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Finalists for Regional Restaurant of the Year 2018
27.07.2017

These three restaurants - Fleet, Brae and Igni - might not be in capital cities, but their food is all the more satisfying for the time it takes to travel there.

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The life of a farmer revolves around the seasons. Come winter, a certain thriftiness is needed in the kitchen to make the most of meagre produce, writes Paulette Whitney.

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Italy's claim to being the greatest of the world's cuisines has one key weakness: breakfast. But, argues John Irving, there's more to the story than first meets the eye.

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Finalists for Maitre D' of the Year 2018
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Spirit House, Yandina, Qld

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country right now: Spirit House, Yandina, Qld.

Now entering its third decade, Spirit House still feels timeless in its bamboo-fringed setting, replete with serene lily pond, stone statuary and red-painted Thai-style pavilion. But the team at this regional standard-setter rarely lets time go idly by. Post a mini-renovation last month, there's a new high bar for dining in the pavilion directly overlooking the water. It's a sweet spot to survey the street-food influences now dotting the menu and to roll up a first-rate chilli-boosted bundle (or four) of prawn miang laced with lime, peanut and ginger. Classics such as the crisp fried market fish served whole with a tamarind and chilli sauce remain fixtures, but the arrival of Tom Swapp has seen the advent of tasty treats such as butterflied salt and pepper whiting fillets with Sriracha and lime, mixed tempura vegetables accompanied by a smoky nam phrik noom, Thai chicken biryani and a generously sized share plate of punchy lamb shoulder rendang. Desserts continue to meld East and West. Cool things down with a hat-tip to bubble tea featuring vivid pandan pearls and tart Champagne jelly as the base to a layer of lychee and ginger granita, all topped off with candied ginger chips and a peanut and cashew crumb. Spirited stuff.

Spirit House, 20 Ninderry Rd, Yandina, Qld, (07) 5446 8994.


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