Try The Smoking Camel’s Recipe for Prawns with Café de Cairo

This week we’re cooking The Smoking Camel’s party-ready prawns from head chef Joachim Borenius.

Article by Victoria Pearson

BBQ King Prawn, Café De Cairo, Curry Leaf, lemonImage courtesy of The Smoking Camel.

Byron Bay’s culinary landscape has exploded in recent years, and the launch of The Smoking Camel (by the team behind Light Years) only heightens the hype. Designed by Week Days Design and helmed by executive chef Robbie Oijvall and head chef Joachim Borenius, The Smoking Camel boasts a bold Middle Eastern-inspired ambiance and a playful menu combining Levantine flavors from Lebanon, Turkey, and Israel.

Mezze options feature traditional dips, BBQ plates include baharat beef shish and shawarma spiced chicken, and salads showcase watermelon and shanklish combinations. Desserts like ‘desert mess’ and saffron rice pudding add a sweet finish. The drinks list, curated by Sean Duncan, offers unique cocktails, and a focus on Lebanese wines from the Bekaa Valley.

The 55-seat venue’s transformation from the original Light Years exudes opulence with gilded interiors, curved archways, and gold camel cutouts, creating a nostalgic yet vibrant atmosphere reminiscent of Middle Eastern metropolises. Here, T Australia sat down with Borenius to talk about his pathway to the venue, home cooking, and his recipe for prawns with café de Cairo and curry leaves.

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Image courtesy of The Smoking Camel.
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Le Mirage Two cocktail. Image courtesy of The Smoking Camel.

On becoming a chef…

I started cooking when I was tall enough to reach up to the kitchen counter at home, even if I was standing on a stool. We cooked a lot together as a family and we had some fantastic fun together with food growing up in a family of six. But I didn’t start my professional path as a chef until I had completed my military service as a tank gunner and a couple of years of mechanical engineering. Cooking was always my passion, so it was just a question of time.

On maintaining drive…

[I’m] driven most days by a passion for food, a desire to work with a younger generation of hospitality talent that I love sharing knowledge and experiences with, and some days by just plain old stubbornness.

On unwinding after service…

Unwinding is usually with my wife, chatting about our days at work, watching some Netflix or spinning some vinyls. I have gathered a rather decent collection over the years!

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Shawarma Spiced Chicken with Toum and Pickled Chillies. Image courtesy of The Smoking Camel.
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Dead Sea Iced Tea. Image courtesy of The Smoking Camel.

On The Smoking Camel…

I’m so excited to be cooking with fire again. It’s such an inspiring medium to try and tame and channel. And also to sink my teeth creatively and professionally into middle eastern food. A cuisine I’ve prior really just used for comfort and not seen myself being overly creative with… But the flavours are bold and powerful, so I feel right at home.

On the venues that excite him at the moment…

Ollie Wong serves up a very unique offering at Bar Heather which is located in the Jonson Lane precinct. This is a great little foodie hub which includes Light Years Asian Diner and Pixie Food and Wine.

The Smoking Camel’s neighbour, Moonlight Hibachi Bar, is another must when you’re in town. They serve up contemporary Japanese fusing traditional cooking methods with modern and unique flavour combinations. Highly recommend pulling up a seat at the bar so you can watch the action unfold.

Finally, Eltham Hotel is a firm favourite and I’m very intrigued to see where Alanna Sapwell is steering this countryside institution with her fresh ideas. I’m a massive sucker for a proper Australian pub and this place hits all the right notes!

Prawns with Café de Cairo and Curry Leaves

Ingredients for Prawns

4 large prawns, butterflied
4 tsp café de Cairo butter
Curry leaf (quickly fried in some oil in the frying pan and drained on kitchen towel)
Lemon wedge

Ingredients for Café de Cairo

500 gr unsalted butter
½ tsp fenugreek powder
1.5 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp cardamon powder
½ tsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp tumeric powder
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
½ tsp ground black pepper
100 ml white soy


Heat your butter in a saucepan on a medium heat until the butter begins to foam and turn slightly brown in colour.

