Lesa in Melbourne has been getting plenty of reviewer love, and it’s fair to say they are all raving.
Anthony Huckstep described the space as “calm and worldly” for delicious. (in the magazine, not yet online). “Verheul’s food relies on best-in-class produce cooked over fire, fermented, aged, or simply left to tell its own tale – and it yearns to be shared… Order the doughy delight of house-baked fermented potato flatbread served with macadamia cream and shiitake oil. It’s that good. Then comes purple and thinly sliced Chioggia beetroot, layered to create a terrine with olive and salted elderberry. It’s visually exquisite and lovely to eat.”
John Lethlean was also there for The Weekend Australian Magazine. "The four small-course menu offers three choices per round. Plus extras. Try an earthy, sensational loaf of fermented potato flatbread from a smoky oven served with a meringue-like macadamia cream and fermented shiitake oil as a side dish; most restaurant breads look unimaginative by comparison… Pale, diced veal mixed with fermented tomato, a rocket pesto base and a blanket of braised, faintly astringent saltbush. Raw, diced flounder in a mussel broth with raw peas, blackcurrant leaf and a scatter of unripe plum dust. Both delicate, intriguing, four-element compositions.” (4/5)
Meanwhile Gemima Cody went riverside to Arbory Afloat on the Yarra for The Age Good Food. "Melburnians react to warm weather like animals, or Londoners, ripping off shirts and rushing any rooftop or courtyard at the first sign of sun. We'll pay stupid money for mediocre drinks and food so long as we get a picturesque perch. What chance did we have against Arbory Afloat's arsenal of striped umbrellas, sunbeds, fruiting orange trees and on-water location (right behind transport/tourist hub Flinders Street Station)? They could be serving airplane crackers and make a killing. Plot twist: they aren't." (14/20)
And finally up in Sydney, Terry Durack was at the family-run Korean diner Sang by Mabasa forSMH Good Food. "Without wishing to start any Korean fried chicken wars, Sang's KFC is gold-standard craving material. Both the middle wings and drumsticks start with an almighty crunch, and finish with a steamy softness. Jokbal, a much-loved Korean dish of soy-braised pig's "trotters", is actually chunky, slow-cooked hunks of pork hock in almost caramelised, sticky juices. Three to four hours of cooking leaves the meat with almost Christmas baked ham flavour and the sauce is excellent with rice, although I would have loved something fresh and bright on the side." (14.5/20)
Barzaari brings the flavours of the eastern Mediterranean to Chippendale. GQ
Contemporary Indian comes to Sydney. Broadsheet, Gourmet Traveller
Bring on the night: the new association seeking to revive Sydney’s after-dark economy. Time Out
Why does Asian food win fewer awards? abc.net.au
Continental Deli adds a sibling in Sydney’s CBD. Gourmet Traveller
Channel 7 launches its own food network. news.com.au
If this is the golden age of bartending why do so many cocktails suck? Australian Bartender
When Magnus Nilsson nearly closed Faviken. Fine Dining Lovers
More Momofuku. David Chang opens Momofuku Noodle Bar in LA and Bang Bar, serving spit-roasted meats and Korean flatbread, in New York. Eater, Grub Street
And, as we send this email, South America's chefs and restaurateurs are waiting to hear who'll get the gongs at the Latin America 50 Best Restaurants. Recap all the news on Fine Dining Lovers.
The Cru is watching...
Salt Fat Acid Heatthe latest Netflix food series based onNew York Times Magazinecontributor Samin Nosrat's bestselling book. The themes are matched to the food of different countries and regions, so fat is represented by Italian food, salt by Japanese, acid by Mexico and heat by California. We're loving it. Here's the trailer.