Our October issue is on sale - the Paris special. Grab your copy for all-things Parisian, plus ultimate French baking recipes and more.
Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before October 24, 2016 and receive 3 BONUS ISSUES - save 46%.
Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad.
Canberra just keeps getting cooler - and we're not talking about the weather.
A slew of new projects takes shape in the Greek capital, which is slowly shrugging off a seven year recession.
We learn the secrets to a smooth flight from five regular Business Class travellers.
Pasta master Orazio D'Elia brings his experience to our Gourmet Institute series for 2016.
The holiday beach-town of Noosa scores a slick Southern-style blend of breakfast, tacos, burgers, booze and low and slow barbecue.
Our second Chinese-language edition includes our picks for where to eat across Australia, as well as a guide to South Coast road trips, luxe chocolate recipes and more.
Whatever your preconceived notions, next-gen luxury cruising is guaranteed to exceed all expectations. Here are ten reasons why.
Pat Nourse gives us his guide to Hong Kong's culinary delights.
Dumplings may be bite-sized, but they pack a flavourful punch. Here are seven mouth-watering recipes, from Korean mandu to classic Chinese-style steamed dumplings.
Feta's tang livens up all sorts of dishes, from beef shin rigatoni or blistered kale ribs to Greek-style roast lamb neck.
Whether served raw with olive oil, grated with fresh herbs, or pan-fried in a pancake - zucchini is a must-have ingredient when it comes to spring cooking.
Here’s Pickett’s inside running on the menu at Melbourne's new European-style eatery and wine bar Pickett's Deli & Rotisserie.
"This is my mother's famous apple cake. The apples are macerated with sugar, cinnamon and lemon, and this lovely juice produces the icing," says Brigitte Hafner. The apples can be prepared the night before and kept in the fridge. This cake keeps well for four days and is at its best served the day after it's made."
What's not to love about a Snickers bar? All the elements are here, but if you don't feel like making your own nougat, you could always scatter some diced nougat in the base of the tart instead. The caramel is dark, verging on bitter, while a good whack of salt cuts through some of the sweetness - extra roasted salted peanuts on top can only be a good thing.
As the shutters come down in other Australian capitals, Melbourne's vibrant nightlife is just hitting it's stride. Michael Harden burns the midnight oil at the city's best late-night bars and diners.
The first time I took my girlfriend, Natalie, to Greece, she said, "Do we have to go to Athens?" She'd been to the city before and done the main touristy things. I said to her, "Just experience Athens through my eyes, and then you can make that decision again. See it through my eyes and we'll see how we go." Now she loves the place. She can't get enough of it. Athens is all about looking for and finding all the places that have got a lot of heart and soul.
Take Mandragoras, for example, the coolest deli you'll ever see.
We all know what an olive's like, but there's a certain feeling you
get when you're in Greece in a shop like this and you're eating an
olive you know has come from only 50km away. You can tell it's been
made with love.
Take Spondi, Greece's restaurant jewel. The street it's on is nothing special. It's about the experience. As soon as you enter those big brass doors, you're entering a dining experience. It's phenomenal.
Take a 10-minute cab ride down to the seaside suburb of Glyfada, a beautiful coastal stretch. It's like the Great Ocean Road on steroids. You can pull up outside a little pastry shop, have your coffee, have something sweet, have a little swim, get some salt around your mouth, and then you're off having a little snack in a taverna.
In Athens, it's as though everything is buried under soil. What you need to do is dig a little, and what you'll find is the little old man who makes the sandals for the ladies who wear the wreaths on their heads for each Olympics. His craft has been passed down from generation to generation. The city is all about nooks and crannies - you turn left, you turn right, and among the chaos and the craziness and the recession, there's so much beauty.
People talk a lot about Greece's recession at the moment, but you know what? I'm not saying that's a good thing, but you've got to look past the clouds to find the beauty. If anything, what the recession is doing, especially on the food scene, is pushing people to try harder, to say we can't be complacent any more and rest on our laurels. We've got to live for the future now, we've got to start pushing our food, being affordable, doing all those things that need to be done for a country to push itself out of recession.
I get to Greece once or twice a year. It has to happen: it's my
inspiration, it invigorates me, and it gives me new ideas to bring
back to Australia and translate on my menus here.
There's a saying in Greece: "During the day we might be poor, but at night we're very rich and wealthy." Athenians are out every night enjoying life to the nth degree. That's something I wish we could do a bit more of in Australia. We need to enjoy life a bit more.
