A field dictionary for dining out

Hawaiian poke is making waves on the eastern seaboard.
Hawaiian poke is making waves on the eastern seaboard. Photo: William Meppem

The modern food world is a frenetic, fevered and confusing landscape. Just as we've gotten our heads around piecaken (that's a pie inside a cake), sushi doughnuts take over Instagram. Cronuts are old news – it's all about unicorn cupcakes now – and blue algae coffee was over before it was really a thing.

Here's a handy reference guide that should help you navigate menus and 'foodie' conversations for the rest of the year, or at least the next week.

Aquafaba n /ACK-wah-FAB-ah/ a vegan egg-white substitute made from the disgusting canned chickpea goop usually poured down the drain. 'Do you guys wanna grab some aquafaba pavlova after the Xavier Rudd concert? They make the meringue from chickpea sludge. And I think the passionfruit is reconstituted bin juice!'

Beer poptimist n /BEER POP-tim-ist/ a person who justifies their consumption of mass-market beer by suggesting it takes more skill to make Melbourne Bitter than a small batch double-IPA. 'You have to give XXXX credit for making a beer that's been consistently easy to drink for more than a century,' said Matt at the natural wine bar. The others nodded in agreement.   

Binchotan is ideal for grilling yakitori like this chicken skin skewer at Bird's Nest, Brisbane.

Binchotan is ideal for grilling yakitori like this chicken skin skewer at Bird's Nest, Brisbane. Photo: Harrison Saragossi

Binchotan n /bin-CHO-TAHN/ a super-compressed and absorbent Japanese charcoal that burns four times longer than regular charcoal. Ideal for grilling yakitori, it's also used by healthy-eaters to filter water of impurities. Jane paid $10 for a binchotan water at the new raw-food cafe and wondered if the money would have been better spent on magic beans.

Brewpub n /BREW-pub/ a place serving questionable pizza and 'beer brewed on site'. Tim couldn't wait to hit the brewpub for 50¢ buffalo wings and $17 pints after a big day playing World of Warcraft.

Brocavore n /WAN-ker/ a term coined by Bon Appetit executive editor, Christine Muhlke, referring to ultra-hip, food-obsessed blokes. Can be found reading Monocle at craft soda bars, drinking Georgian wine in parks and buying cocktail guides from Mr Porter. Brocavore best mates, Will and Harrison, had an awesome afternoon fingering axes before hitting the pub for pre-batched negronis and poutine.

Real bros drink rose

Real bros drink rosé Photo: William Meppem

Brosé /bro-SAY/ 1. n. an excellent bar and restaurant in Darlinghurst serving late-night sandwiches, gnocchi lap-cheong and delicious wine. 2. n. rosé consumed by private school bros to show they're more sophisticated than the Cooper's-swilling hoi polloi. 'Best keep Lachlan off the brosé otherwise he'll be singing Lana Del Ray all night.'

Chaga n /CHA-gah/ a type of mushroom used to make various tinctures the colour of elephant urine. It may have anti-ageing properties and it definitely tastes like death warmed over. 'I'll have one cup of chaga tea, a tahini ball wrap, two jars of blackcurrant supplements and a Chiko Roll, please.'

Coravin n /CORE-a-vin/ the maker of a needle-through-cork gadget that allows wine to be poured by the glass while the cork stays in place. The remaining wine is unoxidised and preserved for another day so you can sample big-ticket drops without buying the whole bottle. 'A half-pour of the 2012 Romanée-Conti, please. What do you mean "that'll be $120?".'

Cucamelons are officially the world's cutest fruit.

Cucamelons: officially the world's cutest fruit. Photo: Supplied

Cucamelon n /CUE-ka-MEL-on/ a type of cucumber native to Central America and Mexico that looks like a miniature watermelon and tastes a little bit like lime. After a week of drawn-out discussions, all 193 members states of the United Nations came together in agreement: the cucamelon is the world's cutest fruit.

