The February issue

Our clean eating issue is out now, packed with super lunch bowls, gluten-free desserts and more - including our cruising special, covering all luxury on the seas.

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Most popular recipes summer 2017

Counting down from 20, here are this summer's most-loved recipes.

Curtis Stone's strawberry, elderflower and brioche summer puddings

"Think of this dessert as a deconstructed version of a summer pudding, with thinly sliced strawberries macerated in elderflower liqueur and layered between slices of brioche," says Stone. "A dollop of whipped cream on top is a cooling counterpoint to the floral flavours."

Australia's best rieslings

We’re spoilt for variety – and value – in Australia when it comes to good riesling. Max Allen picks the top 20 from a fine crop.

Chorizo hotdogs with chimichurri and smoky red relish

A hotdog is all about the condiments. Here, choose between a smoky red capsicum relish or the bright flavours of chimichurri, or go for a bit of both.

Bali's new wave of restaurants, hotels and bars

The restaurant and hotel scene on Australia's favourite holiday island has never been more exciting and Australian chefs, owners and restaurateurs are leading the charge, writes Samantha Coomber.

Curtis Stone's strawberry and almond cheesecake

"I've made all kinds of fancy cheesecakes in my time, but nothing really beats the classic combination of strawberries and almonds with a boost from vanilla bean," says Stone. "I could just pile macerated strawberries on top, but why not give your tastebuds a proper party by folding grilled strawberries into the cheesecake batter too? Cheesecakes are elegant and my go-to for celebrations because they taste best when whipped up a day in advance."

Fig recipes

Figs. We can't get enough of them. Here are a few sweet and savoury ways to add them to your summer spread.

Baguette recipes

These baguette recipes are picture-perfect and picnic ready, bursting with fillings like slow-cooked beef tongue, poached egg and grilled asparagus and classic leg ham and cheese.

Back in time at Marios

Marios

Marios

Thirty years ago Marios changed the way Melbourne and, by extension, Australia thought about cafés, and to celebrate the occasion, owners Mario De Pasquale and Mario Maccarone are going to party like it's 1986. Later this month the Fitzroy institution is dropping its menu prices (but not alcohol) to what they were when the doors opened on Brunswick Street three decades ago.

Translated, that means for one day only coffee will be a dollar, eggs on toast $3.50 and lasagne $4.50. There could be a stampede. What's best about returning to the past, though, is not about the cheap coffee and bargain pasta, it's about how these prices focus the attention on how little has changed at Marios since coffee was being sold for a buck.

 The café stands as testament to the value of having all the fundamentals in place. And those fundamentals were assembled by two professional waiters, working in fine-dining restaurants in Melbourne, who created a business entirely based on the idea of a place where they wanted to hang out that didn't yet exist.

And so there were (and still are) sharply dressed waitstaff, linen on the tables, terrazzo floors, a jazz soundtrack (Miles, Miles and more Miles), art by local artists for sale on the walls, an all-day breakfast, a kitchen that opens late every night and a dedication to solid, reliable coffee, like you get in a bar in Italy.

All these things seem unremarkable now, but they were mostly as unheard of in 1986 as some of Marios' alumni - Maurice Terzini, Pete Evans and Karen Batson. (Full disclosure: back in the mists of time I worked there too, as a waiter.)

Marios is a place that has been remarkably influential on the café scene, particularly in Melbourne, but also the rest of the country, showing Australians a compelling template for smart yet relaxed dining. "We wanted to be both classy and casual," says Maccarone. "We looked a bit like a restaurant, but you could still come in and get Vegemite on toast."

And that's what they did. Marios' 30th birthday this month is a good time to remember and to give thanks. And get yourself a cheap meal.

Prices will drop to 1986 levels on Thursday 28 April, from 7am to 10.30pm. Marios, 303 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, Vic, (03) 9417 3343, marioscafe.com.au

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