Bella Brutta is the pizzeria of the moment. Anthony Huckstep was there for delicious. and says it sets itself apart from the pack. "Here the blistered dough is thin, charred, smoky and lighter than your traditional Neapolitan pizzas, and it’s beautifully seasoned so barely needs topping. The tomato sauce is rich in umami joy and never more so than when freighting rounds of chef Luke Powell’s pepperoni and roasted fennel seeds and oil. The garlic, parsley, lemon juice and fermented chilli ensemble for a pizza bianca, meanwhile, studded with diced Cloudy Bay surf clams is stunning. All the pies are given but a brief flash in the giant red pizza oven that came direct from Modena." (4/5)
John Lethlean was at Donna Chang in Brisbane - the name is derived from a 1994 episode of Seinfeld - for The Weekend Australian Magazine. It's Chinese but not as you know it, he says. "A tangle of salt and pepper calamari with spring onion, plenty of garlic and even more native pepperberry is one of the best uses of this spice I’ve encountered. Creamy, cold wheat noodles with sesame paste and oodles of crunchy peanut are generous and rich. A thin blue line of scampi roe on a ribbon of seaweed mayo really lifts the kitchen’s take on prawn toast (pictured). And a special dim sum item – steamed har gao with Crystal prawn and spanner crab, topped with trout roe – demonstrates the talent in this section of the kitchen." (4/5)
Gemima Cody reviewed Half Acre in South Melbourne for The Age Good Food. She found it stunningly beautiful (and highly Instagrammable) but the food was, well, half-baked. "Our flathead fillets have lost all juice on the grill and their bedfellow of sweetly pickled carrot delivers a jarring acid jolt. Our grilled prawns have that singed shell acridity and I'm not sure dukkah is a natural friend, although the vibrant zucchini tzatziki beneath them, slicked in its chilli oil, would be a winner with more of those flatbreads." (13.5/20)
Terry Durack was at Kingdom of Rice in Mascot for SMH Good Food. "Thach's Cambodian background drives the menu, inspired by the simple, fresh, aromatic food of the Khmer people. So there is bort ling, an intensely savoury, satisfying dish of corn kernels, tiny dried shrimp and garlic chives tossed over high heat in pork fat. I've seen it on YouTube made with sweetened condensed milk - this is far better for letting the corn be the sugar." (14.5/20)
Pat Nourse hot-footed it to Continental Deli, the CBD outpost (or is that an inpost?) of the Newtown favourite for Gourmet Traveller. The roast beef and Swiss cheese sandwich served with a side bowl of gravy had him intrigued. "I don't know that it's worth $26, but the beef they're roasting for it is Rangers Valley sirloin, the baguette is from Brickfields and, rather than supermarket Swiss, the cheese is an Appenzeller-style made in Denmark on the Western Australian coast... It's a damned fine sandwich, any way you slice it. Without the gravy dip, it's juicy; with it, it's like soup and a sandwich rolled into one brown, squishy good time."
Out of the Kitchen is a new symposium that looks at food's role beyond the kitchen. Gourmet Traveller
Food for Thought dinners in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne raising funds for mental health.Gourmet Traveller