Remove from the heat and whisk in your spices. then slowly add the light soy whisky frequently. Continue to whisk occasionally as the butter cools down to ensure the flavours mix through evenly.

Set aside at room temperature. After use, refrigerate any remainder for next time.

Using a pair of sharp kitchen scissors, split the upside-down prawn all the way from bottom to head, but only cut through the shell. Lay the prawn flat on a cutting board and split it lengthwise but be careful not to cut through the top side shell.

Remove the black string from the stomach that goes through the tail. give them a light rinse to remove any stomach residue and pat dry.

Season the flesh side of the prawn with some sea salt flakes and drizzle with some olive oil.

Add the prawn shell side down to a medium hot BBQ , hibachi or a frying pan and cook until the meat starts turning from opaque to white. Flip the prawn over for about 10 seconds to give the meat side some colour.

Take off the heat and onto a serving plate, add a generous amount of the butter to the prawns and garnish with some curry leaves that has been quickly fried in some oil and a wedge of lemon.

Try The Rockley Pub’s Recipe for Classic Sticky Date Pudding

From the newly opened, Matt Moran-owned hotel, The Rockley Pub, comes a dessert recipe to try this weekend.

Article by Victoria Pearson

sticky date pudding the rockley pubThe Rockley Pub's Sticky Date Pudding. Photograph by Steven Woodburn.

It’s never been considered the most aesthetically pleasing after-dinner treat, but sticky date pudding (or sticky toffee pudding, depending on your geography) has graced menus and captured tastebuds since it earned the title of the signature dish of 1984, courtesy of “Sydney Morning Herald” writer David Dale.

Today, this simple yet flavourful dessert finds a new home at Matt Moran‘s latest establishment in Central West NSW, The Rockley Pub. An opportunity to revitalise Rockley and introduce a one-of-a-kind experience to the Central West region captured Moran’s attention. His farm, a short 10-minute drive down the road, adds to the personal significance of this venture. The Australian chef and media personality’s family history in the region stretches back generations, dating to 1883 when his great-grandfather exchanged vows at the historic Rockley church.

Located in a historic building in the town, just over a three-hour drive from Sydney, the kitchen at The Rockley Pub is under the skilled direction of head chef Simon Borghesi. He recently sat down with T Australia to discuss his journey to the Central West and generously shared his recipe for the classic Sticky Date Pudding.

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The Rockley Pub. Photograph by Steven Woodburn.
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The Rockley Pub. Photograph by Steven Woodburn.

On becoming a chef…

My culinary career began with a stint as a dishwasher at a Jacques Reymond restaurant in Prahran, Melbourne. I was interested in cooking but had only done a basic culinary course after finishing school in the UK, which had me playing around in the kitchen and cooking for friends at university residence on my return to Australia.

I was a decent cook but was hungry to learn more. After some time building my skills in the fast paced dish pit, I started being handed more and more prep jobs; peeling beans, rolling croquettes, de-seeding tomatoes. Eventually, I was offered a position in the kitchen, which meant I had to decide between staying at university or jumping into a full throttle apprenticeship – I took the kitchen job. From there I climbed the ranks and moved around the sections, and after one intense year I was running the pass. Here, I developed a foundation for cleanliness, organisation and urgency, which are vital qualities in this industry.

On maintaining drive…

Growing up, I was lucky to be exposed to many different cuisines from around the world. This gave me a great appreciation for good food and, naturally, the more interested you are in something, the more you practice and the better you get. I pivoted to cooking after deciding a desk job in a research facility was not for me, and although it was a controversial decision at the time, I can safely say that chasing my passion was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I love the way cooking can take you all around the world, and I wanted to work in an industry where I play a part in creating great times and special memories for people. There’s nothing like seeing the satisfaction on someone’s face when they bite into something you’ve worked hard to create from scratch.

