We're eating … DESSERT AT LOTUS
There's something awfully satisfying about the "passionfruit picked from the vine" dessert at Lotus on Wulugul Walk, Sydney's happening Barangaroo food precinct. Maybe it's because it cleanses the palate after digging into dumplings and Asian dishes with a native Australian touch. Perhaps it's the aesthetically pleasing, shimmering sphere that arrives at the table, or the joy that comes from smashing it open to reveal smooth passionfruit ice-cream and a slightly salted vanilla marshmallow. Whatever it is, we're sold.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Photo: AP
We can't believe that … YOU CAN GET TRUMP COFFEE PODS
Just in case you'd run out of excuses to roast Donald Trump, you can now buy disposable Select by Trump coffee pods. They're available in five varieties on Amazon, each named after one of his real estate holdings (for example the Resort french vanilla, or perhaps the Skyscraper dark roast). The Amazon reviews alone are worth a read. selectbytrump.com
VDKA 6100 New Zealand whey vodka. Photo: Supplied
We're drinking … VDKA 6100
After spending the last couple of years on cocktail menus in New York (think Batard, Lafayette and even The Metropolitan Museum of Art), VDKA 6100 has landed in Oz. Vodka is usually made from fermented grains or grapes, but this triple-distilled newcomer is fermented in Reporoa, New Zealand, with fresh whey and hand-cultivated yeast. It's incredibly smooth – no trace of that mentholated burn – and lusciously coats the mouth in a similar way to milk. vdka6100.com
Evergreen with sorrel, lemon basil, mint, shiso and parsley served at LuMi Dining in Pyrmont, Sydney. Photo: Christopher Pearce
We're buying … SHISO LEAVES
Also known as perilla, these pretty leaves found in Asian cooking can pimp just about any plate. The flavour is more pungent than bitter; some say it tastes a little like mint, basil and anise combined. Either way, it's unique. Shred it on salads, serve it with sashimi or tartare, fold it into rice paper rolls and serve it to cut through fatty meats, like pork. Available in fresh bunches from Asian grocers and markets.
Sin-Ko-Nah tonic syrup. Photo: Supplied
We're obsessed with … sin-ko-nah tonic syrup
Gin and tonic enthusiast? Stop buying sugary supermarket tonic and give sin-ko-nah tonic syrup in soda water a whirl. The recipe dates back to the 1820s and is infused with cinchona bark, a natural source of quinine (the stuff that gives tonic its particular, bitter flavour). Sin-ko-nah is also mixed with local citrus and juniper berries for extra zing. See sinkonah.com for Victorian stockists or buy online from tonicsyrup.com.
Fat Brad The Cookbook. Photo: Supplied
We're reading … FAT BRAD THE COOKBOOK
In what could be – but shouldn't be – shrugged off as a gimmick, a group of young creatives have self-published Fat Brad the Cookbook. Described as "part fan fantasy, part filmic study", it boasts 52 pages dedicated to the on-screen eating habits of Brad Pitt. Recipes include everything from Rusty's car park burger in Ocean's 11 through to Tyler's questionable seafood bisque in Fight Club. Available at fatbrad.com.
We're listening to … INGREDIPEDIA
If you like the idea of a food fight but can't stomach the clean-up, tune in to Ingredipedia, an easy-listening podcast described as a "factual food fight" by Melbourne hosts Emily Naismith (Emoji Food Review, Broadsheet) and Ben Birchall (Smith Journal, 3RRR). Each week, the pair picks an ingredient and has a fact-off. So far some of the topics have included bacon, controversial coriander and "a stupid, pointless vegetable that makes lousy snacks" (i.e. capsicum). ingredipedia.com.au
We're loving … GRANITA ON OYSTERS
Usually oyster purists, we're digging sweet, cold granita against briny oyster flesh as the weather warms up. They're easier to find in Sydney: try Bennelog (lemon and pepper granita), Chiswick (celery granita and fresh lime) or The Resident (granny smith and chardonnay vinegar granita). In Melbourne, Steer Bar and Grill in South Yarra does theirs with frozen tomato consomme, basil and acidulated tomato, while Richmond Oysters' bivalve signature is apple cider granita and champagne vinegar.