John Lethlean channelled his inner Don Draper in his review of Bert’s in Newport for The Weekend Australian Magazine. "Whole fish on ice or swimming in a tank, filleted at the table by a waiter pushing a trolley, with sauce boats and lemon in muslin; little cabinets for Cognac and Armagnac; copper saucepans everywhere. Naturally, everything’s served on monikered, classic crockery. It’s nostalgic but avoids clichés, and with proper service from greet to farewell, guests are made to feel special." (4/5)
Terry Durack reviewed Darlinghurst's Restaurant Moon for SMH Good Food where Aum Touchpong Chancaw, a former Longrain chef, is bringing European kitchen smarts to traditional Thai cooking and in the process turning Thai food into an adventure again. We loved his description of the chicken ribs: “Anyone brought up on Savoury Shapes (Original Barbecue) will fall upon the deep-fried chicken ribs with the force of a recovering addict. The powdery coating of dry-roasted rice, smoked paprika, garlic powder, citric acid and sugar sparks and fizzes like electricity in the mouth. Arnott's, take note, you're missing a trick here.” (14/20)
Anthony Huckstep visited soccer-themed Zona Azzurri in a sprawling Alexandria warehouse with its own indoor-football pitch for delicious. on Sunday. “Kick off with a medley of yellow, orange and bright red tomatoes, basil and a ball of buffalo mozzarella. A tuft of dressed peppery rocket crowns a decent Italian schnitty – aka cotoletta alla Milanese – where thinly beaten veal benefits from a squeeze of lemon over its golden crumb… The pizzas are smoky, charry, thin, well-seasoned and a fair contender for best pizza base in Sydney. Goal!” (3.5)
Michael Harden reviewed Laura, the fine diner at Pt Leo Estate on the Mornington Peninsula for Gourmet Traveller (in the mag, not yet online). "The first course is called Land and Garden and it's like unwrapping a present. A section of roasted onion sits on top of slices of carrot, next to a pool of beetroot sauce and topped with pink-tipped, finely julienned radish. Under the onion cap are delicate lion's mane mushrooms braised in the style of teriyaki, mixed with shiitakes from Benton Rise. They taste like chicken and are teamed with steamed abalone to great textural effect. But wait. Like so much at Laura, it gets better as you go deeper. "
Gemima Cody penned a paen to Taco Bill's in her Icon review for The Age Good Food. "If you thought Mamasita's queue up the stairs for tacos in 2010 was a phenomenon, you should have seen Taco Bill's in the '70s... It was BYO then, no corkage charged, and competition for tables was so fierce, couples made friends with strangers to get a four-top quicker." Is it any good? "Even if there are no three-days-in-the-making moles or in-house tortillas, trashy good taste buttons are still pressed in your brain when those spiced beans meet chopped tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, sizzling platters of chicken with capsicum and onions and a whole boatload of sour cream and shredded cheddar. Even if said cheddar doesn't melt in the microwave if you take the leftovers home."
Gemima also reviewed Caddie in Richmond for her main The Age Good Food review. "The brevity of the menu itself is something to appreciate, with about 12 dishes covering most bases. A welsh rarebit – Wales' pimped out cheese on toast – listed under dessert could do triple duty as appetiser, finisher or cheesy mid-course. It shows Evans is focused on doing less, well. One of those things is the smoked barramundi omelette. Served flat, the fluffy, burnished base is studded with flakes of the fish, its muddiness soothed by the smoke. Bathed in a rich, silky cheese sauce and scattered with fried saltbush, it's breakfast meets fondue in the Australian bush." (14/20)
Meanwhile Besha Rodell gave Rockpool Dining Group's Bar Patron a serve for The New York Times. “You can taste [chef] Valdes’s talent here and there: in a dark and subtle mole drizzled over otherwise uninspiring enmoladas con carnitas; in a pozole soup that had more soul in its porky broth than the rest of the menu combined. I’m not sure where or why her cooking gets lost, but so much of the food here tastes as though the lifeblood has been drained from it... Should it be all that shocking that a corporate takeover by private equity, aggressive expansion and a restaurant-as-marketing for a big liquor brand might result in lackluster food? Probably not."
Lake House crowned best regional hotel in Gourmet Traveller's 2018 restaurant awards. Indulge your escapist fantasies with the full list of winners here. Gourmet Traveller
It's in everyone's interest to support the farmers who feed us, writes Matt Moran. Good Food
Melbourne favourite Pope Joan is closing. Business Insider
Two Good adds a fashion collaboration to its good deeds. Two Good
Discover Australia's wine regions with Gourmet Traveller WINE's newly launched Winecraftwebsite.
ABC network cancels The Chew, which was formerly co-hosted by Mario Batali. Eater
And Batali's three Las Vegas restaurants to close. Eater
The summer food stand job. What used to be an adolescent rite of passage is now an opportunity for foreign workers in the USA. Eater
Only the best. Clare Smyth, the world's best female chef, catered the Royal Wedding. Eater
Back in Time for Dinner. A fascinating look back over the decades at how the way we eat and cook has shaped the way we live. Or vice versa.