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An intriguing delicacy from Japan

Published 30th January 2016 | Food article

Shirako at Shimada in Tokyo

This fascinating delicacy in the photo above was served to us at a 'standing restaurant' called Shimada in Tokyo where only 12 people can squeeze into the tiny space to sample the delectable food. We were served the same delicacy the next day at the emerging SushiYa restaurant.

Read more to find out what we were served

Embla, Melbourne

Published 16th January 2016 | Review

A menu snippet from Embla, Melbourne

Embla is both a bar and a dining space where the food is based around expertly prepared small plates and the wine is a roadmap to the natural wines of the world with many of the emerging Australian superstars being featured alongside the more familiar European gems.

Read more about Embla

Cubed Espresso Bar, Eaglehawk Neck

Published 3rd January 2016 | Review

Cubed Espresso Bar, Eaglehawk Neck

Cubed Espresso Bar is a delightful place to enjoy a very good coffee while taking in the spectacular views over Eaglehawk Neck at the entrance to the Tasman Peninsula. The venue is essentially a lovingly restored and carefully re-designed caravan parked on the side of the road next to the lookout on Pirates Bay Drive. They make their own baked goods and roast their own beans which are sourced from small producers.

Read more about Cubed Espresso Bar

Robbie Brown's, Kingston

Published 19th December 2015 | Review

Robbie Browns Kingston Bar

Robbie Brown's is a delightful bar in the Hobart seaside suburb of Kingston. Here you can sit at an outside table overlooking the beach and enjoy a craft beer, a whisky of good provenance, a local artisan gin or ask the enthusiastic bar staff to make a Negroni from ingredients of your choosing.

Read more about Robbie Brown's, Tasmania

Huon Valley Meat Co., West Hobart

Published 22nd November | Review

Huon Vallet Meat Co. West Hobart

A bright new shop with clean lines and enticing food offerings has opened in West Hobart right next to Pigeon Hole café. Young entrepreneur James Lord has expanded his empire, which includes the Cradoc Hill Abattoir, to this charming shop which sends out signals of yesteryear.

As you approach the Huon Valley Meat Co you will see the carcasses of freshly slaughtered lambs hanging in the window. Walk through the door and your eyes will fix on the beautifully restored patterned floor. Then, behind the meat display and counter you will enjoy the sight of two traditional wooden butcher blocks which harken back to a time when all meat was cut to order. And make sure you ask for some of the excellent salami so that you can admire the restored red, hand-cranked Berkel slicer in action. What an amazing piece of equipment this is! This place is well worth a visit!

Read more about the Huon Valley Meat Co., Hobart, Tasmania

Bistronomy by Jane Sigal

Published 12th November | Review

Bistronomy by Jane Sigal

Jane Sigal has reminded us all of just what a great place Paris is now for informal dining. But it is not just informal dining, it is also stunning food and great wine that underpins this valuable publication.

She provides some fascinating background to the many new restaurant whose recipes she features. In this book you can learn about the trajectory of superstars of the bistro scene such as Yves Camdeborde, James Henry, Bertrand Grébaut and Tatiana Levha among many others. An added bonus is that the recipes are like the food you eat in the restaurants - not tricked up, full of flavour and visually appealing!

Read a detailed review of Bistronomy

The Art of Natural Cheesemaking by David Asher

Published 3rd October 2015 | Review

The Art of Natural Cheesemaking by David Asher

This book might just qualify for the longest title for a food book. The full title is "The Art of Natural Cheesemaking: Using Traditional, Non-Industrial Methods and Raw Ingredients to Make the World's Best Cheeses".

However, despite this the book is an absolute treasure for setting a path to the future of cheesemaking by returning to the past. Asher describes his ideas in the opening "Manifesto" and then goes on to describe the main components of cheesemaking and then the detailed techniques for making a range of cheeses using traditional techniques.

This is a book that should be on the shelf of every serious food lover.

