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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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.

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.

Decadent chocolate dessert recipes for Christmas

13 of our most decadent chocolate recipes to indulge guests with this Christmas.

Sydney's best dishes 2016

For our 50th anniversary issue in 2016, we scoured Australia asking two questions: What dishes are making waves right now? What flavours will take us into the next half-century? Sydney provided 16 answers.

What the GT team is cooking on Christmas Day

We don't do things by halves in the Gourmet office. These are the recipes we'll be cooking on the big day.

Summer feta recipes

Whether in a fresh salad or seasonal seafood dish, feta's creamy tang can be used to add interest to a variety of summer dishes.

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."

Hot Plate: Nora, Melbourne

Nora's

Nora's "Sorry I'm Crabby Today"

Nora re-opens as a dégustation restaurant, balancing out-there sensibilities with an exciting yet un-pretentious menu.

Nora's menu reads like the set list of a slam poet: Daft Punk is Playing in My Mouth, 12am In the Fridge, Sorry I'm Crabby Today, Too Many Italians and Only One Asian, Tagliatelle of Oyster Not Oyster.

You don't actually get a printed menu until after you've finished your $95 dégustation either. So when one of the 12 or so dishes lands and your waiter announces: "Slowly But Surely", how are you supposed to know that the beautiful looking emerald green granita is made from a couple of different types of coriander, that the black discs are radish that's been pickled for more than a year, and that the tiny crumbs are fried garlic?

By the time Slowly But Surely rolls around, a palate-cleanser marking the border between sweet and savoury dishes, you'll already understand that Nora has its own set of rules. You'll have eaten green papaya cut to look like pasta that's tossed with a "pesto" of roasted cashew nuts and sator (aka stinky beans) and school prawns (Too Many Italians and Only One Asian), or a marinated chicken heart sitting in a pastry oyster shell topped with a sweet fish sauce and frozen pomelo (Oyster Not Oyster).

Those who ate at Nora when it was a café, or who attended one of their Friday night Small Dinner Club events will already have an idea about how owners Sarin Rojanametin and Jean Thamthanakorn roll. But this permanent dinner incarnation should surprise even the forewarned. Rojanametin, a self-taught cook, offers flavours that are original and experimental, with humour and creativity front and centre. But despite a million warning bells signalling overreach and pretentiousness, the quality of the food is never sacrificed in the name of simply being "out there".

The dishes eat like discovery. Service is charming and efficient. The drinks list, from sommelier Kentaro Emoto, takes its cues from the food, not surprisingly favouring the natural end of the spectrum. There's also a juice matching that's revelatory in its ability to balance the savoury with the sweet.

Not everybody will love Nora, especially those who crave volume, but those that love it will love it a lot.

Nora, 156 Elgin St, Carlton, Vic, (03) 9041 8644, noramelbourne.com; open Thu-Mon for two sittings at 6.15pm and 8.45pm.

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