John Lethlean was on the Gold Coast, at the brand new Labart for the Weekend Australian Magazine. "Alex Munoz Labart cooks European-inspired bistro food, some of it slightly left of centre. And with his wife Karla on the floor, and a charming sommelier, only the blind wouldn’t see the glass half full here. In full flight, it’s a sort of bustling Australian version of a French bistro, with more interesting food and wine, fewer clichés." (4/5)
Anthony Huckstep made his way to Poly, the much anticipated younger sibling to Mat Lindsay's Ester for delicious. on Sunday. "Where Ester is a restaurant with an alluring winebar accent, Poly is more a wine bar (yes, you can just drink) with a fetching food offering. Sommelier Julien Dromgool has compiled a worldly wine list that’s brave yet approachable and great with food, especially Lindsay’s trademark cooking – clever yet simple, playful yet honest, conversation-killingly delicious...Gently grilled Sydney rock oysters are thrillingly topped with finger lime and horseradish, the celery Caesar – pale celery, anchovy and parmesan – is just gorgeous, and lush confit duck comes wrapped in a brik-pastry cigar with parmesan custard on the side." (4/5)
Terry Durack was tucking into "new school Chinese" at Queen Chow in Manly for SMH Good Food. "Prawn and scallop siu mai are best-on-field, seemingly all light, minced prawn mousse, topped with a sweet lid of buttery scallop and a froth of fluorescent orange flying fish roe. Warm, flaky char siu puffs are stuffed with sweet porky char sieu stew, as down-home comforting as a sausage roll. If you're in a dither, just get the steamed dim sum platter, bearing in mind they will never be as good as the individually steamed ones." (14/20)
The fish and chip dumpling at Melbourne's Drumplings gets the thumbs down from Dan Stock in the Herald Sun. "Answering a question no one in their right mind asked, this sticky pastry-wrapped parcel of mush billed as ‘blue grenadier, beer batter, roasted chips, capers and cornishons [sic]’ is no more appealing than something Kitty coughed up. Actually, it’s less." (2/5)
And last but not least, Gemima Cody was at Future Future in Richmond, for The Age Good Food(not yet online). It's run by the team behind Congress. "Running the kitchen is chef Atsushi Kawakami, formerly sous at Kappo, and before that, Wabi Sabi. The body of his menu is taken up by donburi bowls, and a couple of meatier mains, but the pitch overall is decidedly snacky... Pillowy, slightly sticky pumpkin agedashi tofu is nicely complemented by the typical soy-mirin broth. Tuna tataki is plush, fresh, judiciously marinated. With it are ultra-soft cubes of avocado whipped with silken tofu that taste fruity, like a solid smoothie." (13/20)
With our farmers doing it tough right now, our friends at Three Blue Ducks are doing their bit to help, gathering together stellar line-ups of chefs for two fundraising dinners on Tuesday 4 September at Three Blue Ducks, Rosebery, and on Wednesday 5 September at Three Blue Ducks, Byron Bay. The Rosebery line-up includes Clayton Wells (Automata, A1), Mat Lindsay (Ester, Poly), Matt Stone and Jo Barrett (Oakridge Wines). Tickets are $220 for four courses with wines, beers and cocktails managed by award-winning bartender, Tim Phillips. Up north, the Byron dinner involves Josh Lewis (Fleet) and Ben Devlin (Paper Daisy) among others, and tickets for a three course meal with Quealy wines and beers from Stone & Wood are $150 per person. Visit the Three Blue Ducks for further details and to book your ticket now.
Time Out announced its Restaurant Awards this week. A1 Canteen scooped the prize for Best New Restaurant while Yellow was awarded Best Degustation. Josh Niland's pool room must be getting crowded; in a push for the Grand Slam of industry accolades, he was awarded the gong of Chef of the Year.
Dames of the dram. Tasmania's women of whisky. Good Food
Legal stoush over key restaurant line-up at Campbell's Stores. smh.com.au
Prior, a new club for discerning and curious travellers, aims to change the face of luxury, experiential travel. Australian Financial Review
MAD 6 has just wrapped, the red big top hosting a weekend of food, conversation and inspiration in Copenhagen. Eater was there.
SoHo House goes to Barcelona. Wallpaper
Netflix's The Final Table could be the next big thing in chefs on the screen. Eater