Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country this week including Samosorn, The Moor's Head South, Eat Drink Perth, and Da Rosario.
"Samosorn", we understand, means "Thai community". There's certainly quite a community of Thais here, at any rate. They're drawn partly by the décor, which recalls a Bangkok food hall, bringing respite from the food-court setting, but mostly by the guarantee of quality brought by the Chat Thai brand. Chat founder Amy Chanta has given the large menu a distinct Isaan bias, so fans of the north-east's gutsy flavours are in for a treat. A quick head count this week revealed that the som dtum tart (pictured) was by far and away the early favourite. Little wonder: this family-style take on the classic papaya salad is a show-stopper, a vast platter heaped with quail eggs, pork roll, sausage, crackling, cabbage and greens. Throw some grilled chicken, fried wings or, better yet, grilled liver into the mix and you've got a party. Samosorn, Shop 27LP Westfield Central Plaza (underneath Myer at Pitt Street Mall), 450 George St, (02) 9221 6961. PAT NOURSE
The Moor's Head South
Rumi's Joseph Abboud has ventured south, introducing the delights of his Lebanese-inspired "inauthentic pizza" to Elsternwick locals at The Moor's Head South. The menu from the northside restaurant has been transplanted intact to the new venue a smartly decorated 40-seater featuring lots of plywood and a wall installation made with massed Uludag Efsane beer cans. The delights of the Fred the Deaf manoushe (chicken minced with baharat, tahini yoghurt, green olives, rocket) and the Erkin Koray pide (tomato, haloumi, olives, beef sujuk) are all here, but Abboud also offers a lunch selection of small dishes from 11.30 every morning that can be ordered individually or as part of an "inauthentic feast". That could be roast chicken pieces with Persian spice and sour barberries, kuku (a Persian-spiced potato and oregano omelette), sesame buns filled with bastourma, labne and fried eggplant or a braise of chickpeas in cardamom-scented tomatoes. Heady stuff. The Moor's Head South, 480a Glenhuntly Rd, Elsternwick, Vic, (03) 9523 1198. MICHAEL HARDEN
Eat Drink Perth
April is shaping up to be a terrific month for us sandgropers. This week, the city officially kicked off Eat Drink Perth, its annual month-long celebration of eating, drinking and - surprise, surprise - Perth. Among our picks of the calendar: Ferran Adrià launching his new Phaidon title, elBulli 2005-2011, at Print Hall this Sunday; Lalla Rookh's inaugural Man vs Meatballs eating competition; and next weekend's Perth Food Truck Rumble, the state's first food-truck party. Consider your fitness regimen on notice. MAX VEENHUYZEN
With a tumbler of wine and a plate of pasta before you, the arches of the Melbourne building start to look that little bit more Renaissance-inspired. From a glorified broom-closet space adjacent to flagship restaurant Mezzalira, the Trimboli brothers (also responsible for Braddon's Italian & Sons) latest, Da Rosario, pumps out gutsy pasta (spaghetti alla Norma), panini (wood-roasted peppers and grilled zucchini), arancini (porcini and Taleggio), and a decent fritto misto to very satisfied alfresco punters. And for breakfast? Coffee and sfogliatelle. You could say it's da bomb. Da Rosario, Melbourne Building, 59 London Circuit, Canberra, ACT, (02) 6230 0025. GARETH MEYER
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