On unwinding after service…

When I was in the city, this would usually be an answer of going out for a few drinks on Chapel Street. As any cook knows, there’s a residual adrenaline rush that sticks with you after a good busy service so for many of us we would let out a bit of steam at one of the many bars from South Yarra to Windsor – a decision we would often come to regret in the morning! Now that I’m in the country, life is much quieter and I am thankful to have a more realistic sleep schedule. The pool room at the pub here is a big hit, and it’s safe to say I’m becoming a much better pool player with some of the locals around here providing a hell of a challenge.

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The Rockley Pub. Photograph by Steven Woodburn.
The Rockley Pub. Photograph by Steven Woodburn.

On cooking at home…

Recently, I have been loving cooking with super fresh veg. My partner, Sophie, is a horticulturalist and has put lots of love and care into our garden space at home. A home cooked meal is already satisfying – when you can use home grown veggies, there’s really nothing like it.

The produce grown in and around the Central Tablelands is outstanding and the closer you can get to the time of harvest, the better. I was recently blown away when tasting a freshly picked homegrown squash, it completely re-introduced this vegetable to me like I’d never had before. When you have the chance to eat produce this fresh, the best way to prepare it is to intervene as little as possible and allow the produce to shine in all its natural glory.

One of our favourite home meals is a good, hearty, homemade ramen. Maybe it was all the Asian influence in Melbourne, but very quickly this became one of my all-time favourite meals living there. The versatility of ramen is unmatched and during Taralga’s cold winters, nothing else quite hits the spot. Tathra Place Farm is just out of town and their ducks are incredible for this dish, making the best broth. Chuck in some Gochujang eggplant, lightly pickled mushrooms, a sous vide egg and bok choy from our home garden… there’s a lot going on in this dish, but it all comes together so well.

On the venues that excite him at the moment…

I’m very excited about the scene that is developing in Taralga, the town I currently live in. It seems to be by chance a very heavy ‘foodie town’ with so many people excited about what small businesses are popping up around the corner (food or not). In the four years that I’ve been there I’ve even seen it develop so much; it’s a real hidden gem, blended between city and country. In other scenes around these parts, restaurant 9inety 2wo in Bathurst will be relocating soon to a larger space. I met the head chef/owner there (Brett Melhuish) who spoke to me about his plans on getting a big Death Grill smoker and hosting open fire events in the garden space they will soon have. Judging by his skill and what they made of their prior location I’d say this will be something to look forward to.

Sticky Date Pudding

Serves 4

Ingredients for Pudding

100g butter (softened)
300g brown sugar
4 eggs
365g medjool dates (pits removed)
1 tsp bi-carb soda
1 Tbsp malt extract
400ml boiling water
300g plain Flour
2 tsp bi-carb soda

Ingredients for Butterscotch Sauce

300g brown sugar
500ml cream
30g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp malt extract


Preheat oven to 180C.

In a stand mixer add butter and brown sugar, using the paddle attachment, beat well until the butter and sugar “cream” and become lighter in colour.

In a large mixing bowl add the dates, 1 tsp of bi-carb soda, malt extract and boiling water. The bi-carb soda and water will soften the dates making them easier to process. Use a stick blender to gently blend together.

Slow the mixer down and add the eggs one at a time until all combined. Add the flour and remaining bi-carb soda to the bowl along with the blended date mix. Mix well to form a batter.

Spray a non stick muffin tray with canola oil. Coat all sides well so they pop out without breaking once cooked. Fill each cavity three-quarters of the way up and bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

To prepare the butterscotch sauce, in a saucepan add brown sugar, cream, butter, vanilla and malt extract and bring to a boil. Allow it to boil for a minute then remove from the heat. In a flat wide tray pour a thin layer of the sauce. Remove the cakes from the oven and drop them straight out into the butterscotch sauce in the tray.

Add a little more sauce and carefully roll the cakes around to coat them fully, this will allow them to soak up some of the butterscotch and give them a more “sticky” texture.

Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a drizzle of butterscotch sauce and a walnut praline for a bit of crunch.

Try Bistro George’s Recipe for Charcoal Grilled Coral Trout

By George, they’ve done it. Jacksons on George emerges as a sleeker version of its former self, serving caviar and steak tartare to Sydney’s CBD.

Article by Victoria Pearson

Bistro George recipe_1Bistro George's charcoal grilled coral trout with spigarello and limoncello beurre blanc. Photograph by Jason Loucas.

Ask any after-work CBD drinker to describe Jacksons on George as of five years ago, and you’d hear about its infamously sticky floors, modest pub feeds, and late-night license. How times have changed. It shut up shop in 2018, prior to demolishment, to make way for Lendlease’s Circular Quay development, Sydney Place.

This month, Jacksons on George welcomes patrons back – but don’t expect the same grungy dive bar aesthetic of years past. Helmed by DTL Entertainment (the hospitality group led by Icebergs’ Maurice Terzini and publican Michael Broome), Jacksons on George is split into three distinct spaces – a ground level public bar, level one restaurant Bistro George, and rooftop bar.

Food and beverage offerings are curated for each level. Expect all-day pub classics like burgers and fish and chips at the public bar, alongside oysters, salmon gravlax and banoffee sundaes. The rooftop shares a similar snack menu, bolstered by cocktails and a compact Italian leaning wine list.

Bistro George is the venue’s dining jewel. Overseen by head chef and Icebergs alum, Steven Sinclair. “I’m really excited to start this new chapter in my career and the challenge that comes with it,” says Sinclair. “To be able to create my own menu and dishes for people is really exciting.” The expansive food menu is shaped by “recognisable bistro classics, elegantly executed with quality ingredients,” such as light and fresh clams casino, juiced up with guanciale and pangritata; beef tartare served with quails egg and potato crisps, and heritage beetroot with buffalo milk curd.

Vodka rigatoni – a TikTok sensation of late – is instead prepared with gin, beef from the grill is served with a selection of Café de Paris butter, sauce au poivre or Béarnaise sauce, and the dessert list is delightfully extensive.

To celebrate the venue launch, we sat down with Sinclair to talk about his start in the industry, the restaurants on his hit-list, and his recipe for charcoal grilled coral trout with spigarello and limoncello beurre blanc.

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A Manhattan cocktail. Photograph by Jason Loucas.
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Photograph by Jason Loucas.

On becoming a chef…

I became a chef at the age of 20. Before, I studied in school with the idea that I was going to find a subject to study in university (however I had no idea what that was going to be) and felt quite lost at the time. One day, I came to realise how much I actually enjoyed cooking for my family, and friends when they came over to visit. They all seemed to love it, which gave me a great sense of satisfaction, so I decided to try my luck and pursue a job as a chef. Shortly after I went knocking on a few doors but without any previous or professional cooking experience I landed a job as a dishwasher. I’ll never forget those first few moments of walking into a kitchen for the first time how terrifying it was, but I knew instantly that this was where I wanted to be. I stuck by the chefs there and quickly worked my way up and have never looked back.

On maintaining drive…

The energy and the drive from my team working together helps me keep motivated every day. My team is a big inspiration, we get through each service together and that’s what drives me. Not only that, but you will always learn something new in a kitchen, whether it’s from a book or from one of your chefs.

On unwinding after service…

I like to go home and spend time with my partner as much as I can. However sometimes I do enjoy a few games of pool and a pint of Guinness to wind down. 

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Clams casino. Photograph by Jason Loucas.
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Banoffee sundae. Photograph by Jason Loucas.

On cooking at home…

I love baking bread at home. During the pandemic I had all the time to learn and make sourdough. I’ve always had a love for bread making but sourdough in particular was a lot fun to make but came with a few failed attempts.

On the venues that excite him at the moment…

There are several restaurants on my list that I’m looking forward to trying. Petermen Dining Room and Bar being one. I think Josh and the team behind Fish Butchery are always doing some really exciting and innovative things. Another new venue would be Raja in Potts Point. Indian food is one of my all-time favourite cuisines, so this is another I’m looking forward to trying.

