Each month Hot Plates Australia – Coast-to-Coast takes a look at some of the most exciting dishes around the nation, created by some of our top chefs. Autumn it seems has finally arrived in Australia – here’s what’s happening this March.
MPD Steak Kitchen (Beaney Lane Pop-up), Melbourne
Executive Chef: Chris Bonello
Dish: Salmon Skin Sandwich, pickles, chimichurri mayo
Crisps anyone? From 26 March 2019, the award-winning Berwick (Victoria) restaurant MPD Steak Kitchen will stage a three week Melbourne CBD pop-up, with chef Chris Bonello serving a curated menu of MPD signature dishes, along with a range of the highest quality steak for which MPD is renowned. But if a quality steak doesn’t float the boat of your chosen dining partner, then the seafood teasers are sure to win them over. Case in point this brilliantly designed salmon skin sandwich with pickled cucumbers (top), chimichurri mayo and micro herbs – visually the hottest plate we’ve seen this month. Follow this with Chris’ gin-cured ora king salmon and a plate of spanner crab with crayfish butter, finger lime and flat bread and we may very well have forgotten about the premium dry-aged beef altogether. Regardless, we’ve been advised all offerings are first rate, we look forward to checking it out.
$TBA Available, 26 March-13 April, 2019
Jonah’s Restaurant and Boutique Hotel, Palm Beach, NSW
Head Chef: Matteo Zamboni
Dish: Goat’s Cheese Tortellini
The hand made Meredith Dairy goats cheese tortellini at Jonah’s are an uncomplicated, between the seasons gem. ‘Autumn here is warm on most days, yet we had cooler temperatures and rain this morning, before more sunshine,’ says head chef Matteo Zamboni. ‘The tortellini is hearty enough, yet still a light dish. It is simple: the goats cheese has nice acidity and the sage butter has a pleasing nuttiness. People love it.’
Victoria’s Meredith Dairy has a reputation of producing some of the finest hand-made goat and sheep milk products available on the market and are celebrated for their consistency and flavour. We love this dish because of its no fuss simplicity. Delicate, well presented and perfectly authentic.
The la carte menu at Jonah’s with two courses plus one side per person starts at $89.
Available until mid May, 2019
Donna Chang, Brisbane
Executive Chef: Jake Nicholson
Head Chef: Jason Margaritis
Dish: Jumbo King Prawns with sweet and hot coriander dressing
The beauty of dish is the prawns cooked in the wood fire oven – with aromatic flavours of iron bark coals making these Gold Coast fresh jumbo kings ever more flavoursome. The hot coriander dressing consists of a slow roasted prawn stock, reduce to a bisque. Aromatic spices including coriander, star anise and pepper corns are added along with garlic, Chinese shaoxing wine and two types of chili bean paste. It is thickened with potato starch offering a viscosity that well coats the prawns. Hot, sweet, sour and smokey, what’s not to love?
$36, available until the end of April, 2019
Blackbird Restaurant and Bar, Brisbane
Executive Chef: Jake Nicholson
Head Chef: Anthony Donaldson
Dish: Brisbane Valley Quail, boned and stuffed with house made chorizo, white eggplant puree, served with pickled eggplant relish
This ballantine of quail is stuffed with spicy chorizo, wrapped in caul fat to retain its moisture, then slow roasted and finished in the pan. Grilled king brown mushrooms, locally grown at Little Acre, West End – a micro, and very urban mushroom farm – ‘is a business we love supporting,’ says executive chef Jake Nicholson; they sit atop eggplant purée that consists of both steamed eggplant for freshness and wood fire grilled eggplant (with the black bits removed), to add some nice smokey-charred flavours. A side of sweet and sour eggplant pickle, made with a gentle array of moroccan spices including dried cumin and coriander flavours the diced and salted eggplant pieces that are cooked in a little garlic, brown sugar and a touch of red wine vinegar. A classic dish, elevated to fragrant and flavoursome new heights.
