It took five years and $175 million for David Walsh to realise his dream, but his Museum of Old and New Art was definitely worth the wait. MONA's January debut put it at the cutting edge of modern art and opened our eyes to one of the country's most exceptional collections. With a winery, a brewery, accommodation and a restaurant complementing the striking underground museum designed by Nonda Katsalidis, Hobart has a compelling new calling card.
Augmented Reality is what you get by crossing a GPS-enabled phone with the entire knowledge base of the internet. In short, it's a handheld window to the world for global travellers. Point your phone in front of you and AR apps overlay the view with useful links to, say, the nearest metro station, traffic updates, restaurants, landmarks and even shopping coupons. Wikitude World Browser 6 is the leader of the AR pack, closely followed by Junaio and Layar. Hearplanet goes one step further, turning printed information into audio commentary.
*Blood, Bones & Butter is Gabrielle Hamilton's unblinking confessional of a pierced lesbian cook's wayward path to the cramped kitchen at Prune, her wildly successful New York restaurant. If you've already gobbled down Heat and Kitchen Confidential*, this narrative about chemical dependency and sex among the spuds will be familiar turf. What sets it apart from the ravings of Hamilton's bad-boy brethren are lyrical passages about mother love, epic lamb roasts and asphyxiated lobsters.
** Pigs' tails? So last decade. But what of cockscombs? The dangles atop the chicken's head might adorn a plate near you soon. They're already on a bone marrow-enriched risotto Milanese at Sydney's Otto, along with a medley of other textures from sweetbreads, brains and pig's ears. Like the other offal elements he loves, chef Richard Ptacnik says, "they add character, flavour and an element of surprise to the dish".
Seeds from the Amazonian achacha fruit have been planted in Queensland's Burdekin farming belt, a region with an altitude similar to the achacha's Bolivian turf, producing the first commercial orchard anywhere in the world. The snow-white flesh, best eaten chilled, is delicate and sweet and finishes with a hint of citrus tang. Chef Alastair McLeod at Brisbane's Tank takes his frozen achacha flesh in a glass of Champagne.
** It's certainly no secret, but the idea of a one-night-a-week dessert blowout in a backstreet Fitzroy café still seems slightly guerilla, particularly with pastry alchemist Pierre Roelofs at the helm. You opt for one, two or three courses that change every week and might include a pandan, coconut, iced coffee and port number with gel, parfait, flakes, tuile and bread in the artfully tumbled mix.