking for the best restaurants in Sydney? Here are the top ten Sydney restaurants from our 2014 Australian Restaurant Guide.

2016 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards winners

Pull up a chair, unfurl some linen, reach for a fork and raise a glass as we present the winners of the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards.

Bennelong, Sydney restaurant review

Bennelong is back and better than ever with a definitively Australian menu, stellar crew and fit-out worthy of its architectural origins, writes Pat Nourse.

Classic Italian Recipes

Gochugaru? Nope. Soy sauce? Not here. While there's nothing wrong with the new Italian, sometimes you just feel like a classic. Check out our slideshow for everything from chicken cacciatore to ragu alla Bolognese.

Braised kale with mascarpone polenta

This is a beautifully hearty vegetarian dish, but if you're feeling more carnivorous, you could add some good pork sausage to the mix - squeeze a couple of sausages out of their skins, break into chunks and add to the pan when the onion is almost cooked.

MoVida fiesta

We'd best be clear about this from the start: the recipes in our December issue's MoVida food feature are not a thoroughly traditional Spanish Christmas menu. One of the first things Frank Camorra mentioned when we started talking Christmas Español was whole boiled red cabbage. It makes sense in wintertime in Madrid, he said, but - like the braises and other seriously gutsy, fortifying dishes served in December in Spain - it probably wouldn't win too many friends Down Under. "So I've picked some dishes that are classic, but also things that I like to eat in summer, whether it's at Christmas or entertaining," he says. "They're dishes that make for a great way to have fun at the table, because you're sharing all the food and it's tactile, and it's easy to prepare, too."

Given that the MoVida brand's success is more or less based on the idea of flexibility and accessibility, underpinned by a certain Spanish finesse, it clicks. We're talking to Camorra and his business partner Andy McMahon at the latest expansion of that brand, its first outside Victoria - MoVida Sydney, on Holt Street in Surry Hills. It opened in October to packed services, and demand has scarcely let up since.

"We've enjoyed a stack of Sydneysiders coming down over the years and beating down the doors," says McMahon. "When we kicked off here in Sydney we wanted to provide an experience that was very much like the original restaurant: intimate, warm, fun, accessible." Sydney, in other words, already had a taste for the MoVida magic - all it needed was a venue.

"We didn't want to reinvent the wheel," says Camorra. "You go and see a band you really love, and if they don't play their hits, then you're pretty disappointed. We're still evolving, we're still doing new records, and the food will change - the climate's different up here, and maybe people will expect slightly different things - but generally it's going to be what people want."

And what of Christmas Day back home? A classic Christmas Day at McMahon's house, he says, would involve lots of Champagne, lots of seafood, laughs, tears, the occasional fistfight. "It's great fun, that Irish way of life - putting on a lot and seeing where the day takes you."

Camorra, meanwhile, says that for him and his partner, Vanessa Hodge, it's now about rediscovering Christmas through the eyes of their two young children and making time for family. "We like to have people outside, a bit of fun, keep the food very simple. As Andy said, it's about where the day takes you. And there's a nap involved there somewhere."

MoVida Sydney, 50 Holt St, Surry Hills, NSW, (02) 8964 7642

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Alessandro Pavoni, Ormeggio, Sydney
03.09.2015
Barrio Collective, Canberra
31.08.2015
Missy French, Sydney
28.08.2015
Peter Gilmore's $22 cheese toastie
27.08.2015
Stray Neighbour, Preston
27.08.2015
Manuka Woodfire Kitchen, Perth
26.08.2015
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