Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

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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.

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.

Fast autumn dinners

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

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.

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.

Roti canai

Here, we've made the dough in a food processor, but it's really quick and simple to do by hand as well. If the dough seems a little too wet just add a little more flour.

Transformer, Melbourne

Transformer, Fitzroy, Melbourne

Transformer, Fitzroy, Melbourne

Read our restaurant review of Transformer, Melbourne here

Transformer is quite possibly the restaurant meat-free Melbourne has been waiting for. It's the Vegie Bar gone haute. A stunning design courtesy of Breathe Architects has turned the double-fronted warehouse into a gloriously mood-lit, plant-strewn space wrapped around an interior courtyard. It's date-night territory, far from the clang and yoga pants of Vegie Bar.

A compact wine list flirts with the organic without going steady; cocktails are full of snips from the garden; and the menu doesn't bludgeon diners over the head with mission statements.

Chef Luke Florence knows how to use tofu but he's sidestepped any mock-meat products. Around half the menu is vegan - a spelt and seed steamed bao wrapped around fried tofu with spicy mayo might win a few converts - while his richly textured salads show that vegetables are the new norm.

When Laki Papadopoulos and Mark Price opened the Vegie Bar on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Bob Hawke was Prime Minister of Australia and Home and Away had just gone to air. It's taken them 27 years to open Transformer, the grown-up version of their perennially humming vegetarian and vegan café, but it's not like they've been idle.

In the interim the pair has opened Rice Queen, St Jude's Cellars, and Panama Dining Room. They're sticklers for a certain square kilometre of Fitzroy real estate, including this run-down former transformer factory behind the Vegie Bar.

It could have been a raw-food restaurant, Papadopoulos admits. "I really got into that for a while a few years ago. But I found it impossible to sustain. The gloss wore off really fast." These days, he prefers "flexitarian".

"Life's a bit too short to have hard-and-fast rules about what we eat. It's a bit like the weather - we all change. The brief in the end was just good food."

Transformer serves the sort of food Papadopoulos says he searched for fruitlessly on an eating tour of California and New York last year.

"A lot of vegetarian food has pretty poor standards. We actually found the best vego options were at meat restaurants. Hopefully here you won't notice there's no meat."

Transformer Fitzroy, 99 Rose St, Fitzroy, Vic, (03) 9419 2022, transformerfitzroy.com.au

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