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Magic Mountain Saloon, The Bounty, Long Summer Table, 2KW

The Bounty, Brisbane

The Bounty, Brisbane

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country this week, including Magic Mountain Saloon, The Bounty, Long Summer Table, and 2KW.

MELBOURNE
Magic Mountain Saloon
The opening of all-day through late-night Magic Mountain Saloon is cause for celebration for night owls keen on a quality feed. The latest addition to a renowned stable of small-hours-loving joints (Cookie, The Toff in Town, Revolver Upstairs, Boney), it embraces the family ties by putting robust Thai flavours front and centre, but shakes the formula up by adding an American barbecue element. The menu's section of wings and ribs, for instance, emphasises soy and coriander or salt and pepper seasoning and offers sweet and green chilli sauces as accompaniments, while classic pork scratchings are teamed with beer-battered mussels and sticky pork, and a grilled half-chicken is flavoured with turmeric and lemongrass. Elsewhere, there are more straightforward Thai and European dishes (red duck, lychee and pineapple curry, steak tartare) and a hefty drinks list with several pages of powerful cocktails, refreshing Spritzes, tap beer (more than 15 on any given day) and a sharp, decently priced wine list of New and Old World labels. Magic Mountain Saloon's kitchen closes around midnight but the drinks and music (via DJ seven nights a week) keep coming until three, adding another spark of late-night life to Melbourne's CBD. Magic Mountain Saloon, 62 Little Collins St, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9078 0078. MICHAEL HARDEN

BRISBANE
The Bounty
What's the next logical step following a stint as co-owner of Esquire, Brisbane's ambitious dégustation destination? If you're Cameron Murchison, it's to surf the casual-dining wave and open a smart neighbourhood bar-restaurant in the inner-city suburb of Rosalie. The Bounty set sail before Christmas and its curved zinc-topped bar has been thronged with well-heeled locals ever since, many taking advantage of a snappy $16 Moët by-the-glass option. Chef Emlyn Thorrington (late of the CBD's Spring) is keeping it simple. His Manchego fritters with a cumin- and chilli-laced mayo, or a deconstructed wagyu burger, gussied up with a fried quail egg and crisp slivers of jamón, are an ocean away from Esquire's cerebral fare but ideal with a craft beer or two. It's a short menu in tune with a cleverly put-together drinks list. The likes of crisp-skinned barramundi, perhaps, with a classic clam and chorizo sauce and crushed baby potatoes, or share-style pot-roast lamb with green beans are all pitched to ensure The Bounty's well-upholstered banquette remains sought-after property with nearby residents. The Bounty, 6/165 Baroona Rd, Rosalie, Qld, (07) 3368 1201. FIONA DONNELLY

BALINGUP
Long Summer Table
Check the air in your tyres, the oil in the engine and the playlist on the iPhone: the South-Western Highway and next weekend's annual Long Summer Table beckon. While rural Western Australia offers plenty of fine eats and drinks, few celebrate the vital union between farmer and chef quite like this event. As with previous editions of the dinner, collaboration is the name of the game and this year's line-up is full of intriguing partnerships. There's an entrée of heirloom tomatoes with watermelon and feta, a joint effort between David Coomer and gun vegetable growers the Nieuwenhuyzes of Newy's Vegie Patch. The cheesemakers at Cambray, meanwhile, have produced a one-off brocciu - a French sheep's milk ricotta - specifically for Millbrook's Guy Jeffreys, and the canapés are a co-production between El Público Mexican firebrand Sam Ward and native-flavour advocate Paul Iskov of Fervor Food. Tickets to the eight-course dinner are $160 and include matched drinks and good vibes aplenty. See you at the Balingup town hall on February 7 (and at The Olde Shed Café the morning after). Balingup Town Hall, Jayes Rd, Balingup, WA; bookings via the Long Summer Table website. MAX VEENHUYZEN

ADELAIDE
2KW
The rooftop view from the ocean to the Adelaide Hills provides an instant wow-factor at 2KW, but the big bar-restaurant complex also has a fit-out worthy of its commanding position atop a central CBD tower. Outside, a large timber deck and bar are flanked by plump banquettes, and a row of private cabanas. Inside, diners sit at blond timber tables or on an elevated central bench, while executive chef Nick Finn delivers fresh contemporary flavours in dishes designed to share. Try a zesty falafel salad and baba ghanoush with labne and cranberry, or roasted spatchcock on a fennel, radicchio, citrus and feta salad, or even a 40-day dry-aged Hereford rib-eye. The bar has a strong, eclectic list of craft beers, cocktails and wines, including five from SA producers poured direct from the barrel. 2KW, 2 King William St, Adelaide, SA, (08) 8212 5511. DAVID SLY

Got a hot tip for our Hot Plates team? Let us know on Facebook or tag your Instagram photos with #GThotplates.


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