$48, available until the end of April, 2019
Otto Brisbane, Brisbane
Head Chef: Will Cowper
Dish: Crudo di Ricciola – Raw kingfish, fennel and crème fraÎche purée, charred grapefruit, finger lime, salmon roe, pistachios
Appearing deceptively complicated, in reality this dish with it’s clever flavour pairings, couldn’t be more simple. Sliced raw kingfish is dressed right before service in a little grapefruit juice, lemon oil and salt. Fennel, slow cooked in Pernod is blended with crème fraÎche to make the purée that dots the plate. Now in season, ruby red grapefruit is ‘sweet and not too tart’ says head chef Will Cowper. ‘Charring the fruit gets the sugars going and sweetens it further’, he explains. ‘And the bronze fennel fronds – locally grown at Petite Bouche farm on the Gold Coast – have a much stronger aniseed taste to regular fennel. ‘It’s a flavour bomb – totally insane,’ says Will. ‘And the finger lime is just so fantastic.’ Salmon roe, crushed pistachios and red vein sorrel complete the dish and add to its visual spectacle.
$30, available until the end of May, 2019
Glasshouse Brasserie, Sydney
Executive Chef: Luke Mangan
Dish: Braised Lamb Shoulder, lemongrass, ginger, pumpkin and cumin rice
You can be assured of a good experience dining at the Glasshouse Brasserie, where Luke Mangan is this year celebrating its 25th anniversary. Well known for sourcing premium Australian ingredients and cooking them with care, the new Autumn menu braised lamb shoulder with lemongrass, ginger, pumpkin and cumin rice is yet another Asian-influence offering from Luke’s refreshing take on East meets West modern-Australian cuisine. The slow-braised, deeply coloured lamb is wonderfully textured and topped with ribbons of roasted pumpkin, then garnished with red onion, Vietnamese mint and crispy shallots. Expect a lightly-filling meal packed with flavour and lifted aromatics.
$49, available throughout Autumn 2019
Miss Amelie – Lamb scotch Fillet
Miss Amelie, Wodonga, Victoria
Chef/owner: David Kapay
Dish: Lamb Scotch Fillet, beetroot, yoghurt, peas, pickled raspberry and rhubarb
’Tis the season for lamb and few regions in Australia can deliver the quality and texture of the Rutherglen lamb presented by chef David Kapay of Albury/Wodonga’s Miss Amelie. Showcasing the end of Summer and a gentle shift into the Autumn season, this dish is typical of David’s delicate style. At Miss Amelie he’s known for plating up artistically presented dishes with flavours that are often impeccably balanced. Differing textures of red raspberry, rhubarb and beetroot are combined with yogurt dollops and peas. These work well with the the lamb, offering earthy elements and other lifted, sharper notes. One of the best eateries on the South border side of the Murray River, Miss Amelie continues to deliver.
$38.5 available until June, 2019
Love Fish, Barangaroo, Sydney
Chef/owner: Michael Milkovic
Dish: Hot-smoked High Country River Trout, with beets, green apple, horseradish cream and linseed cracker
Love Fish is the place to go in Sydney’s Barangaroo for sustainably farmed and caught, delicate and flavoursome fish dishes. Goulburn NSW river trout is sourced from Sydney chef Stephen Hodges’ new smoke house: ‘the results are amazing, with the texture of a confit trout,’ says chef/owner Michael Milkovic. This dish is all about Autumn colour and flavours – the sweetness of horseradish, and beets, crunchy golden linseed crackers, and sticks of fresh Granny Smith apples that have a fresh sweet and sour tang. ‘The dish is extremely moreish’, says co-owner Michelle Grand-Milkovic. ‘It’s a dish you can’t stop eating once you start.’ Combined the elements within the dish deliver a umami sensation – an all together sweet and and salty harmonious yumminess. Golden heritage beetroot, roasted over rock salt forms the base, while the dish is finished with a little horseradish cream, dill oil and sprigs.
$23, available until mid-June