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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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.

Savoury tarts

Will your next baking project be a flaky puff pastry with pumpkin, goat's curd and thyme, or a classic bacon and Stilton tart? As autumn settles in, we're ticking these off one by one.

Fast autumn dinners

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

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.

New cruises 2017

Cue the Champagne.

1980s recipes

Australia saw some bold moves in the ’80s, and we’re not just talking hairstyles. Greater cultural references started peppering the menus of our restaurants, and home-grown ingredients won a new appreciation. The dining scene was coming of age and a new band of pioneers led the charge.

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.

Roti canai

Here, we've made the dough in a food processor, but it's really quick and simple to do by hand as well. If the dough seems a little too wet just add a little more flour.

Il Locale, Mr & Mrs Howell, West Juliett, Fino

Il Locale, Brisbane

Il Locale, Brisbane

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country this week including Il Locale, Mr & Mrs Howell, West Juliett, and Fino.

BRISBANE
Il Locale
A version of vitello tonnato where the tuna arrives dotted through a couple of crunchy crumbed potato crocetti may not curry favour with traditionalists, but wow - it's a big-flavoured, nicely textured win for the diner. Ditto the wood-fired pizza, topped with softly picante provolone, a posy of rosemary and potato slices laid out on a properly puffy-edged and pliable base. Tucked behind antique wooden doors at the back of a bustling food precinct, Il Locale is the next step for hospitality stalwarts Mark and Narelle Tognini, and the confidence and know-how they bring to the operation are palpable. Interiors are classic and unfussy, and wines by the glass (carafe and bottle available too) are well priced. If these standards are maintained, this recent arrival looks certain to quickly assume the status of one of those locals that also attracts diners from across town. Il Locale, Rosalie Mews, 21 Nash St, Rosalie, Qld, (07) 3368 2122. FIONA DONNELLY

MELBOURNE
Mr & Mrs Howell
Named, of course, for the shipwrecked millionaires from Gilligan's Island, Mr & Mrs Howell doesn't venture into retro TV references beyond the moniker, instead borrowing its moves from the hip Brunswick playbook. The smart timber and brick fit-out includes a comfortable bar overhung with the prerequisite bare bulbs. It's the backdrop to a menu of solidly cooked comfort food of various culinary persuasions. Zucchini and chickpea fritters with creamy labne are everything you'd hope them to be, pleasantly golden with a decent crunch, while the paedestrian-sounding salmon kebabs with a citrusy guacamole are surprisingly successful, and tuna tartare served with tom yum-pickled cucumbers and crisp wontons waves the fusion flag. Service is a strong point, it's warm and accommodating - the perfect combo for a local diner in this neck of the woods. Mr & Mrs Howell, 173 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, Vic, (03) 9381 0846. MICHAEL HARDEN

SYDNEY
West Juliett
It's totally possible to have an entirely kale-based meal at West Juliett: the kale-rich house salad, amped up with avocado, seeds, nuts and the option of poached egg, tuna or chicken, perhaps, chased with a juice comprising kale, cucumber, parsley, coriander, apple and spinach. (No John or JJ Cale on the playlist so far, alas.) There's nothing dour about those options, but the menu offers plenty down the other end of the spectrum, too: a juicy burger fashioned from grass-fed beef, cheddar and a good, chunky beetroot relish, some handsome chips (hand cut, skin on), bacon and egg rolls with aïoli and chilli, not to mention salted caramel shakes made with Jersey milk. The peanut butter is ground fresh, the fizzy drinks have rhubarb and quince in them, the yoghurt is made in-house, the chocolate-chip bikkies come with a sprinkling of pink salt flakes, and the coffee is good, making this charming, very buzzy caff more than worthy of a detour. West Juliett, 30 Llewellyn St, Marrickville, NSW, (02) 9519 0101. PAT NOURSE

SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Fino
In 2002, Fino chef David Swain answered the call of the late, great Greg Trott, beloved former boss of Wirra Wirra Vineyards at McLaren Vale, to create a true signature dish for the Fleurieu Peninsula. He baked what he believed to be "the ultimate winter dish" using regional hero ingredients: a shiraz and lamb pie. Last month Swain revived the legendary Trott Pie, as it became known, and it's available until 31 August (get it while you can, it won't be back until July 2014) made with Normanville lamb neck, Coriole Vineyards kalamata olives and Wirra Wirra Woodhenge McLaren Vale Shiraz, and served with roast parsnips. Every pie is made to order so expect a wait of around 45 minutes - it'll be worth it. Fino, 8 Hill St, Willunga, SA, (08) 8556 4488. DAVID SLY

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


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