Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country this week including Stokehouse Pop-Up, Yellow, Mondo Organics, and Sri Devi Curry House.
Just a month after a fire and an incredibly efficient demolition/clean-up process that left no trace of the former building a day after it had burned, St Kilda's Stokehouse rides again, albeit in pop-up form. Residing in a large white marquee, resplendent with timber floors, glass windows, an outdoor terrace and stacked racks of greenery adding a well-tuned note of beach-house style to the surprisingly elegant space, it's unmistakably Stokehouse. Oliver Gould from Stokehouse restaurant (upstairs) is sharing the kitchen with Nick Mahlook who ran Stokehouse café (downstairs) and the menu takes an egalitarian upstairs/downstairs approach. Beer-battered fish and chips, Moreton Bay bug pasta, burgers and the long-time signature dessert - The Bombe, a white chocolate parfait and meringue favourite - are all present and correct. Just like the late Stokehouse, it's open seven days and will continue operating until the site is needed for a new, more permanent structure. Stokehouse Pop-Up, 30 Jacka Blvd, St Kilda, Vic, (03) 9525 5555. MICHAEL HARDEN
The new Bentley is the talk of the CBD lunch crowd, but Nick Hildebrandt and Brent Savage's bistro, Yellow, has the weekend covered with its new brunch menu. Served from 8am 'till 3pm Saturdays and Sundays, breakfast à la Savage is typically outré: three gooey poached eggs in a charred-onion flavoured broth with mushrooms, peas and grains for texture, say, or the stunning must-order-at-all-cost sweet-savoury liquorice bread, decked out with a sprinkle of salt flakes and cultured butter to the side. Sandwiches come on at 11am: scrambled eggs, jamón and harissa, the thinking person's bacon and egg roll, or a walloping combination of braised lamb shoulder, tahini, radicchio and cucumber. Good morning. Yellow, 57 Macleay St, Potts Point, NSW, (02) 9332 2344. PAT NOURSE
What does "Self Worth" look like? At this West End stayer it comes in a long glass and blends turmeric, lemon and zingy ginger with apple and celery. It's one of a raft of cool juice combos on a new weekend breakfast menu written by Mondo co-owner, Brenda Fawdon, the force behind Australia's first licensed organic restaurant, which opened back in 2000. Inspired by her recent cookbook, Wholehearted Food, the focus is on quality, locally sourced, clean produce. Stick a fork into a springy stack of buckwheat pancakes, drizzled with rapadura syrup, dotted with slow-cooked apricots and dollops of creamy fresh ricotta flecked with preserved ginger. Or pig out on a side of Gooralie bacon. You won't need to add anything to your plate of grilled chorizo from Salumi Australia, inky garlic mushrooms, wilted spinach and free-range poached eggs, and this is nitrate-free bacon from free-range porkers, and it tastes amazing. Coffee? The beans of choice here are PNG single-estate sourced from Earth Coffee and the milk is Barambah Organics. Mondo Organics, 166 Hardgrave Rd, West End, Qld, (07) 3844 1132. FIONA DONNELLY
Sri Devi Curry House
Could 2014 be the year Indian cuisine in Australia finally goes regional? We can hope, especially if it means more dining options like this modest new curry house hanging its hat on the lighter flavours of southern India and Malaysia. Following the lead of its parent restaurant in Selangor, Malaysia, the day's dishes are served "banana leaf"-style (that is, on a banana leaf-shaped plate) and might include fried chicken, excellent fish curry thickened with okra, and cabbage seasoned with mustard seeds. While the sour rasam and rice complement the curries just fine, a side order of bread is a must. Tangy uthappam (made with ground rice and lentils like dosa, but thicker) is served with a fiery onion chutney and creamy sambar, a soupy stew with dahl. Folds of "clapped" roti emerge from the kitchen tissuey and warm: get yours as an old-school canai, enriched with egg, or as a stuffed murtabak, ideally with a sour and refreshing mango lassi to finish. Sri Devi Curry House, 313 William St, Northbridge, WA, no phone. MAX VEENHUYZEN
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