The Paris issue

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Seven ways to do dumplings

Dumplings may be bite-sized, but they pack a flavourful punch. Here are seven mouth-watering recipes, from Korean mandu to classic Chinese-style steamed dumplings.

Recipes with zucchini

Whether served raw with olive oil, grated with fresh herbs, or pan-fried in a pancake - zucchini is a must-have ingredient when it comes to spring cooking.

Best feta recipes

Feta's tang livens up all sorts of dishes, from beef shin rigatoni or blistered kale ribs to Greek-style roast lamb neck.

Pickett's Deli & Rotisserie, Melbourne

Here’s Pickett’s inside running on the menu at Melbourne's new European-style eatery and wine bar Pickett's Deli & Rotisserie.

Melbourne's best late-night bars

As the shutters come down in other Australian capitals, Melbourne's vibrant nightlife is just hitting it's stride. Michael Harden burns the midnight oil at the city's best late-night bars and diners.

Nougat, salted peanut caramel and milk chocolate tart

What's not to love about a Snickers bar? All the elements are here, but if you don't feel like making your own nougat, you could always scatter some diced nougat in the base of the tart instead. The caramel is dark, verging on bitter, while a good whack of salt cuts through some of the sweetness - extra roasted salted peanuts on top can only be a good thing.

Apfel kuchen

"This is my mother's famous apple cake. The apples are macerated with sugar, cinnamon and lemon, and this lovely juice produces the icing," says Brigitte Hafner. The apples can be prepared the night before and kept in the fridge. This cake keeps well for four days and is at its best served the day after it's made."

Cornersmith Annandale opens

Marrickville favourite Cornersmith opens a combined cafe-corner store with an alfresco sensibility.

Chaco Bar, Polepole, The Lane Vineyard

Chaco Bar, Sydney

Chaco Bar, Sydney

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country this week, including Chaco Bar, Polepole, and The Lane Vineyard.

SYDNEY
Chaco Bar
And just like that, Sydney suddenly has a credible yakitori bar. But Chaco is more than that. In addition to a roster of all the chicken-skewer essentials, including crunchy gristle, pink-centred liver, juicy hearts and gizzards, stunning kokoro nokori (aka aorta), golden skin and deftly cooked thigh meat, they push the boat out a bit. Sticks of lamb shoulder are reminiscent of China's cumin kebabs, and the dishes of salt and shichimi togarashi on the table are complemented by another filled with chimichurri. And there's plenty to like beyond the stuff from the bincho-tan grill, whether it's an intriguing spicy salad of sliced pig's ears and seared tuna belly, dressed with chilli oil and Sichuan pepper, or simply today's rice special, enriched with porcini. Better still, there's no green-tea ice-cream or mochi to be seen - the signature dessert is a scoop of vanilla ice-cream set on a granita of banana-infused brandy. Great little room, friendly, knowledgeable staff - could it get any better? Well, cheapskates, for the moment Chaco's licence hasn't come through, so if you get in quick you can enjoy all this with a bottle of something brilliant from Best Cellars down the road. I can't get enough of the place. Chaco Bar, 238 Crown St, Darlinghurst, NSW, (02) 9007 8352. PAT NOURSE

MELBOURNE
Polepole
The space formerly known as Tony Starr's Kitten Club has been given a thorough going over, emerging as an East African-inspired bar and kitchen called Polepole - Swahili for "take it easy" or "go slow" - serving African beer and cider (from Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia and South Africa) and theme-appropriate cocktails (the tequila-based Dr Livingstone) alongside a list of East African bar snacks designed by consulting chef Andy Mac (Axil Coffee Roasters). The snacks include some rather good corn and chickpea "cakes" (more like fritters) topped with kasundi, lamb ribs slathered with harissa and served with tahini yoghurt, some curious but satisfying squid-ink crackers topped with cold curried sea bream and salty, deep-fried goodness in the form of pork, almond and cinnamon cigars. It's an interesting mix made even more palatable by the owners, husband and wife team Dean and Jeanelle Mariani, who have travelled extensively in East Africa and are supporting a couple of African aid organisations (YGAP and Women for Women in Africa) through the sale of African beers and ciders. Surely the perfect excuse to order another round. Polepole, level 1, 267 Little Collins St, Melbourne, (03) 9650 2811. MICHAEL HARDEN

ADELAIDE
The Lane Vineyard
The picturesque cellar door setting at The Lane Vineyard in Hahndorf turns itself over to comfortable dining with the opening of a new wine tasting room that has been separated from the dining space overlooking the vineyard and surrounding valleys. Chef James Brinklow is celebrating by adding a decent blast of spice to his late-winter menu - most impressively in a carefully balanced Sichuan-style black pepper and basil saucing of blue swimmer crab ravioli, and a measured pinch of chilli adding bite to tuna tartare with yuzu custard and peanuts. The Lane Vineyard, 5 Ravenswood La, Hahndorf, SA, (08) 8388 1250. 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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