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The Royal Mail Hotel is changing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roast pork with Nelly Robinson

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

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

Fast autumn dinners

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Guillaume, Dutch Courage Officers' Mess, This Little Piggy, Leonards Mill

Guillaume, Sydney

Guillaume, Sydney

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country this week, including Guillaume, Dutch Courage Officers' Mess, This Little Piggy, and Leonards Mill.

It's a case of win-some-lose-some for Guillaume Brahimi groupies at the chef's new restaurant on the former Darcy's site in Paddington. If you were hoping for the crab sandwiches from Bennelong, they're yet to make an appearance. On the plus side, though, the old basil-infused tuna, which has been a signature since as far back as his early days at Pond, is here (albeit only as the amuse on the dégustation menu). In terms of the setting, the Opera House is a hard act to follow; the muted tones and gold-framed Matisse drawings of Hargrave Street are more retro-Right Bank than soaring wonderment. Conversely, though, the food now arrives at the table hot, which seems almost novel by comparison. Brahimi's veal sweetbreads and tongue with almonds and raisins is resplendent under its beret of gingerbread sauce, seemingly in higher definition than it was ever rendered before, while the royale of artichoke, a creamy custard decorated with black truffle and mud crab, is the picture of spoon-licking lushness. In terms of pitch, price and wine list this a Fancy Restaurant and (for now at least) it has some of the stiffness that used to be a defining trait of that species. But if you hanker for the days when a great night out at a restaurant didn't involve mucking around with their website, joining queues, sitting on bar-stools, sharing tables, eating foams or paying restaurant prices for truck-stop classics, the new Guillaume will make you very happy indeed. Guillaume, 92 Hargrave St, Paddington, (02) 9302 5222. PAT NOURSE

Dutch Courage Officers' Mess
It's as much about what's in your glass as it is about the share-plates at this gin-centric Fortitude Valley staging post. There's more than 90 gins behind the bar, each served as either a 45ml Spanish-style gin tonic, a 30ml traditional gin and tonic, or a 60ml dry Martini. Add in a handful of different tonics and a choice of botanical garnishes and it could all descend into a delicious dilemma for the decision-averse. Housed at street level in a modern office block, the exterior lacks the come-hither party vibes of neighbouring Kwan Brothers and Alfredo's, but voluminous hessian drapes concealing clever, split-level interiors from passers-by add to the evocative British colonial ambience beyond the carpeted threshold. Eats-wise, it's hard to ignore camel loin (if only because you're feeling curious). The Dutch Courage version is flavoursome and tender, sliced and topping a slightly flabby rösti encircled by juniper berry juice. Ham hock croquettes fail to soar but there are plenty of reasons to flex those drinking muscles and raise your spirits here. Dutch Courage Officers' Mess, 51 Alfred St, Fortitude Valley, Qld, (07) 3852 4838. FIONA DONNELLY

This Little Piggy
A pop-up restaurant selling southern Californian food out the back of a café on weekends? This Little Piggy is the very definition of hot, not least because the cooking of surfer, photographer and American food enthusiast Max Kordyl is no mere cash-in. Weighing in at just three dishes - four if you include the ice-cream sandwich dessert - the menu here isn't long, but it's definitely strong. Sandwiched in a crunchy sourdough bun, Kordyl's juicy pulled pork is a wet, savoury tangle that rates as one of the city's best. Even juicier are his excellent chicken wings, generously spiced and jointed for your eating convenience. The tacos, meanwhile, are non-negotiable. Cradled in a thick, corny tortilla pressed and grilled by local food trucker Lil Tortilla Boi, they're another win. This Little Piggy goes to market from 5pm till 9pm Friday to Sunday at Short Black Sheep. For now it's BYO and cash-only, so bring the folding stuff, something from the wine rack and a sense of fun. This Little Piggy, 259 Queen Victoria St, North Fremantle, WA, 0450 039 090. MAX VEENHUYZEN

Leonards Mill
A former 1990s hotspot in a revitalised stone mill at Second Valley is back in the spotlight on the impressive Fleurieu dining landscape thanks to the new kitchen team of South African-born Brendan Wessels and Lindsay Durr. Coming to SA after three years at Lake House in Daylesford, the husband-and-wife team's winter menu features luscious braised beef brisket with horseradish buttermilk, winter tarragon, pumpernickel and salted herring roe, and kingfish sashimi, fried octopus, dashi pearls, shaved daikon and yuzu lightly infused with apple-wood smoke under a glass dome. Try both dishes and more in a superb dégustation, The Tasting, for $125 a person. Leonards Mill, 7869 Main South Rd, Second Valley, SA, (08) 8598 4184. 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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