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The Royal Mail Hotel is changing
28.03.2017

Executive chef Robin Wickens has a stronger influence at the Royal Mail Hotel's upcoming restaurant, slated to open later this year.

Adventuring along America's north-west rivers
28.03.2017

The rivers of America's north-west running through Washington state and Oregon form the arteries of epic landscapes and bold discovery routes. Emma Sloley follows in the wake of Lewis and Clark.

The World's Best sommeliers are coming to Australia
28.03.2017

For the first time, the world's top international sommeliers will take part in the World's 50 Best Awards too.

Seven Italian dishes that shaped fine dining in the 2000s
28.03.2017

Italian food in the restaurants of Australia blossomed into maturity in the new millennium, as the work of these trailblazers shows – dazzling and diverse, a successful balance between adaptation and tradition.

Steam ovens: a guide
27.03.2017

Billed as the faster, cleaner way to cook, are these on-trend ovens all they’re cracked up to be? We take a close look at their rising popularity, USP versus the traditional convection cooker and how each type rates in terms of form, function, and above all, flavour in this buyer’s guide.

Our chocolate issue is out now
27.03.2017

Our April issue is out now. In his editor's letter, Pat Nourse walks you through what to expect.

Roast pork with Nelly Robinson
27.03.2017

Nelly Robinson of Sydney's nel. restaurant talks us through his favourite roasting joints, tips for crisp roast potatoes and why, when it comes to pork, slow and steady always wins the race.

Water carafes
24.03.2017

More than mere vessels, these pieces bring a cool breeze of style from the fridge to the table.

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.

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.

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.

New cruises 2017

Cue the Champagne.

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.

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.

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.

Papi Chulo, Northern Light Bar & Eatery, Howzat Burger, The Cupping Room

Papi Chulo, Manly

Papi Chulo, Manly

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country this week including Papi Chulo, Northern Light Bar & Eatery, Howzat Burger, and The Cupping Room.

SYDNEY
Papi Chulo 
Papi Chulo, Merivale's Manly landfall, sits right on the wharf (you can smell the barbecue even before you get off the boat) and resembles a sort of fantasy retro-Deco Mexican ferry terminal - in the best possible way. It's big, and it bustles. Americana accounts for much of the menu. The chicken wings with comeback sauce (like a spicy mayo) are exemplars of the species, best taken at the bar with a large beer pulled from the custom taps, or a prawn-garnished Bloody Maria. The juicy, fatty, smoky brisket is perhaps the hit of the barbecue menu, but nonetheless it's the perfectly adequate pork ribs that adorn every table. The burger (pictured above) is outstanding (as it should be for $18), a bit like a Hongburger with salad, and if the curly fries are something of a misstep, the pickles and Viet-style slaw pick up the slack. Papi Chulo breaks all the rules, says the website. Well, no. But it does throw down some good eating and fun times. Get into it. Papi Chulo, 22-23 Manly Wharf, Manly, NSW, (02) 9240 3000. PAT NOURSE

MELBOURNE
Northern Light Bar & Eatery
Not many Smith Street shopfronts stay empty for long so it's no surprise that the former Gigibaba site was snapped up fast. It's now a Chinese/Japanese bar and eatery called Northern Light. Chef/co-owners Glen Bagnara (ex-Chester White) and Adam Liston (ex-Hare & Grace) are working the stoves while the front of house is tended to by the charming Emily Pullen (ex-Next Door Diner). The menu consists of around 20 small courses that sometimes stick to the theme - congee with spiced eggplant and dashi, sashimi served with pickles, grilled skewers threaded with shiitake or chicken or wagyu - and other times ventures deeper into fusion territory with combinations such as eel with salted grapes or bresaola with wasabi. The room has been given a few cosmetic changes, but the lightbulbs on tangled cords and extra chairs hung on bare brick walls from its Gigibaba days remain intact. There's Japanese beer, a snappy wine list and cocktails too, if further incentive is needed. Northern Light Bar & Eatery, 102 Smith St, Collingwood, Vic, (03) 9416 0698. MICHAEL HARDEN

BRISBANE
Howzat Burger
Philip Johnson, chef-owner at E'cco Bistro, has a swag of culinary runs on the board, but will Howzat Burger, his first pop-up venture, knock Brisbane lunch-goers for six? Crowds are expected when batting opens at lunchtime today, with a selection of five "chef-made" burgers hitting the grill. Play continues Friday, and again at lunchtime on Thursday and Friday next week. There's even rumour of milk-crate seating being installed at the Howzat Burger HQ, aka the old E'cco Bar beneath E'cco Bistro. Opt for a stump-rattling roast pork belly burger with classic slaw and chipotle mayo, a cumin-spiced lamb number with balsamic onions and iceberg, or a vegetarian chickpea falafel with shredded beet, cucumber and mint yoghurt - all $10. Sides of fries and beer-battered onion rings are $5. Old-school players may dig the Nutella, banoffee and coffee shakes for $7. Or perhaps a Yarra Valley pinot for $8 a glass, if you want to hit the spot harder. Howzat Burger, 510 Adelaide St, Brisbane, Qld, (07) 3831 6860. FIONA DONNELLY

CANBERRA
The Cupping Room
The capital came later to the fancy coffee stakes than Melbourne and Sydney, but it has caught up with a vengeance. Newest among the champions of the bean is this polished and buzzy establishment opposite the Supreme Court. How fancy are we talking? Multiple grinders loaded with different beans? Tick. Less milk than usual in a standard flattie? Tick. Filter coffee bar? Tick. The fact that the milk coffees are served at 60C can come as a surprise, even when it's clearly stated on the menu, but the taste and texture is beyond reproach. And, hey, you could always opt for an (excellent) espresso instead. As with many a coffee specialist, the food is a bit better on the page than the plate, but there's still lots to like in the Latin American-accent menu, whether it's the gallo nero, a hearty rice-and-beans number flavoured with barberries and smoked paprika and topped with Rodriguez chorizo and a fried egg, or the simple delights of the salted caramel milkshake topped with caramel popcorn. Capital stuff. The Cupping Room, 1/13 University Ave, Canberra, ACT, (02) 6257 6412. PAT NOURSE

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

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