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.

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.

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.

Hoo Ha Bar, Ombretta, University Asian Restaurant, Neighbourhood Wine

Hoo Ha Bar, Brisbane

Hoo Ha Bar, Brisbane

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country this week including Hoo Ha Bar, Ombretta, University Asian Restaurant, and Neighbourhood Wine.

BRISBANE
Hoo Ha Bar
Despite the name, this spacious spot (pictured) is a less-is-more venue devoid of hoo-ha. And until 21 May it's also an alcohol-free zone. But grab a sunny table, add a slice of Le Sebastien sourdough topped with dill-laced feta and ricotta, mix in a fresh-pressed glass of lychee and pineapple juice, and all will be well. The daytime menu is big on flavour: wagyu polpette with capers and ciabatta, or perhaps tapenade, artichoke and buffalo mozzarella on sourdough with balsamic vinegar and walnuts. When evening trade starts, the focus will shift to charcuterie, cheeseboards and the like, and you'll be able to celebrate with a glass of Feral Hop Hog. Hoo Ha Bar, 41 Tribune St, South Brisbane, Qld. FIONA DONNELLY

SYDNEY
Ombretta
Taking over tiny Glebe local Italian La Tavolaccia is… tiny Glebe local Italian Ombretta. This very new, sweet little trattoria is barely a fortnight old, so the menu is still a mixed bag, and the main courses need work, but among the hits are broccoli and sausage orecchiette, fierce with red chilli, and ribbons of tagliatelle tossed with mushrooms, and a bittersweet contorno of grilled radicchio. Of special note is the welcome plate of mozzarella in carrozza, just the sort of fried bready goodness you want this close to winter. Ombretta, 355 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe, NSW, (02) 8060 7893. PAT NOURSE

PERTH
University Asian Restaurant
Never mind the coats and scarves - for us, nothing signals the imminent arrival of winter better than the re-emergence of University Asian's wondrous master-stock pork belly. Featuring thick slices of deeply flavoured braised pig tucked into squishy mantou buns, it's a glorious picture of pork-bun virtue. Heads up: a limited number of serves is available each day so pre-ordering is a must. But regardless of the pork belly situation, the restaurant's repertoire of predominantly Cantonese-style dishes make this a worthy candidate for BYO high jinks. University Asian Restaurant, 88 Broadway, Nedlands, WA, (08) 9389 1168. MAX VEENHUYZEN

MELBOURNE
Neighbourhood Wine
Located in a former illicit gambling den, Neighbourhood Wine has retained a charming, club-like feel, with the only games of chance now taking place on the full-sized billiard table in the back room. Today the action centres on the bar and open kitchen where Almay Jordaan (ex-St Jude's) pumps out great classic bistro food at very reasonable prices. Carnivores shouldn't miss the expertly cooked bavette steak served with a red wine and shallot butter, chips with a scintillating crunch and a salad that's simply, expertly dressed. It's a good idea to book ahead - word is getting out fast. 1 Reid St, North Fitzroy, Vic, (03) 9486 8306. MICHAEL HARDEN

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

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