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The Royal Mail Hotel is changing
28.03.2017

Executive chef Robin Wickens has a stronger influence at the Royal Mail Hotel's upcoming restaurant, slated to open later this year.

Adventuring along America's north-west rivers
28.03.2017

The rivers of America's north-west running through Washington state and Oregon form the arteries of epic landscapes and bold discovery routes. Emma Sloley follows in the wake of Lewis and Clark.

The World's Best sommeliers are coming to Australia
28.03.2017

For the first time, the world's top international sommeliers will take part in the World's 50 Best Awards too.

Seven Italian dishes that shaped fine dining in the 2000s
28.03.2017

Italian food in the restaurants of Australia blossomed into maturity in the new millennium, as the work of these trailblazers shows – dazzling and diverse, a successful balance between adaptation and tradition.

Steam ovens: a guide
27.03.2017

Billed as the faster, cleaner way to cook, are these on-trend ovens all they’re cracked up to be? We take a close look at their rising popularity, USP versus the traditional convection cooker and how each type rates in terms of form, function, and above all, flavour in this buyer’s guide.

Our chocolate issue is out now
27.03.2017

Our April issue is out now. In his editor's letter, Pat Nourse walks you through what to expect.

Roast pork with Nelly Robinson
27.03.2017

Nelly Robinson of Sydney's nel. restaurant talks us through his favourite roasting joints, tips for crisp roast potatoes and why, when it comes to pork, slow and steady always wins the race.

Water carafes
24.03.2017

More than mere vessels, these pieces bring a cool breeze of style from the fridge to the table.

Fast autumn dinners

Autumn weather signals the arrival of soups, broths, roasts and more hearty meals.

Flour and Stone Recipes

Baker extraordinaire Nadine Ingram of Sydney's Flour and Stone cooks up a sweet storm for Easter, including the much loved bakery's greatest hit.

Roasted cauliflower salad with yoghurt dressing and almonds

The cauliflower is roasted until it starts to caramelise, which adds extra depth of flavour to this winning salad. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

All Star Yum Cha

What happens the morning after the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards? We treat the chefs to a world-beating yum cha session, as Dani Valent discovers.

New cruises 2017

Cue the Champagne.

1980s recipes

Australia saw some bold moves in the ’80s, and we’re not just talking hairstyles. Greater cultural references started peppering the menus of our restaurants, and home-grown ingredients won a new appreciation. The dining scene was coming of age and a new band of pioneers led the charge.

Melbournes finest meet Worlds Best

Leading chefs descend on Melbourne in April for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. We asked local hospitality folk who they’d abduct for the day and where they’d take them to show off their city. There may be coffee, there may be culture, but in the end it’s cocktails.

Savoury tarts

Will your next baking project be a flaky puff pastry with pumpkin, goat's curd and thyme, or a classic bacon and Stilton tart? As autumn settles in, we're ticking these off one by one.

Mercado, Sydney

Ortiz anchovy tart with bullhorn peppers

Ortiz anchovy tart with bullhorn peppers

Nathan Sasi's Mercado has opened in Sydney's CBD, packed with the flavours of the Mediterranean.

You're going to have to order the sandwich. There's some pretty exciting stuff going on between sliced white at the moment, but the golden soldiers of pan-fried brioche holding thin layers of smoked wagyu tongue and pickled green tomato at Mercado are hard to beat. Bring a glass of lightly oxidative chardonnay from Jura producer Jean Bourdy into the mix and it's basically unstoppable. On the strength of this combination alone it's easy to see this place being a hit.

Mercado's menu will be pleasantly familiar to anyone who enjoyed chef Nathan Sasi's cooking at Nomad in Surry Hills. There's the same commitment to making as much as possible from scratch - the bread, the charcuterie, the "everything" vinegar that dresses the impeccable leaf salad - and he's still working with the flavours of the Mediterranean. The presence of piquillo peppers, romesco sauce and sobrasada signal that Moorish flavours and culture, too, remain a passion. Ortiz anchovies laid across roasted bullhorn peppers on crisps of pastry almost rival the tongue sandwich for the title of most essential bar snack. But they and the likes of the salt fish croquettes with lemon mayonnaise and morcilla with smoked white beans are joined on the menu by less Spanish things such as wood-fired prawns with bottarga and shellfish butter, and a lush plate of Turkish ravioli stuffed with gooey wood-roasted pumpkin and dressed with yoghurt and isot pepper.

Most of the main courses come with a lick of smoke from the rôtisserie or the wood-fired oven: chickens, lambs, suckling pigs, Blackmore wagyu blade. Snapper fillet makes a great case for the kitchen's facility with flame, juicy and sweet against a backdrop of spiced eggplant and pomegranate.

Sitting in a glammed-up room just below street level on the corner between Ash Street and China Lane, Mercado seems very well placed to make a killing as part of the new Martin Place push, opening ahead of new projects still to come nearby from Icebergs' Maurice Terzini and Andrew Cibej, the restaurateur behind Vini, Ester and Berta. And that's just on the strength of the sandwich alone.

Mercado, 4 Ash St, Sydney, NSW, (02) 9221 6444; open lunch Mon-Fri noon-3pm, dinner Mon-Thu 5.30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm.

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