Farmhouse /FARM-house/ 1. adj. cheese made by a producer who also raises the animals providing the milk. 2. n. a shared-table restaurant in Kings Cross with very nice food at a very nice price. 3. adj. a flavour profile found in wines and beers with camembert-cheese-like barnyard aromas. 4. n. a traditional and loosely defined type of ale that's a little bit tarty and a little bit funky. 'Gee whiz, this batch of saison smells like an old goat,' said John to Gary, the head brewer.  'All good,' replied Gary. 'Let's just call it a farmhouse ale instead.'

Fast-casual adj /FAST-CASZ-yew-al/ the no-man's-land between fast-food and relaxed 'gourmet' dining. Essentially any burger joint with a booze licence. Sarah could barely contain her excitement that another fast-casual Mexican restaurant had opened in the neighbourhood. It was the seventh one that week.

Frosé n /fro-ZAY/ a cocktail of frozen rosé slurry and sugar syrup that became essential drinking at the 2017 Australian Open. Natalie was pleased to discover it was cheaper and easier to pour wine and vodka over a slushie instead of queuing for a $12 frosé.

Turmeric lattes are a golden goose for vegan cafes.

Turmeric lattes are a golden goose for vegan cafes. Photo: Supplied

Golden latte n /GOL-den-LAH-tay/ a mix of cow's or nut milk and ground turmeric. Healthy eaters are mad for the drink thanks to turmeric's new 'superfood' status. The golden latte was a golden goose for vegan cafes everywhere.

Gose n /GO-zuh/ a top-fermented sour beer hailing from Goslar, Germany. It's salty and lemony and tremendously refreshing when ice cold. As temperatures at the Toowoomba craft beer festival approached 40 degrees, it became difficult for Aaron to distinguish between gose and the sweat from his top lip.

Kalettes n /KAY-let/ half kale, half brussels sprout, and delicious when lightly fried and dressed with olive oil. Kalettes overtook broccolini in 2016 to become the Frankenfood enemy of every child who won't eat greens.  

Got mylk?

Got mylk? Photo: iStock

Mylk n /MILK/ a catch-all term used for any plant-based 'milk' such as almond, rice, soy, cashew, hazelnut and hemp. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single glass of mylk will cost at least twice as much as the dairy-based stuff.

Petillant naturel n /pet-NAT/ sparkling wine made by an ancient method whereby wine that hasn't finished its primary ferment is bottled without secondary yeasts or sugars. This creates wine that's often cloudy, tart and super drinkable. It was 11am on a hot Saturday morning and Callan had smashed two bottles of petillant naturel before leaving the house.  

Poké n /POH-keh/ a colourful, Hawaiian raw fish salad dressed in soy sauce and making waves on the eastern seaboard. 'Sorry fellas, I can't make it to the pub for a Sunday sesh this arvo. The missus is dead keen to check out that new poké place where you line up for three hours to eat sushi out of a bowl'.

Sorghum n /SORE-gum/ a gluten-free grain grown on a large scale in Queensland for animal feed. The cereal is gaining popularity as a superfood for humans as it's high in protein and contains less fat than quinoa. Something something anti-inflammatory. No one was more confused than Queensland farmers by the health magazines promoting sorghum as a 'new ancient' grain.

Sushi doughnuts - healthy fun or sign of the apocalypse?

Sushi doughnuts are very real. Photo: Sam Murphy

Sushi doughnut n /HOW-is-this-a-THING/ sushi rice molded into a doughnut shape and topped with nutritious, colourful things. Coming soon to a social media channel near you. Many theologists were concerned that sushi doughnuts were a sign of the forthcoming apocalypse.

Unicorn /YEW-nee-korn/ 1. n. a ripper pub in Paddington with beaut counter meals and no pokies. 2. adj. sugary 'rainbow food' heavy on the golden horns, food colouring, sprinkles and diabetes. 3. adj. a food blogger term thrown around when someone finds their perfect burger, pizza, ramen, cappuccino, babyccino, packet of Twisties etc. 'This babyccino, which I did not pay for and the staff are loathe to make, does not have a marshmallow on top,' said Simon to an empty room. 'Therefore this babyccino is not a unicorn babyccino.'