Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

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Fast autumn dinners

Autumn weather signals the arrival of soups, broths, roasts and more hearty meals.

Flour and Stone Recipes

Baker extraordinaire Nadine Ingram of Sydney's Flour and Stone cooks up a sweet storm for Easter, including the much loved bakery's greatest hit.

Roasted cauliflower salad with yoghurt dressing and almonds

The cauliflower is roasted until it starts to caramelise, which adds extra depth of flavour to this winning salad. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

All Star Yum Cha

What happens the morning after the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards? We treat the chefs to a world-beating yum cha session, as Dani Valent discovers.

Lemon tart

It's really important to seal the pastry well to prevent any seepage during cooking, and to trim the pastry soon after cooking. Let the tart cool in the tin before removing it, or it will crack.

Spelt cashew and broccoli bowl with yoghurt dressing

This nicely textured salad transports well, making it ideal for picnics or to take to barbecues. The broccoli can be kept raw and shaved on a mandolin, too.

Melbournes finest meet Worlds Best

Leading chefs descend on Melbourne in April for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. We asked local hospitality folk who they’d abduct for the day and where they’d take them to show off their city. There may be coffee, there may be culture, but in the end it’s cocktails.

Bali's new wave of restaurants, hotels and bars

The restaurant and hotel scene on Australia's favourite holiday island has never been more exciting and Australian chefs, owners and restaurateurs are leading the charge, writes Samantha Coomber.

Rockpool, Street-ADL, The Town Mouse, Fifth Element

The Town Mouse, Melbourne

The Town Mouse, Melbourne

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country this week including Rockpool, Street-ADL, The Town Mouse, and Fifth Element.

SYDNEY
Rockpool
What a saucy, glossy thing this new Rockpool is. Fifty shades of black create the Bridge Street room's delicious backdrop, contrasting a matte pressed-tin ceiling with shiny black wall tiles. At lunch, it's a prix-fixe affair: $52 for one course, $69 for two and $72 for three. Thus far we've been most taken with the entrées, not least an intensely flavoursome bowl of silken prawn cake, shreds of prawn, coriander and peanuts bathed in a prawn broth, and the superb salad of shredded poached chicken and bamboo fried in pork fat, dressed with a fine XO sauce. Dauphine potatoes, creamy inside, crisp of shell and drenched in a kombu-amped butter, make a very persuasive argument for sides, and the wine list is a document at once thrilling and dangerous. We're looking forward to dinner. Rockpool, 11 Bridge St, Sydney, NSW, (02) 9252 1888. PAT NOURSE

ADELAIDE
Street-ADL
Orana, Jock Zonfrillo's fine-diner, is set to open this week, but his bustling downstairs bar and casual dining space, Street-ADL, is already attracting enthusiastic crowds. The concept here is street-food favourites given intriguing twists with Australian native ingredients. A pulled meat sanga is stuffed with hot-smoked kangaroo shoulder with piquant Kakadu plum and pickled wild garlic, while a plate of green beans comes with a delicious XO sauce made from bush tomato and pepperberry. Big pork ribs are marinated, slow-cooked, glazed in quandong and then fried, the quandong adding a tangy-sweet note to the crust. Flavours are subtle rather than blaring, but distinctive enough to prompt questions from diners about their origins. Street-ADL, 285 Rundle St, Adelaide, SA, (08) 8232 3444. DAVID SLY

MELBOURNE
The Town Mouse
With Melbourne's seemingly endless reprise of winter weather finally on the wane, the scramble for alfresco seating has begun in earnest. One of the smartest outdoor areas around opened recently in the backyard of Carlton's Town Mouse (pictured above). It's a compact space deftly designed by Allistar Cox (the New Zealander also responsible for the interiors), with daybed-like cushioned bench seating, a tessellated tiled floor and festive party lights strung overhead. It seats about 20 people - nearly doubling the restaurant's capacity - and is a good place to get a load of the clever and intricate food Dave Verheul has devised for his summer menu. It's a joy to announce, too, that gems such as the venison tartare have been retained among a swathe of new dishes, including poached chicken with shaved artichoke and ricotta, and asparagus with pecorino custard. There are new season-appropriate cocktails, too, involving rum, roast pineapple and the like. It's another great excuse to get outside this summer. The Town Mouse, 312 Drummond St, Carlton, Vic, (03) 9347 3312. MICHAEL HARDEN

BRISBANE
Fifth Element
There's a sixth element at play temporarily at Fifth Element: the surprise addition of Jake Nicolson. The former head chef of Melbourne's Circa has relocated to Brisbane to head Ghanem Group's ambitious Blackbird restaurant at Eagle Street. That isn't set to take wing until early 2014, so in the meantime he's raising the bar here. The crisp fried snapper is a cracker; its eye-catching fish frame is wrapped around three crunchy battered fillets served with a fragrant Thai-style slaw and tomato chilli jam. Fat hand-cut chips get the triple-cook treatment, served with a whipped-tofu mayo and ginger and beetroot-flavoured salts. The restaurant itself might be showing a little age, but the new carte means there's a whole set of fresh reasons to stop by for something to pair with your glass (or half-pour) of Burgundian Mischief and Mayhem, say, or a chilled Petit Chablis courtesy of William Fevre. Fifth Element Bar & Dining, cnr Tribune & Little Stanley sts, South Bank, Qld, (07) 3846 5584. FIONA DONNELLY

Got a hot tip for our Hot Plates team? Tweet us at @gourmettweets, or tag your Instagram photos with #GThotplates.


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