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.

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.

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.

First Look: Otto, Brisbane

Otto Brisbane

Otto Brisbane

The Fink Group has expanded to Queensland with Otto Brisbane, which opens next week, though it's not just a replica of its Sydney location.

"Take a look at King's Row," suggests John Fink, indicating the space alongside a floor-to-ceiling window with views of the Brisbane River and Story Bridge. "This will be the el primo seating - but every chair here is good." We're at Fink Group's first interstate restaurant, Otto Brisbane. The 120-seat northern outpost for the group behind Sydney venues Bennelong, Quay Firedoor and Sydney's original Otto on the Finger Wharf will open on 14 June and fills a generous chunk of the fourth-floor atrium at Dexus Property Group's 480 Queen Street office building.

If you were expecting a faithful replica of Otto Sydney, think again.

The branding is intact - white linen and striking water panoramas in place - but the menu veers in the opposite direction to Sydney's, doffing a cap to southern Italy, rather than the chillier north. Will Cowper, former sous-chef in Sydney for eight years, will head the open kitchen, with Alan Hunter, former longstanding sommelier for E'cco Bistro in Brisbane, wrangling wines. Sam Pask (ex-Selah, Sydney) will lead the floor.

Sydney's $100 lobster spaghetti won't make the trek north, but signature baby barramundi fillets with salsa verde will, along with the likes of pepper-crusted swordfish with Noosa red tomatoes; Sardinian-style globe artichokes; white anchovies with fennel, muscatels and pine nuts; spatchcock with char-grilled lemon, and more. Otto Brisbane will also serve a vegan menu, as Sydney does.

Smoked ham hock carbonara, pecorino 

Architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer have used elements of Otto Sydney's DNA. But there are distinctly Queensland touches: timber flooring, timber-slatted Jenga-style screen walls, and dramatic magenta and purple fabric fans, "Les Danseuses", sourced by Fink Group chairman Leon Fink at the Venice Biennale.  A private dining room with seating for 20 overlooks the copper dome of Brisbane's Customs House.

A covered alfresco bar, Bar Otto, sits adjacent to the restaurant, offering all-day dining with coffee from Brisbane roaster Blackstar and milk from Maleny Dairies. "We want to serve the best coffee in the area. There are 4,000 people upstairs - we want to rust them on," says Fink.

An aptly Italian wine list, featuring Italian and Australian-grown Italian varieties, has been drafted by Hunter and consultant Ned Goodwin. It fields a clever selection of biodynamic and natural wines, but Fink says there will also be a healthy smattering of wines people "just want to drink".

Otto Brisbane opens on June 14, Parkland Level 4, 480 Queen St, Brisbane, QLD, (07) 3835 2888, ottoristorante.com.au/brisbane/

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