Pat Nourse reviewed the revamped Hartsyard in Newtown for Gourmet Traveller (in the mag, not yet online). "There’s quite a lot of sauce and cheese in evidence, even with all the greens and seafood. A tartare of scampi and prawn, for instance, has the intensity dialled up with a profusion of dollops of saffron-tinged rouille, the mayonnaise-like sauce traditionally served with bouillabaisse. There’s orange flying-fish roe sprinkled over it, too, and is that some sort of crustacean oil in there as well? The potato chips on the side are coated in a dust – this is a pro-dust sort of place – made of salt and freeze-dried vinegar. The raw scampi and prawn end up more a textural note in the end, rather than a taste in and of themselves. It’s a charm-offensive of a dish and if it wins you, it’s with exuberance rather than subtlety."
Anthony Huckstep reviewed Luke’s Kitchen for delicious. on Sunday. "Chef Matt Leighton dishes up bistro nostalgia garnished with Asian accents. A well-seasoned salt-cod dip with puffs of pork scratchings and a dab of lemon purée makes a great start. Nam jim delivers a sharp kick to creamy ocean trout sashimi, and a spicy kimchi jam adds spark to light tempura-coated quail. A mousse of leg and thigh meat and chicken livers encased in crisp chicken skin enriches a roasted chicken breast, while a choice of market fish or a giant slab of beef (the roast of the day) is designed to share." (3/5)
Terry Durack checked out The Gantry, under new head chef Thomas Gorringe for SMH Good Food. "It's good to see Paroo kangaroo handled so well, grilled over charcoal ($28) until both crusty and pink, with highly compatible furls of pickled pear and radicchio and a crumble of black pudding. There's also an elegant wintry play on crudo with lightly torched raw bonito ($24), glazed with apple and soy and served with a smoked fishbone cream and puffed pork skin." (15/20)
John Lethlean reviewed Amaru, in Melbourne’s Armadale, for The Weekend Australian Magazine. He raved about it. “This is already one of the most impressive dining experiences of the year, and a synthesis of technique and ideas from the kitchen anchors it all. From complex snacks up front through to more substantial stuff with the odd bit of native shrubbery thrown in, the format isn’t unique. It’s the harmony of flavours and textures that is refreshingly its own. I’m thinking about mussels: plump Bellarine Peninsula ones steamed and glazed with mussel dashi and parsley sitting in a puddle of mussel cream dressed with rocket oil, with charred broccoli heart purée, sprinkles of dried mussel, grilled cos lettuce and young lettuce leaves acidulated with elderflower vinegar. Like many dishes here, there’s a deftly balanced play of sweetness and astringency.” (4.5/5)
Gemima Cody visited Fitzroy's Rochester Hotel to sample Mischa Tropp's Indian cuisine. "If this is your first ride with Keralan cuisine, strap in for a wild time. The influences are broad, deep and delicious. Seafood factors heavily, as does coconut (fresh), a boatload of spices and numerous cooking techniques courtesy of the multicultural demographic including traders who jumped ship, Muslim communities and Syrian Christian refugees... The main menu comprises street snacks, large-format braises and lots of vegetable sides and is best attacked with a posse four deep. Otherwise a "feed me" menu for $55 covers serious ground. Here you might start with those egg bonda, a bowl of eye-watering green chillies in a sweet pickle brine tinged with curry leaves and cloves, and one of the "Goan sliders", which sound like another pubby hat tip but are a legit coastal street snack of a stuffed milk bun. Ours is spread with Goa's go-to chilli paste condiment that's a little tamarind-tart and charred onion-smoky, plus fried butterflied prawns and funky prawn head mayo."
And a bonus for this week...
Manu Fiedel's latest review, of vegan diner Mark & Vinny's, for delicious. "Head to this Surry Hills restaurant and expect to find all the usual local cool cats. No real surprises there, though, this place is a millennial’s dream. We’re greeted by co-owner Vinny upon arrival, who runs us through the extensive and exciting spritz menu. There are more than 20 options, but it’s the aptly named Fly Me to the Moon (Aperol, Four Pillars Negroni Gin, grapefruit and soda) that kickstarts our evening. It’s well balanced and refreshing, and replaces my usual wine for the night."
Three Blue Ducks opens at W Brisbane. Broadsheet
What is a reasonable bookings cancellation policy? The Australian
Lake House named Best Australian Property in a Food & Wine Region in Luxury Travel’s Gold List. See all the nominees here Luxury Traveller. For the winners you'll need to buy the mag.
Mornington Peninsula gets another fine fine diner. Good Food
The joys of a table for one. The New York Times
Getting the most out of your sommelier. Bon Appetit
An Alabama dessert chef hits the big time. The New York Times
The soul, the spirit, the boss of Le Bernadin. The New York Times
Heinz to rebrand Salad Cream as Sandwich Cream after more than a century. Apparently because no one eats it on salads. Eater