We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.
Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 25th June, 2017 and receive a Laguiole cheese knife set!
Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.
We asked our favourite confectioners and cafe owners from around the country for their hottest tips.
Sydneysiders revive a landmark restaurant in country New South Wales.
You’ve got another chance at last winter’s sell-out drop from Four Pillars.
A bar for art’s sake pops up at Semi Permanent.
Attica chef Ben Shewry has been thinking about your buttocks, and wants to introduce them to an Australian design classic.
Charleston, the antebellum jewel of the Carolina coast, has embraced its Lowcountry roots, writes Shane Mitchell, and now shines anew.
Our June issue is out now, and it's all about breakfast. Pat Nourse kicks things off with his editor's letter.
Andrew McConnell’s Cantonese-inspired restaurant will become a classroom for a night during the Emerging Writers’ Festival.
There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet.
Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.
Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.
Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.
Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.
A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.
This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.
Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.
Dripping candles. Bow-tied waiters. Au poivre and Piaf, Tatin
and tartare. Hubert could so easily have been yet another
cookie-cutter bistro, one of those Madame Tussauds eateries where
the patter from the maître d' is just as waxy as the food. Instead
it sparkles with wit and vigour. To stroll down the stairs, whoosh
past the bar into a cool Martini and then glide onto a table for
dinner à deux is as close as most of us can hope to get to living
the Copacabana scene from Goodfellas in this lifetime.
The acres of carpet, wood panelling and framed French posters, the stage and the baby grand piano, all sepia-lit by orange lamps with fringed shades, are presented without an iota of ironic detachment. They're fun and comfortable because they're fun and comfortable, just as the grand aïoli and the steak frites are here simply because they taste good. Hubert isn't bound by the old-school details - it glories in them.
Sprawling over multiple rooms, served by not one but two bars and offering a dandy mix of seating options, the basement space is the first restaurant from Anton Forte and Jason Scott, the bar czars behind The Baxter Inn, Shady Pines Saloon and Frankie's. Their chief creative collaborator is Daniel Pepperell, the chef who made his name with playful, inventive takes on Italian cooking at Paddington's 10 William Street. It's on Bligh Street, but not perfectly away in terms of tone and clientele. It is, to put it mildly, very much its own beast.
At Hubert the couple in the next booth tapping their feet to Sinatra are as likely to be decked out in neck tatts and Ramblin' Rascal tees as they are diamond necklaces and Rykiel. Profiles of the staff scattered through the superb wine list reveal that Anton Forte's wife, Allie Webb (designer of the brilliant and eccentric graphics), calls him Nibbly Pig behind closed doors, and that co-owner Stefan Forte's first car was an unregistered Mercedes Benz 230SL. Unlike just about every other local restaurant plying the bentwood-chairs and cassoulet trade, these guys have understood the spirit of the bistro: it's fun.
At 10 William Street chef Pepperell quietly seasoned his ragù Bolognese with fish sauce, cross-bred Italy's beccafico with Japan's katsu-sando for the best-ever fried-sardine bar sandwich, and made a signature of a bottarga dip served with a big hot pretzel. At Hubert he takes a similarly cavalier approach, one hand on Larousse, the other one punching the air. He deploys dashi in the velouté to up the umami count in a plate of fat pipis served with chervil and chives (a dish worth ordering for its bread-dipping potential alone), complements smooth duck-liver parfait with a layer of maple syrup jelly, and reimagines oeufs en gelée as egg yolks set with ocean trout roe in a sparkling bonito jelly. Tarte Tatin and pepper sauce there may be, but the Tatin will be the complement to a toasty slice of beautifully built boudin noir, and it'll be a confit field mushroom served au poivre, not a steak.
See seven recipes from Dan Pepperell at Restaurant
The cassoulet is more like a plate of duck confit and white beans with the addition of some very good, porky Toulouse sausage. It's fine, but has none of the integration (or gratination) that really makes the dish. Anchovy toast, on the other hand, is greater than the sum of its parts: big, meaty fillets of salted anchovies from Nardin (a brand most true anchovy devotees will pick over Ortiz) on cultured butter and charred sourdough under shallot and a thatch of watercress.
Chicken fricassée with pommes Anna and roasted cabbage
On paper the tomato tart - onion jam, black olive and puff pastry - sounds like it's going to be a pissaladière-ish slip of a thing, but is instead an inch of thick, red, fruit-sweet tomato confit. The Malakoff, a sort of fried Gruyère croquette set on a dollop of Dijon, looks like a fondue fritter and tastes like a rarebit looking for toast. These dishes underscore the fact that as Pepperell has shifted from Italian as a base to French with the move from 10 William Street to Hubert, swapping oil for butter along the way, his food has become heavier. (Compare and contrast the menus at the Italian-ish Acme and its French-ish sibling Bar Brosé.) There is something to be said for ordering conservatively.
There again, nothing about the larger Hubert picture says
"restraint". You don't have to dress up to be here, but you can.
