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Cruise control: Captain Kent of the Emerald Princess

We caught up with Princess Cruises’ Captain William Kent to talk life on deck, sailing the Red Sea and how to spend 24 hours in Venice.

Midnight in Melbourne style

After-dark glamour calls for monochrome elegance with accents of red and the glimmer of bling. Martinis await.

Recipes by David Thompson

Thai food maestro David Thompson returns to the Sydney restaurant scene with the opening of Long Chim, a standard-bearer for Thailand’s robust street food. Fiery som dtum is just the beginning.

Reader dinner: Quay, Sydney

Join us at Quay for a specially designed dinner by Peter Gilmore to celebrate the launch of the new Gourmet Traveller cookbook.

GT's party hamper

We’ve partnered again with our friends at Snowgoose to bring you the ultimate party hamper. With each item selected by the Gourmet Traveller team, it’s all killer and no filler.

Aerin Lauder’s Morocco

Meet Aerin Lauder; creative director, lifestyle mogul, mother and global traveller. Here she shares her musings on Morocco, the exotic catalyst for her latest collection.

A hotel dedicated to gin is opening in London

A modern-day gin palace, The Distillery, is set to open in the middle of London’s Portobello Market this year.

Dan Hong's salt and pepper calamari with lime aioli

The executive chef shares his salt and pepper squid recipe, including his secret for a crisp, light batter.

Fatto opens in Melbourne

The restaurant at Melbourne's Hamer Hall Arts Centre formerly known as Trocadero has been stripped back, made over, rejigged, renamed and now reopened as the Italian-accented Fatto Bar & Cantina. The carpets and glamorous interior and bar of the former incarnation have been binned by design group Projects of Imagination in favour of timber floors, acres of white tiles, red neon signs, light boxes, butcher's paper on the tables and several rather lovely zinc-topped bar areas. There's also a great feeling of light and space, a sense of humour and a distinct lack of formality.

Van Haandel Group general manager and Fatto executive chef Anthony Musarra says that the food and the feel of the restaurant "will have an Italian bent but we're not particularly trying to be authentic. We want it to be theatrical and fun, a kind of 'let yourself go' Italian joint that's a sum of its parts. We're not doing anything fancy - it's energetic, confident and pacey".

The menu, which is available in the bar, dining room and out on the spacious terrace, takes a classic Italian structure and approach, using good ingredients simply cooked. It starts with the antipasti-like appetisers (tuna crudo, garlic zeppole, salt-cod arancini) and salumi before moving on to salads, pasta and secondi, like grilled king prawns with buckwheat polenta or pork cotoletta with fennel and apple slaw.

There's also a lengthy list of desserts that include the classic crumbly sbrisolona (a pine nut and almond cake, served here with stone fruit and cannoli cream) and the modern, playful caramel panna cotta with salted popcorn.

"It's easy, vibrant, familiar food," says Musarra, "but that kind of food is fraught with danger because simple Italian food is actually really hard to do well. "[Head chef] Nick [Bennett, ex-Cecconi's] really knows how to deliver the kind of food that you crave. Along with giving people a good time and the lack of pretension, I think we're going to be here for a long time."

Fatto Bar & Cantina, River Terrace, Hamer Hall Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, (03) 8698 8800. Open daily 11am-late.


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