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An Australian dining landmark rises from the ashes: the Stokehouse is back ready to please the crowds for at least another generation to come, writes Michael Harden.
French bistro classics are suddenly hotter on the Queensland dining scene than a bubbling pot-au-feu.
Take our quiz to check your knowledge.
Pierre Khodja’s Camus opens this week, bringing the vibrant flavours of his Algerian homeland to Northcote’s High Street.
What better way to ring in the Year of the Rooster than a culinary spectacular?
Here's the story behind it.
Destroyed by fire in 2014, the Stokehouse has returned as an elegant foreshore precinct. Michael Harden talks to owner Frank van Haandel about the rebirth of a landmark.
Millbrook Winery chef Guy Jeffreys walks us through his approach to cooking and what's on the menu this month and next.
Whether it's mixed through black rice pudding with caramelised bananas, shredded on top of mango trifle or toasted and served with coconut jelly, coconut adds tropical touch and fragrance to summer desserts.
Spend less time cooking and more time relaxing at your next barbecue - these char-grilled meats and vegetables are low on labour but deliver big on juicy and smoky flavours.
We approach an expert on the ground in Turkey for the inside word on the Salt Bae phenomenon. Just how salty is that steak?
Attica’s chef isn’t happiest when eating soils or smears on his days off, it’s souvlaki. We follow him to his favourite spot.
Melbourne, it's finally your turn for a taste of David Thompson's uncompromising Thai cooking.
There’s never a dull moment at ultra-glam, slightly mad Pascale, QT Melbourne’s dazzling flagship diner, writes Michael Harden.
After a year of big name openings, a new Alexandria eatery arrives as a likable - and possibly lovable - local.
Here's the story behind it.
Involuntary, uncool gawking around is a given for first-timers at Higher Ground. With its 15-metre ceilings, bank of Playschool-on-steroids arched windows and 160-seat capacity over mezzanine and split levels, the former power station space is seriously, consciously impressive. Even more amazing is that the cavernous proportions feel intimate with noise levels hovering at a pleasant cathedral-like burble.
Initial positive feelings towards Higher Ground come in part from the flush of success at finally gaining access - there's often a person-with-a-clipboard-organised wait during the day ranging from 15 minutes on a Tuesday morning to nearly two hours at peak brunch on Sundays. But the good vibes are mostly down to being looked after by a team that seriously knows their café stuff.
This behemoth counts Kettle Black and Top Paddock as siblings and the family resemblance is marked. The coffee (from three machines, one cleverly stationed outside for takeaway customers and queuers) is solid with a menu that runs to filter, batch brew and several single origin options, complete with tasting notes. Service is calm, efficient and friendly, and the multiple seating options - communal tables, bar and lounge seating, banquette-like couches - all strike a distinct, clean-cut, Scandinavian-Japanese pose.
But the clearest similarity is with the café-meets-restaurant approach to the food. Clearly plated with Instagram in mind, it's good looking but it's good eating too. A lamb sausage roll arrives as a golden pastry-encircled slice of deliciously seasoned lamb mince sharing a plate with house-pickled cucumbers and aïoli flecked with tiny pieces of anchovy. Roasted and pickled mushrooms are dumped on soft, pale yellow polenta, and textured with hazelnut and sourdough crumbs. There's a delicate dish of cured kingfish served with seaweed and ponzu, a hefty bacon sandwich with brown sauce, and pretty sweet things that read like breakfast (ricotta hotcakes with maple syrup, seeds and grains, fruit and flowers) and look like dessert.
The something-for-everybody approach here is confident, measured and restrained so that it avoids looking overly eager or obsequious. It's a mature approach that bodes well for Higher Ground's longevity beyond the initial flush of being the latest greatest thing.
Higher Ground, open Mon-Wed 7am-4pm, Thu-Fri 7am-11pm, Sat 8am-11pm, Sun 8am-4pm, 650 Little Bourke St, Melbourne, (03) 8899 6219
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