ST EDM 043

LAST ORDERS: 2023 food trends + restaurants you missed 🔔

Silly season or silly year?

That's what I keep asking myself now that 2023 is 16 sleeps away. If you can pause among the flurry of December, it's our last chance to reflect in 2022. I'm not exactly great at sitting still (except at a table piled with food and stories), but I don't have to dig very deep to know that my year has been full of surprises (some magical, others heartbreaking) and countless, incredible meals (including an indulgent and spontaneous jaunt to Spain, pictured below). This year I hope I encouraged you to try new dishes, ask more questions and learn something. Bring on 2023 – there's plenty more to come.Sofia xx

TLDR » Bite-Sized Food News

- Here are my 15 food trend predictions for 2023 (and a related Instagram post that had me in tears laughing).- Scroll to the bottom of this dispatch for a handful of new traditional restaurants you probably don't know about. - Further down you'll also find three Japanese pop-ups happening in Melbourne this summer, a list of 10 books to buy for food lovers this Christmas and an offal gateway recipe for yakitori chicken hearts.

FOOD TRENDS » 15 Predictions for 2023

POP-UPS » 3 Japanese Food Experiences

Japan is having a moment in Melbourne. Here are three pop-ups worth your yen that are here for a good time, not a long time:1. Kaku-Uchi a worker’s-style Japanese bar from Simon Denton of Izakaya Den is taking over Postal Hall cafe (above the restaurant) every Friday and Saturday night from December 2 until February 25.2. Shokkan this Fitzroy izakaya has temporarily replaced Gaea in Fitzroy, where fine-dining chef Mo Zhou is running an intricate set menu for $85 per person until the end of February. Pair each hyper-seasonal dish – like raw kingfish in preserved cherry blossom and mustard oil – with sake for $65.3. Disco Beans Yuka Harte of Disco Beans, a predominantly vegan restaurant that used to be in Preston, is popping up for one night this Sunday December 18 at Rooftop Bar, Curtin House (5pm-10pm). Sakedokoro Namara is in charge of sake, and there are DJs until 1am. BYO chopsticks.

CHRISTMAS » 10 Books for Food Lovers

I see a lot of food books each year, but these are my favourite. Some are for home cooks, others are novels or memoirs, but all of them are brilliant buys if you're stuck for present ideas. In no particular order:1. Chinese-ish by Rosheen Kaul & Joanna HuBold flavours and gorgeous illustrations celebrate Chinese heritage through a raised-in-Australia lens. This is what living between two cultures tastes like, and it’s delicious. According to the authors, flavour > authenticity.2. The Joy of Better Cooking by Alice ZaslavskyAlice is a genius when it comes to cookbooks, and this time she's teaching people how to become intuitive cooks. She believes anyone who loves to eat can also be a gun in the kitchen, regardless of your experience. This is the vibrant manual you need to turn cooking from a chore into a delight, filled with tips and hacks alongside approachable recipes.3. Salamati by Hamed Allahyari & Dani Valent70 recipes anchored in Hamed Allahyari’s Iranian heritage that tell his story of resilience and persistence as an asylum seeker from Tehran, who went onto open a social enterprise cafe in Sunshine (watch the ST video here). These big, flavourful, vibrant dishes are as nourishing and celebratory as they are simple.4. Mabu Mabu: An Australian Kitchen Cookbook by Nornie BeroA long overdue cookbook from a First Nations chef filled with everyday recipes that make use of native ingredients, from herbs to proteins. Think everything from pumpkin and wattleseed damper to kangaroo tail bourguignon. If you want to know what Australian food is, start here.5. What I Cook When Nobody's Watching by Poh Ling YeowA wonderful mix of recipes if you wish to cook for yourself, whip something up quickly for others or create crowd-pleasing feasts, filled with Poh’s friendly voice, clever musings and good humour.6. Around the Table: Delicious Food for Every Day by Julia Busuttil NishimuraBeautiful recipes from a beautiful soul. You can feel the comfort and care in every page, whether something for a busy weeknight, classics from Italy and Malta, or Japanese dishes Julia learned from her husband.7. Lune: Croissants All Day, All Night by Kate ReidThe first cookbook from the world’s most popular pastry shop, revealing the secrets behind Kate's cult croissants. Step-by-step techniques for rolling and shaping, recipes, what to do with leftovers and what to make for special occasions.8. Raised by Wolves by Jess HoA must-read memoir of an outsider who became an insider in hospitality, this book is as insightful as Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. Instead of glorifying the ugly parts of what goes on behind the scenes at restaurants, Ho's is a poignant and sometimes heartbreaking front-of-house perspective of hospitality from someone who definitely ain't a white man.9. Grand Crew by Tom CragoA novel spotlighting wineries and restaurants you’ll recognise from home, plus hedonistic romps through Paris. This is undeniably a love letter to Australian wine, but with plenty of characters to adore regardless of whether or not you're an oenophile.10. New Voices on Food 2 edited by Lee Tran LamThe second anthology centred on food and identity, with stories and illustrations from new and emerging voices from under-represented backgrounds. Provides a new perspective, no matter who you are.

RECIPE » Yakitori Hatsu (Chicken Hearts)

FOOD TOUR » Nine Hours in Footscray

HIT LIST » 3 New Restaurants You Missed

QQQ ST Kitchen, Collingwood

Peel Street has welcomed a hole-in-the-wall takeaway Japanese lunch spot, serving Okinawa taco rice, bento boxes and onigiri (seaweed-wrapped rice triangles with fillings). Everything is seasoned with organic soy and specials might include pork belly ponzu bentos and "spamwiches". 4 Peel Street, Collingwood

Khao Man Gai, CBD

This simple spot on the corner of Lonsdale Street and Hardware Lane specialises in chicken rice, Thai style. All mains come with broth, cucumber and sauces – you just need to pick if you want the original, tofu in place of chicken or the "clean eating" version. Shop A&B, 389 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

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