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Prix Fixe, Huxtable at Pinbone, The Paddock Bakery, Borsa Pasta Cucina

The Paddock Bakery

The Paddock Bakery

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country this week including Prix Fixe, Huxtable at Pinbone, The Paddock Bakery, and Borsa Pasta Cucina.

MELBOURNE
Prix Fixe
Those wishing to taste Philippa Sibley's Midsummer Night's Dream-inspired menu at the elegant Prix Fixe had best be quick. The inaugural carte at Melbourne's only ticketed dining venue (you buy a ticket for a seat at a table and a set-price menu) finishes at the end of March and there are only a few tickets left for those wishing to try the Bacchanalian mezze plate (pea felafel, grilled haloumi and so on), chicken ballotine Titania and the truffled honey pannacotta and poached apricot dessert called Bottom. A new menu starts in April: The Whole Hog. Sibley says this menu, which will run until the end of the month, is "quite girly, more Miss Piggy than Razorback so you won't find a big old boiled pig's head in the middle of your table". Instead there will be truffled salami with a radish salad, a tribute to Tansy Good's silk purse/sow's ear dish, porchetta with dates and a dessert called Tickled Pink. Prix Fixe, Alfred Place, Melbourne, Vic. MICHAEL HARDEN

SYDNEY
Huxtable at Pinbone
Want all the fun of visiting Melbourne neighbourhood favourite Huxtable without having to suffer the indignity of actually leaving New South Wales? Huxta chef Daniel Wilson and the team from Woollahra's Pinbone have just the deal for you. On Monday 24, Wilson and Pinbone chefs Jemma Whiteman and Mike Eggert team up to do a local launch for the brand-new Huxtabook. For $110 you get six courses (including smoked kingfish with horseradish and baby beets, pork ribs and sweet corn with black beans and chipotle crème fraîche) plus a signed copy of Wilson's (excellent) new cookbook. It is, as they say in the classics, a steal. And as a bonus for all you Huxta-diehards, the gang will be running Pinbone as a Huxtaburger pop-up on Sunday night, dishing up the juicy stuff from 6pm. Too much Huxta-fun is never enough. Huxtable at Pinbone, $110 a head for six courses, and a copy of Daniel Wilson's Huxtabook, Monday 24 March; Huxtaburger at Pinbone, from 5pm, Sunday 23 March; 3 Jersey Rd, Woollahra, NSW, (02) 9328 1600. PAT NOURSE

GOLD COAST
The Paddock Bakery
You're seeing a country idyll, no? You'd only be half right; this wood-fire bakery-café lies bang in the middle of a patch of Gold Coast light-industry warehousing. Sitting in Paddock Bakery's gravelled, leafy, front yard, or inside its beautifully restored Queenslander, windows angled open to catch the subtropical breezes - you'd be really hard pressed to notice (or care). A glassed-off area out the back is home to a handsome brick oven which originally graced a Tasmanian bakery, closed after 120 years. Here you can watch bakers turning out their slow-ferment sourdoughs - perfect, sliced thick, turned into morning toast and served with old-school pear jam and a fat pat of Pepe Saya cultured butter; or as soldiers with 'dippy eggs,' bacon bits and organic labna (pictured above). Coffee is from Single Origin Roasters, and last week owners Ben and Ursula Watts installed a re-purposed shipping container replete with barista, to keep those espresso queues a'movin'. Paddock Bakery, 20 Hibiscus Haven, Miami, Qld. FIONA DONNELLY

ADELAIDE
Borsa Pasta Cucina
Adelaide's smart new city lunch option is Borsa Pasta Cucina, a bustling licensed pasta bar with a big wine list and an understanding that prompt service is essential. The trio of chefs - Phillip Tropeano, Pete De Marco and Michael Quist - start the day early to bake all Borsa's bread and make fresh pasta (spaghetti, tortellini, orecchiette, bucatini, rigatoni, tagliatelle, penne) but the star attraction is The Weekly Pig. Each Monday, they get a whole Barossa-reared Berkshire black pig and break it down, serving different cuts as daily specials. The loin scaloppine is a knockout, but there's equally tempting ribs, shoulder roasts and belly porchetta offered throughout the week. Borsca Pasta Cucina, Shop 1, Plaza Level, 25 Grenfell St, Adelaide, SA, (08) 8211 6572. 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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