The Christmas issue

Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.

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Mango recipes

Nothing says summer like mangoes. Go beyond the criss-cross cuts - bake a mango-filled meringue loaf with lime mascarpone, start off the day with a sweet coconut quinoa pudding with sticky mango, or toss it through a spicy warm weather Thai salad.

Chilled recipes for summer

When the mercury is rising, step away from the oven. These recipes are either raw, chilled or frozen and will cool you down in a snap.

Shark Bay Wild Scampi Caviar

Bright blue scampi roe is popping up on menus across Australia. Here's why it's so special.

Dark chocolate delice, salted-caramel ganache and chocolate sorbet

"The delice from Source Dining is a winner. May I have the recipe?" Rebecca Ward, Fitzroy, Vic REQUEST A RECIPE To request a recipe, email fareexchange@bauer-media.com.au or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.

Koh Loy Sriracha Sauce, David Thompson's favourite hot sauce

When the master of Thai food pinpoints anything as his favourite, we sit up and listen.

Paul Carmichael's great cake

"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

Gifts under $100 at our pop-up Christmas Boutique

Whether it's a hand-thrown pasta bowl, a bottle of vodka made from sheep's whey or a completely stylish denim apron, our pop-up Christmas Boutique in collaboration with gift shop Sorry Thanks I Love You has got you covered in the $100 and under budget this Christmas.

Vegetarian canape recipes

If you're skipping meat at your next party, try these fast and fresh vegetarian canape recipes.

Momofuku Seiobo's bar menu revisited

Momofuku Seiobo's pork chop

Momofuku Seiobo's pork chop

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country right now: Momofuku Seiobo, Sydney.

Fancy restaurants doing bar menus - is there a more likable latter-day dining trend? You, the casual diner, get the chance to savour lobster congee at Rockpool, the killer burrata with shellfish oil at Automata, luxe yakitori at Sepia, and the mother of all cheese and charcuterie sandwiches at Bentley, all without having to lock yourself into a big spend or booking for the night. The restaurant, in turn, gets the chance to showcase its charms to a wider audience, and in doing so brings buzz and life into the dining room. It's win-win.

Habitués of Sydney's bar-eats scene have been bereft since Momofuku Seiobo took its bar menu offline for a few months to concentrate on the transition from outgoing chef Ben Greeno to newcomer Paul Carmichael, but as of this week it's back, and it's really something. It only takes a glance at the kitchen's shelves, which now house hands of plantain and jars of pickled chillies, to see that Carmichael, late of Má Pêche, a Momofuku restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, has brought with him a new set of flavours, drawing inspiration in no small part from his Barbadian heritage.

Gone are the Korean-style rice cakes, the pickles, the fried Brussels sprouts and (egad!) the signature pork-belly buns. In their place you'll find the likes of Waldorf salad, an omelette with vegetarian XO sauce, and some heftier dishes like the pieces of glazed oxtail. And when it's good, it's good.

A clever, brilliantly bright take on ceviche sees barely cured snapper festively plated with slivers of jalapeño on macadamia milk splashed with an oil of sawtooth coriander. Mud crab meat, on the other hand, is pressed between sheets of crisp chicken skin, and topped rather superfluously with grated cured egg yolk in odd finger sandwiches. They're densely savoury, heavy and do little to put the sweetness or flavour of the crab to the fore.

Expect to see a lot of Carmichael's chicken in your Instagram and Facebook feeds in the weeks to come - it's a swathe of fried bird nearly a foot wide, ruggedly nubbled with a crunchy coating spiced with habanero, admirably juicy within. Squeezed with lime, it sings.

The hero of the menu is unquestionably the pork chop (pictured). Charred, salty and jerk-spiced, it's also pretty damned juicy. It's sliced and served with the bone, in a cloud of lime fragrance conjured by a bed of kaffir lime leaves, a healthy scattering of lime zest on the meat and a clutch of thoroughly grilled lime wedges on the side. Summer on a plate, it's the perfect introduction to Carmichael's way of presenting flavours that are at once fresh and familiar.

I'm not really sure what to do with the staggeringly buttery "busted" roti, but using it to pick up pieces of the pork seems like a good place to start. It seems like a roti looking for something to mop.

Team all of this with engaging, zesty service from manager Kylie Javier Ashton and sommelier Ambrose Chiang, plus Chiang's smart new cocktails, and you've got some very good reasons to detour through the casino again very soon. The bar is back.

Momofuku Seiobo, The Star, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont, NSW. Open lunch Sat noon-2pm; dinner Mon-Thu 6.30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 6pm-10pm.

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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