From Shady Pines to The Baxter Inn to Frankie's, Jason Scott and
Anton Forte have proven themselves to be masters of finely tuned
atmosphere, their venues all the while fostering an impression of
effortlessness. More than any of their ventures, too, Hubert has
that quality of having been around for a great many years, even
though it only opened last month. That comfort and confidence only
intensifies the urge to settle in, order up big and let the good
Forte is in his element on the floor, slapping backs and bussing plates, and Scott seems perfectly assured greeting guests as they pour endlessly down the stairs. It's also no surprise that Hubert is an excellent place to drink. Across their bars, Scott and Forte have a pretty deep bench of talent to draw on, and their top guys here, James Irvine and Brendan Keown, are as quick with the chat as they are with the seven (mostly) classic cocktails on the list. The care in the details of the drinks is as impressive as across every other aspect of the business. Order a Martini and it'll come out in an etched glass bottle with a little waxed-paper cup of garnishes on the side: olive, twist, pickle, pickled onion.
Eating in the bar brings its own pleasures. The shorter menu
doesn't carry the big dishes to share, but it is bolstered by the
addition of olives (Sicilian, marinated) and good almonds
(Valencian, roasted). The bar burger is well made, the bread soft,
the beef beefy, the proportions just so, garnished with a pickle on
the side. The question of whether you'll truly love it, though,
will hang on your feelings about Gruyère and hunks of raw onion.
Likewise, the chips are the very fine straws called pommes pailles.
They're a win on style points. Me, I like a bit more potato. These
guys just taste like fried. They're at their best mixed through the
tartare of wagyu topside (a piquant, flavoursome thing presented
with all the usual accessories already folded into it) to add
Speaking of texture, back in the dining room there's plenty of it to be had in the chicken. Pepperell gives it a fricassée treatment, brining a whole handsome Holmbrae bird, deep-frying it, chopping it up and then plating it, feet and all, with a mixture of shiitake, chestnut and button mushrooms and a deeply flavoured sauce of white wine, cream and tarragon. The fried feet, still on the long legs, are very fine things to wave and gnaw, it must be said. The chicken is the pick of the really big dishes, which include in their number a whole roasted Murray cod done Grenobloise-style with brown butter and capers, and a kilo of rib-eye grilled on the bone with sauce choron, the variant on Béarnaise made with the addition of tomato. Good reasons all to bring friends and make it a party.
The sides have all been given twists, most of them worthwhile -
black rice in the pilaf, the leaf salad served as an intact but
dressed butter lettuce. In the case of the pommes Anna, the
cleverness is not a twist but a turn, taking what is usually thin
slices of potato cooked in a flat cake and cutting that cake into
fingers and roasting them on their ends, giving them more surface
area for browning and resulting in extra flavour and crunch.
The wine list is also a thing of beauty, both in design and content. The range by the glass is impressive, the offer by the bottle is deep. There's lots of good Burgundy both red and white, and if you've been distressed by the recent trend away from red wine in pairings with tasting menus in Sydney, the wealth of shiraz and grenache here, complemented by healthy offerings in the gamay, Loire rouge and Languedoc-Roussillon departments, will do much to soothe your troubled brow. Sommelier Andy Tyson, an alumnus of Monopole, leads the wine team with aplomb, pointing out the list's succulent bargains (Pichot Vouvray for the duck-liver parfait), curiosities (a whole section just for Aligoté) and things that are simply dangerously drinkable. There are weird wines for those who want them, but also plenty of perfectly straight-down-the-line stuff. Best of all might be those hybrids such as the Béatrice et Pascal Lambert "Les Terrasses" Chinon, a cabernet franc made from organically grown grapes and bottled without sulphur. Natural, and very drinkable rather than wilfully kooky.
And then there's dessert. Were the crème caramel billed on the menu as a Spanish-style flan, perhaps its density would be more welcome; as it is, the bitterness of the caramel is a plus, but anyone expecting the walloping great round of a thing to melt under the spoon is going to be disappointed. Far better to order the walloping great melon en surprise. It's half a melon filled with young coconut sorbet and - spoiler alert - balls of melon, sorrel jelly and finger lime. It's every bit as enjoyable to eat as it sounds.
"In reading, one should notice and fondle details," wrote Nabokov. In Hubert, the attentive fondler will find layers of quality and richness, and not a few intriguing contradictions. A French restaurant with barely a French person on the staff. A place that's brand new but carefully styled to look like it's been here forever. It offers food and drink that evoke a lost era just as readily as they delight and satisfy contemporary palates. It is a restaurant built from the ground up to be the classic restaurant experience, and yet is ultimately unlike any other restaurant in the nation. The thing that suggests Hubert will be here for a good time and a long time is that from the food to the service to the wine list, it's fun but it also really delivers on its promises. Welcome to your new favourite night out.
Panache could be a watchword for Bang, Surry Hills’ first fo...
Sokyo's Chase Kojima's new project is something completely n...
Chef Sam Miller is heading back to the UK.
A collection documenting the life of the Sydney Opera House ...
Prepare to hold a new style of burger glory – wrapped in ric...
Pronounce it "bah-la" for Piedmont-born artist and composer...
THIS RESTAURANT HAS CLOSED. Sydney's two best fish cooks, ...
Is it a bar with good food or a restaurant with a good bar?...
Buon Ricordo exudes Italianness. Passion and professionalis...
Sydney is spoilt for choice when it comes to Italian food a...
Ever wondered why friends who live in Bondi never leave? A ...
Chef Somer Sivrioglu aims to rescue the reputation of the k...
The Merivale group's homage to the French brasserie is well...
You can try and kid yourself by sticking to the raw and cur...
Here is a restaurant writ large in size, form and aspect - ...
Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.×