Miran Cured Meats
Miran is owned by Turkish Greeks, and the whole family work in it, which is just beautiful. It's a bit like a New York deli, with everything cured and salted and brined and smoked. All the gentlemen are at the back slicing up the cured meats, dressed up with ties on, and the rest of the family are running around doing everything else. One thing that stands out is the bonito they get from Turkey. They lightly cure the bonito and put it in olive oil. It is to die for, absolutely to die for. You take a knife, you take a slice, you pop it on some bread. It's absolutely phenomenal. Evripides 45, Athens, +30 21 0321 7187.
The kasseropita I ate at Ariston was one of the best pites I've ever eaten in my life. Kasseri is a type of hard Greek cheese similar to parmesan but made with goat's milk, and pita of course is pie, hence kasseropita. You walk in, there are queues of people, they collect their pie and they walk off and start eating it straightaway. Voulis 10, Syntagma.
Piraeus is the main port of Greece. It's a very old area, and it's known for its underworld. In wartime, back in the 1940s and and '50s, it had lots of underground clubs where men only would come and drink and smoke interesting substances and sing songs about war, love and death. This place is full of culture. Mandragoras is the coolest delicatessen. It's all Greek produce, and some Turkish, such as the best barrel-aged fetas,spices, halva, meats, louza (a traditional cured Cypriot meat), and olives - so many different olives you'd lose your mind. I was there with Travis McAuley, my head chef from Hellenic Republic in Melbourne, and to see his face when he saw all this was exciting for me. He was just gobsmacked. He runs a very successful Greek restaurant and here I was showing him the real McCoy.
There are little wild onions that grow in the mountains in Crete, called volvoi, which are pickled and eaten as a little mezze. They're delicious. Avgotaraho is cured and salted mullet roe, similar to bottarga, but it's different; this stuff is just to die for. Staka is thick cream - you bring cream up to the boil, you let it cool down, you scoop up the thick cream from the top, and you cook with this stuff. Mountain thyme, mountain tea, mountain oregano - all these products have got a gamy, wild smell, rather than that straightforward thyme smell. Little things like that are phenomenal. Gounari 14, Piraeus, +21 0417 2961.
The setting here is "really dodgy bad Greek taverna with plastic tablecloths". There are certainly no waterfront views - it's very close to the port, but you can't see the water. It's the type of place you would never walk into. But when you do walk in, you're in love.
It was the best seafood I've ever eaten. The chef, George Papaioannou, isn't a chef, he's a cook. He was in there with a T-shirt on. That day, all you could get was prawns from the Peloponnese, sea urchin, and barbounia, which is red mullet. He does the prawns in three styles: he grills them with a little bit of lemon and olive oil and he sends them out. Then he poaches them in a tomato sauce, crumbles a bit of feta over the top, sends them out. Then he does them "lathera", where he cooks them in olive oil then squeezes all the juice from the heads of the prawns and makes the sauce out of that. So you get these three totally different dishes that taste absolutely amazing from one ingredient. I'm not talking the prawns we get in Australia - and I love Australian produce - but these prawns were f***-off amazing.
He did a brilliant technique with red mullet. He fillets the red mullet, soaks them in vinegar for 30 minutes, takes them out, flours them very well, and then pan-fries them so you get crisp outside flesh, and when you bite into them, you get a little burst of vinegar with the fish, and you feel like you're eating fish and chips. It was just delicious.
He fries his chips in olive oil to order. And you're sitting there and going, oh my god, absolutely brilliant stuff. The service was efficient and quick. And what I loved was that as they were bringing the food out they kept giving you a clean plate. You didn't even have to look up once and it was just done. Filippou 5, Mikrolimano, Piraeus, +30 21 0422 5059.
P-Box is a Greek version of a New York deli. I was so inspired by the really yummy, cool, very simple food - Greek food with a lot of Japanese influences. For example, chef Christoforos Peskias makes melitzanosalata, a traditional Greek eggplant dip, but he dresses it with teriyaki sauce and kombu seaweed. He adds this umami-ness to food to take it to another level. He also does a version of a food-truck dish called vromiko, which translates as "dirty". The food-truck version consists of sausages, eggs and tomatoes all cooked in one pot, served in a piece of paper and eaten with a fork. All the chefs in Athens go to the food truck to eat it late at night. But Christoforos's version uses really good Cypriot sausages with a 63.8-degree egg over the top. It's really good stuff.
The décor at P-Box is very simple, very airy, with lots of columns, and there's a big produce wall. Everything Christoforos cooks with, you can buy. And he doesn't serve frappé, which is a big deal in Greece. It's all about good espresso and great food. It's the kind of place that in Sydney or Melbourne everyone would be talking about. One seat down from me was Paris Latsis, one of the biggest shipping tycoons in Greece. Everyone wants to be there, everyone wants to eat there. It's cool. Levidou 11, Kifisia, +30 21 0808 8818.