Read a detailed review of The Art of Natural Cheesemaking

Sono Vino, Pupillin, France

Published 17th September 2015 | Review

Sono Vino, Pupillin, France

Sono Vino is a small bar hidden away in a back street of Pupillin, the world capital of Ploussard - well that's what the locals call the village as it is right in the appellation area where the best of the red Ploussard wines are made. If you blink you will miss this tiny establishment which only has a couple of tables outside and a few more inside. But it is worth stopping as they have a fine selection of wines including those from local celebrity Philippe Bornard.

6 Rue des Chenevières, Pupillin. Tel. +33 9 52 97 35 68

Percherons, Céret, France

Published 9th September 2015 | Review

Percherons, Ceret, France

Percherons is a pleasant restaurant in the equally pleasant town of Céret which is run by talented chef Mathieu Perez who we first met when he was the master of the tiny kitchen at Aux Deux Amis in rue Oberkampf in Paris. The meal that we had here recently was very exciting.

Read more about Percherons, Ceret, France

La Cave Saint Martin, Roquebrun, France

Published 5th September 2015 | Review

La Cave Saint Martin, Roquebrun, France

La Cave Saint Martin in the pretty town of Roquebrun in southern France is a perfect place to sit on the terrace and enjoy a plate of very good charcuterie while sipping a natural wine from the impressive selection in their cellar.

Read more about La Cave Saint Martin, Roquebrun, France

RR Gastrobar, Faucon, Provence

Published 25th August 2015 | Review

RR Gastrobar restaurant in Faucon, Provence

RR Gastrobar in Faucon is the new restaurant for Raoul Reichrath whose food we used to thoroughly enjoy at his former premises Le Grand Pre. He now has a restaurant attached to the Roche Buissiere winery in the tiny village of Faucon which lies just north of Vaison-la-Romaine in Provence.

Read more about the RR Gastrobar restaurant in Faucon, Provence

Hero, Paris

Published 24th August 2015 | Review

Hero restaurant in Paris

Hero in Paris is a new and exciting restaurant serving Korean influenced food and a fascinating range of cocktails and sparkling natural wines that fit like a glove with the spicy food.

Read more about the Hero Korean restaurant in Paris

Grillé, Paris

Published 23rd August 2015 | Review

Grille restaurant in Paris

Grillé is the brainchild of Frédéric Peneau who has set up a corner outlet not too far from the Bourse in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris to serve the best kebabs in that city. And why are they the best? Well, the flatbreads are cooked to order from the best organic flour. The meat is the best available and sourced from legendary butcher Hugo Desnoyer. The tasty herbs which kick the kebabs up another level come from Annie Bertin from Fougeres who used to supply the crazily popular Bones restaurant run by James Henry.

Read more about Grillé kebab restaurant in Paris

Ellsworth, Paris

Published 23rd August 2015 | Review

Ellsworth restaurant in Paris

Ellsworth is a pleasant small restaurant in Paris serving small plate dishes designed for sharing. The food is cooked with precision and flair and the wines are mainly natural. The restaurant is an offshoot from nearby veteran Verjus. Each of the six dishes we sampled here were tasty ans cooked with skill. The natural wine selection was interesting and the service was fine most of the time.

Read more about Ellsworth restaurant in Paris

Khanom Jeen Breakfast, Bangkok

Published 19th August 2015 | Review

Photo of fish intestines sauce at Khanom Jeen restaurant in Bangkok

It was so good to be back in Bangkok this week! The first morning saw us on the streets early heading for our favourite place to have a breakfast of khanom jeen noodles smothered in a spicy sauce made from fish intestines. It was as good as every time we have been to this tiny pavement cafe in the past.

Read more about our khanom jeen breakfast in Bangkok

Nahm Restaurant, Bangkok

Published 19th August 2015 | Review

Scan taken from Nahm menu cover

Nahm in Bangkok is a must-visit venue. While we invariably eschew most up-market restaurants serving Thai cuisine in Bangkok (our preference is to eat from the street stalls where the food usually has more of the true flavour of the cuisine) we made an exception for Nahm because we have been great fans of the cooking of chef David Thompson ever since he opened Darley Street Thai in the early 1990s. The Nahm meal we had on this visit turned out to be an astounding meal of great complexity and finesse.

Read more about Nahm Restaurant in Bangkok


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