Callan Boys checked out Bentley's "sexy and sophisticated" revamped bar for Good Food (not yet online), noting that owners Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt know how important it is for a restaurant to evolve. He gave plenty of column love to the toothfish sandwich (which, we can assure you, deserves its praise). "Fish sandwiches at posh bars usually involve white bread, a finger of something crumbed and fried, watercress and maybe a dollop of caviar. Savage says bollocks to that. Watercress still makes an appearance on his fish sanger, but here it's crowning half a wholemeal bread roll that's heavy with toothfish and padron pepper-spiked mayo. It's all a bit Scandinavian and a bargain at $16." Broadsheet also covered the re-opening.
Pat Nourse gave Analiese Gregory’s tenure at Franklin in Hobart a big rap for Gourmet Traveller. “It's clear she's in her element. Maybe that should be elements, plural. She plucks abalone from the icy waters of the D'Entrecasteaux Channel, dives for urchins off Fossil Cove, presses local market gardeners for skirret and medlars, and has mastered the moods of the Scotch oven. She uses it to coax elegant texture from zucchini, which she sets on whipped ricotta and satsivi, a Georgian walnut sauce, and showers with lovage and basil. Garfish emerges from the oven split down the middle, rearing out of a sea of oyster butter scattered with chive flowers. The flavour of the fish gets lost, but it's cooked with enviable precision.”
John Lethlean reviewed Lalla Rookh in Perth for The Weekend Australian Magazine. While he bemoaned the setting - “one of the country’s more aesthetically challenged dining rooms” – he was enamoured of much of the food from chef Alexandra Haynes. “Her take on vitello tonnato is a clever reverse-engineering of the classic: a base of parmesan cream, a layer of just-seared raw tuna, baby capers and a crunchy, dark and toasty veal crumb, all seasoned perfectly.” (3.5/5)
Anthony Huckstep visited Katsumi, the Mortlake Japanese that’s getting plenty of reviewer love, for delicious. on Sunday. “The classic agedashi tofu is brilliant, with its chew of batter and a rich dashi broth. The sashimi – snapper, kingfish, tuna, and scallop – are blood warm, and the nigiri of salmon, tuna, snapper, prawn, and kingfish are spoton. A menagerie of seafood tempura, meanwhile benefits from a light, crisp batter that lets the fish do the talking.” (3/5)
Terry Durack found multi-coloured pasta (yes, really) and a vegan vibe at Mark + Vinny’s in Surry Hills for SMH Good Food. It has, he says “all the things millennials require from a dining experience – #cleaneating options, lower-alcohol drinks, Insta'bility and no preachy sermons.” Apparently the blue tagliatelle is “pliable, silky and surprisingly al dente, with a clean, seaweedy finish. Combining blue swimmer crab, bottarga and crunchy breadcrumbs and pasta made with a nutrient-dense powdered algae is intuitive, although I fear it never really comes together as one.” We’ll take his word for it. (13.5/20)
Reviewing for The Age Good Food Besha Rodell visited Pondok Rempah. “The most common order is the chicken, which comes with shatteringly crisp skin and a mound of rice and in a number of preparations. Order the ayam cabe ijo (which you may only see listed on a printed piece of paper stuck to the front counter) and be rewarded with a generous serving of chicken smothered in a blazingly spicy green chilli relish, powerfully fragrant and delicious.”
Landmark architecture adds another dimension to fine dining. Financial Review
The ones that got away: Besha Rodell's outtakes from her Australia Fare reviews. New York Times
The art of gin (bottles). Business Insider
The grape debate: natural or not? Good Food
Chef's warehouse to close. Good Food
And in case you missed it...
There's a royal wedding on this week. Here's what the guests will be eating. Food + Wine