The Christmas issue

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.

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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