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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.

Decadent chocolate dessert recipes for Christmas

13 of our most decadent chocolate recipes to indulge guests with this Christmas.

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.

What the GT team is cooking on Christmas Day

We don't do things by halves in the Gourmet office. These are the recipes we'll be cooking on the big day.

Sydney's best dishes 2016

For our 50th anniversary issue in 2016, we scoured Australia asking two questions: What dishes are making waves right now? What flavours will take us into the next half-century? Sydney provided 16 answers.

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.

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."

Alpha, Cellar Bar, Red Chilli Szechuan, The Jetty South Bank

Alpha, Sydney

Alpha, Sydney

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country this week including Alpha, Cellar Bar, Red Chilli Szechuan, and The Jetty South Bank.

SYDNEY
Alpha
Peter Conistis is back with a bang. Anyone who ate at Cosmos, Eleni's, Omega or The Civic over the last 20 years will recall Conistis's cooking with a fond heart and a rumbling tum, but it's when you bite into his pastry anew that his finesse bowls you over all over again. The golden spanakopita that's on the menu at Alpha is like the Platonic ideal of the spinach and cheese pie, the filo superbly flaky and crisp, the filling rich and fragrant with dill. The menu sprawls from the newer-fangled likes of ouzo-glazed lamb ribs and mastic-spiced quail with watermelon salad to Conistis classics such as scallop and eggplant moussaka, and rabbit and black olive pie, cheekily corralled under the "vintage dishes" heading. It's already killing it at lunch, and dinner reservations are getting scarcer by the moment - get in for your taste today. Alpha, 238 Castlereagh St, Sydney, NSW, (02) 9098 1111. PAT NOURSE

MELBOURNE
Cellar Bar at Newmarket Hotel
After a false start last year, the Cellar Bar at the Newmarket Hotel has re-opened (Thursday to Saturday) with a rejigged agenda that, in keeping with the beautiful, beaded, boothed and mirror-balled retro nightclub décor, is now more cocktail bar than supper club. Still, despite well-made cocktails, bottle lists and much vintage Champagne, food still makes its presence felt here, albeit in snack rather than dégustation form. Taking cues from the upstairs dining room's Latin American moves, the Cellar Bar's list includes toothfish and miso anticucho (Peru's take on the grilled skewer) served with crisped-up taro, and good jamón served with spiced pear. There are tacos and empanadas, a wagyu chilli dog, and dulce de leche mousse, too. The bookable booths seat six to eight so go with friends. Cellar Bar at Newmarket Hotel, 34 Inkerman St, St Kilda, Vic, (03) 9534 1060. MICHAEL HARDEN

PERTH
Red Chilli Szechuan Chinese Restaurant
Perth's newest Sichuan restaurant is hot all right, but its cooking encompasses more than just mouth-numbing peppercorns and capsaicin thrills. The kitchen's fuqi feipian, for instance, uses crushed peanuts and coriander to add crunch and freshness to slices of tripe bathed in a tingly ma la ("numbing and spicy") oil. Elsewhere, wrinkly tubes of smoked bamboo add textural interest to a fiery stew of tender beef brisket. At less than four bucks, a side order of preserved vegetables is a must. Pickled ever-so-briefly and cut thick for maximum crunch, they're an ideal foil to the menu's fireworks. Another welcome addition to Perth's favourite Asian eat street. Red Chilli Szechuan Chinese Restaurant, 865 Albany Hwy, East Victoria Park, WA, (08) 6161 2898. MAX VEENHUYZEN

BRISBANE
The Jetty South Bank
A mix of flawless River Quay views and come-hither Bali-meets-Brisbane décor has lured diners to this airy spot since it launched a couple of years back. But the recent arrival of well-regarded head chef Damien Styles is starting to hook in a different demographic. The menu is still slightly scattergun in its approach, but dishes like a fork-tender slow-cooked lamb shoulder, served with a bank of fluffy parmesan-boosted polenta and a herb crumble hit their mark. A glossy nasi goreng, dotted with tiny prawns, and topped with a soft-yolk fried egg and scattering of crunchy deep-fried shallots, joins the lamb as part of a winter weekday lunch deal running until spring. It's hot value at $25, including a glass of house red or white. The Jetty South Bank, River Quay, Sidon St, South Bank, Qld, (07) 3844 8838. 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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