CHEDDAR PIE, ESTER, SYDNEY
There are no two words better strung together than "cheese" and "pie". There's also no better cheese pie right now than the new Pyengana cheddar number at Ester. Salty, garlicky and charred and molten from a blast in the wood-fired oven, it's garnished with softly purple society garlic flowers for the win.
Ester, 46-52 Meagher St, Chippendale, NSW, (02) 8068 8279
CRAB RISOTTO, LOCALE, NOOSA
How do you improve a creamy Queensland sand crab risotto? Use organic carnaroli rice for al dente bite, sea-urchin butter and bottarga for salty savouriness and lemon for freshness. Oh, and a glass of Howard Park Flint Rock chardonnay won't hurt, either. Thanks, Locale.
Locale Noosa, 62 Hastings St, Noosa Heads, Qld, (07) 5447 5111
DTOM YUM OF CHICKEN, LONG CHIM, PERTH
It's always a revelation when David Thompson introduces us to long-lost Thai recipes but his treatment of the cuisine's mainstays are just as memorable. Bright, potent and loaded with no small amount of lime, lemongrass and chicken's feet, this hot and sour soup is anything but generic.
Long Chim, basement, Barrack St & St Georges Tce, Perth, (08) 6168 7775