Stelios Parliaros is the number-one pastry chef in the country, and his Sweet Alchemy consists of two venues: his shop in Kolonaki, which sells cakes and chocolates, and his studio, not far from the shop. I spent one afternoon with Stelios in his studio eating a cake he'd made on MasterChef Greece, a 17-million-layered chocolate gateau. It had handmade chocolate leaves, glaçage on the top, a salty caramel layer, a joconde base, some sort of mousse, a bit of crunch from nougatine or praline - yum stuff. The guy is just an absolute legend. He was born in Turkey of Greek parents, and he's got a lovely way of adding a layer of Middle Eastern flavour into his desserts. His olive-oil chocolate mousse recipe is one of the best chocolate mousse recipes ever. Chocolate, olive oil and cream: that's it. He's a lovely man, and his boyfriend, Gregory, is a top fashion designer. They're two totally different people with one ambition, which is quality. One of them's quality fashion and the other one's quality desserts. Irodotou 24, Kolonaki, +30 21 0724 0205, Parliaros.
It was seven o'clock at night and we had to be at Spondi at 9.30pm for dinner, but we were at Tyrokomia Naxou tasting the most amazing all-Greek cheeses. Myzithra is a sheep's and cow's milk cheese that you can get soft, semi-soft or hard; kefalograviera we all know as the frying cheese, but there are lots of different styles of that; barrel-aged fetas here are made from different milks and different regions. The shop is like Richmond Hill Cafe & Larder in terms of ideology, but on a grander scale, and it's not as refined. Really delicious stuff from all over Greece. The owners just kept wanting to feed us cheese. Ethnikis Antistaseos 18, Halandri, +30 21 0683 7758.
For the big night out, you're going to go to Spondi. With two Michelin stars, it's Greece's jewel. If you go there, you're going to put on a shirt and tie, and you're going to go there on a date, and you're definitely going to wow your partner. You enter this beautiful old house in an area called Pagrati. It's a bit like going to Jacques Reymond in Melbourne, or Tetsuya's in Sydney - the whole ceremony of walking through the big brass front doors to the grand interior. It's nice to enter those old-school places. You need an injection of that now and again. As soon as you enter those big brass doors, you're entering a dining experience. It's phenomenal. Pyrronos 5, Pagrati, +30 21 0756 4021.
Dinner here starts with an olive tree, a little miniature olive tree, with real leaves. From the branches hang "olives" that you pick off and they taste of olive oil and bread. These guys are doing cutting-edge modern Greek stuff. I wouldn't be surprised if Funky Gourmets gets a Michelin star next year, possibly two, and possibly a spot in the top 100. It's top stuff, very cool. Paramythias 13, Keramikos, Athens 10435, +30 21 0524 2727.
Gaspar was opened by the guys behind a place called Rock and Roll, one of the oldest and coolest clubs in Athens for many years. Downstairs is a restaurant, and upstairs is a bar where everyone goes after dinner. The restaurant does very modern Greek with Japanese influences. I remember eating their version of ekmek, a custard served with mastic ice-cream. It's a very happening place, even if you just go for drinks and snacks upstairs. It's a 25- to 40-year-old crowd, everyone hanging out and acting really cool.
Dimitriou Vasiliou, Psyxiko, +30 21 0677 5011.
Kifisia is the Mosman of Athens, the Toorak. It's 25 minutes from the centre of Athens, and it's home to the Semiramis Hotel, which is owned by a Greek-Cypriot guy with an internationally renowned art collection. It's very out-there, and the fact that it's in the suburbs makes it even more interesting. The amenities are just right. I don't have to walk in and remove 35,000 pamphlets off the bed. It's very simple, with comfortable beds, cool showers and cool architecture, but very loud in terms of colour. During my stay, the other guests ranged from businessmen and couples to Greece's answer to Kylie Minogue and a couple of other top Greek singers. Harlilaou Trikoupi 48, Kifisia, +30 21 0628 4400, Yeshotels.
Rome, Florence, Naples, the Amalfi... the list of our favour...
We’ve got the keys to the most fabulous new hotels in the wo...
“Water can rust iron. Imagine what it does to your insides. ...
It’s no secret that recent times have been tough for Austral...
Unsung hero Flashier holiday spots may steal the limelight, ...
From the city's best sandwich bar to its favourite charcuter...
Greece’s rugged and bloody Mani peninsula was once a no-go z...
Read our story on what to do if you only have 24 hours in Ve...
Take a walk on the wild side. Follow Brittany’s windswept co...
Travelling from the Great Karoo to the Kruger, Emma Ventura ...
Erase the images of that volcano with the unpronounceable na...
They’re following the sun and chasing the snow, staying clos...
Kyneton and Castlemaine were born out of the gold-rush era, ...
Breath of fresh air The classic Sydney beachside neighbourho...
Choosing from the bounty of New Zealand's holiday destinati...
Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.×