Healthy Eating

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

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller for your chance to win a $20,000 Flight Centre gift card! Offer ends 24 May 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

OzHarvest opens Australia's first free supermarket

"This is about dignity. This is about anyone walking through this door, taking what they need, and only giving back if they can."

Anzac biscuit desserts

These four desserts have one thing in common – Anzac biscuits.

Six sexy panna cottas

We say si to these six takes on the Italian classic. From coffee and caramel to red wine and figs, panna cotta proves to be a versatile dessert to suit all palettes.

Okonomiyaki with sticky soy pork belly

Persian red lentil soup with tahini, beetroot and fried mint

Lentil soup may not sound like the sexiest of dishes, but rest assured, it's a heart-warmer. We've added warming spices and served the soup with a dollop of garlicky tahini. Thin slivers of shaved raw beetroot add earthiness and texture - the beetroot is also excellent simply grated and served piled on top. The poached egg is optional, but highly recommended.

Blue Nile's Ethiopian eggplant dip

"I'd love the recipe for the eggplant dip the wonderful Fatuma Tikuye serves at Blue Nile in Blacktown." - Helena Rosebery, Annandale, NSW REQUEST A RECIPE To request a recipe, email or write to Fare Exchange, Australian Gourmet Traveller, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001. Please include the restaurant's name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.

Eclair recipes

Here are four spins on the classic French eclair, from Flour & Stone's pillowy choux pastry with salted caramel to a colourful take with strawberry-flecked creme fraiche filling and sprinkled pistachios on top.

Fifty-four thoughts at Noma Mexico

"12. I'm now sitting at Noma with no shoes on. I feel like a toddler in a sandpit."

Dining at Jackalope, Mornington Peninsula

Doot Doot Doot's storm clams with tomato juice, tarragon oil, smoked herring roe

Doot Doot Doot's storm clams with tomato juice, tarragon oil, smoked herring roe

There's so much going on at Jackalope, the fancy new boutique hotel at Willow Creek Vineyard, halfway between Balnarring and Tuerong on the Mornington Peninsula. So. Much. Going. On. Apart from all that five-star accommodation (46 rooms of it), there are two restaurants - a bistro and a fine-diner - plus a wine-tasting room, a wine bar, another bar, a food store and a whole bunch of questing modern art and bespoke furniture. Into that list you can even slot the cloakroom, where the walls, floor and even the coat-hangers are fluffily lined with the softest grey rabbit pelts. The unwitting diner stumbles upon this unexpected scenario - a spot where that fictitious Alice might curl up for an afternoon nap - turning the corner to the bathrooms at Rare Hare bistro.

Doot Doot Doot.

But that's the thing about Jackalope, named after the mythical half jackrabbit, half antelope, which opened in April. It's not all style at the expense of substance. And when it comes to the food there's oodles to like, starting with Rare Hare, the vast brick-floored canteen where Projects of Imagination have conjured a ruggedly upmarket Boy Scouts sensibility with texture upon texture - brick, polished wood, an origami ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows with uninterrupted views over the vines - and crowned it with a wood oven that works as hard as anyone in the place.

Executive chef Guy Stanaway is a peripatetic kind of fellow - he's moved south from Noosa's Bistro C but spent the preceding decade with Aman Resorts in India and Indonesia - and his menu dips and whirls a bit around the two dominant poles of Spanish/Mediterranean and Asian without getting hopelessly lost. A whole wood-grilled snapper lavished with mussel butter, a thicket of herbs and a half a charred lemon is no culinary non-sequitur to a roasted cross-section of sambal-topped bone marrow with toast; there's burrata crusted with seeds and nuts and sophisticated slivers of tarragon, the sweetness cut by the acidic edge of pickled green tomato; there's Negroni-cured trout bright with horseradish cream and dill; and to finish a picture-perfect chocolate brown butter tart that cuts as softly as caramel.

Custard apple, walnut, yuba, miso at Doot Doot Doot.

Where Rare Hare is bright and breezy, the restaurant Doot Doot Doot goes dark and moody, crowned with a kinetic Jan Flook ceiling light installation of 10,000 amber globes that mimics the process of fermentation. Yes, really. To mirror Willow Creek the narrative-based global wine list emphasises producers of 11 hectares or less (opt for drink matching, however, and you might begin with a Bloody Mary smartly corrupted with clam juice instead of vino).

Strap in for a four- or eight-course dégustation. Thanks to Stanaway and his head chef Martin Webster, late of Montalto, you'll be greeting a whole array of Mornington Peninsula produce transformed with a light modern touch. There are vegetables - poached, raw, pickled - with fermented whey and orange blossom. Spanner crab and furikake on creamed potato with bottarga is improbably successful. Steamed King George whiting plumbs the marine depths with grilled urchin, a viscous uni sauce and slivers of raw macadamia; an Asian twist arrives courtesy of veal sweetbreads with Sorrento abalone, dressed in a dark Chinese-style sauce of the mollusc's liver. 

Yuzu curd, matcha, sesame at Doot Doot Doot.

They've thought of everything. Gorgeous Cone 11 ceramics that change throughout the meal. Zalto stemware. There's even a four-course children's menu that can be paired with differently flavoured sparkling waters. Seriously. The more sensible (read: boring) among us could argue it's creating a monster but they'd be missing the point. Monsters are the Jackalope's raison d'être, in the best possible way.

Jacaklope Hotel, 166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North, Vic, (03) 5931 2500,; Rare Hare open for lunch daily and dinner Fri-Sun.  Doot Doot Doot open for lunch Sat-Sun and dinner daily.


Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Fifty-four things that went through my mind while eating dinner at Noma Mexico
Dining at Jackalope, Mornington Peninsula
La Lune Wine Co opens in South Brisbane
Three Blue Ducks chef Darren Robertson to open Rocker in Bondi
A menu by Adam Wolfers inspired by heritage and tradition
Hot Plates: Hardy's Verandah, Crafers, SA
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

You might also like...

Australian chefs to follow on Instagram in 2013

There are a lot of food shots on Instagram: the good, the ba...

Where our chefs want to eat

We asked Australia's leading chefs to name the restaurants t...

Hot 100 2015 - Restaurant news

The world is getting hotter and we’re not talking about glob...

What the hell is Gelinaz anyway, and why is it shuffling?

On the eve of the second outing of one of the world’s strang...

Grant Achatz interview

Pat Nourse talks to the chef of Chicago’s Alinea ahead of hi...

Nahm named best restaurant in Asia

The 2014 50 Best Restaurants in Asia were unveiled this week...

Restaurants cooking with seaweed

With its complexity in flavour and texture, seaweed is the c...

On the pass

Tell us about Tomahawk’s menu, Ali...

S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015

A mighty fine plate of beef short ribs with roast celery vin...

Dan Barber talks sustainable food

Farm-to-table is a neat catchcry but, argues Dan Barber, one...

Alessandro Pavoni, Ormeggio, Sydney

You’ve just released your first cookbook, a tribute to Lomba...

The 2016 GT Restaurant Guide Top 100

Here's the list of our 2016 Restaurant Guide Top 100. How ma...

First look: 108 at Noma, Copenhagen

Rene Redzepi may be headed to Sydney next month, but he's ba...

Party-starting playlists

Music is a key ingredient that can turn your party from good...

Edible seaweed guide

With its complexity in flavour and texture, seaweed is the c...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.