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Caviar. Photograph by Jason Loucas.

Charcoal Grilled Coral Trout, Spigarello and Limoncello Beurre Blanc

Serves 4

Ingredients for Coral Trout

1 whole fillet of coral trout, about 600g-650g (skin on)
60ml extra virgin olive oil
Half a lemon
Sea salt flakes

Ingredients for Spigarello

1 bunch of spigarello leaves (broccoli rabe, broccolini or chard are other good alternatives)
10ml extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt flakes

Ingredients for Limoncello Beurre Blanc

2 peeled eshallots (finely sliced)
3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
4 sprigs of lemon thyme
150ml chardonnay vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 lt cream
125g unsalted butter (diced into cubes)
35 ml lemon juice
70 ml limoncello
Sea salt


Coral Trout

Start by preparing your fish fillet several hours in advance. Scrape the skin carefully using a knife or fish scalers to ensure there are no scales left on the skin and remove any bones from the flesh side.

Pat the skin using paper towels quite well to ensure the skin is totally dry.

Next, line a tray with a sheet of ‘go between’ or freezer film, place the coral trout fillet on top (skin side up) and leave in the fridge uncovered to help dry out the skin. This process will help ensure that when cooking, the skin will not stick to the grill or barbeque and the skin crisps up nicely.

Limoncello Beurre Blanc

Pour cream into a saucepan and bring up to the boil carefully over a medium to high heat (be careful the cream doesn’t spill over). Turn the heat down and reduce by half, then set aside.

Next, gently heat up a large saucepan and add a drizzle of olive oil. Sweat off the eshallots for 1 minute until they start to soften, then add the garlic lemon thyme, bay leaf and sweat off for a further 3 minutes until soft and translucent.

Add 40ml of the limoncello and flambe to burn off the alcohol.

Add in the chardonnay vinegar and reduce it down by two thirds.

Once reduced, add the cream and stir well. Whisking continuously on low heat gradually add the diced butter until fully combined then remove from the heat.

Pass the sauce through a fine sieve into a clean pan and discard the herbs and shallots, etc. Stir in the lemon juice and the remaining limoncello and adjust the seasoning to taste. Set aside.


Remove the fish fillet from the fridge and leave it out to bring it up to temperature (approximately 30 minutes).

Meanwhile, dress the spigarello leaves in olive oil and salt.

Brush the skin and flesh of the fish with olive oil and season with salt flakes.

Making sure your grill or barbeque is hot, carefully place the fillet on the grill skin side down and cook for 4-5 minutes. (During this time, check by lifting the fillet up from the tail end using tongs to ensure it’s not sticking to the grill.)

Once the skin is nice and evenly charred, carefully flip the fish and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.

At this stage you want to add the spigarello to the grill and cook for 1-2 minutes also.

Once ready, remove from the grill, set the fish fillet aside to rest for 1 minute.

To serve

To serve, gently heat up the beurre blanc until warm.

Spoon the spigarello evenly onto each plate.

Carve the fish fillet evenly into 4 (skin-side down), flip and place on top of the cooked greens. Alternatively you can serve the fillet whole in the middle to share.

Pour the limoncello butter sauce or squeeze fresh lemon on top to finish, and enjoy.

Try This Recipe for Crispy Eggplant with Lao Gan Ma Caramel At Your Your Next Dinner Party

The head chef at Miss Pearl Bar and Dining, Sushil Aryal, sits down with T Australia to talk about his path to the kitchen, his favourite produce, and shares his recipe for mouthwatering crispy eggplant.

Article by Victoria Pearson

Miss Pearl_1Miss Pearl Bar and Dining's crispy eggplant and Lao Gan ma caramel. Image courtesy of the venue.

When Sushil Aryal relocated from Nepal to Australia in 2007, it was with the intention of improving his English and to continue his studies (he already had an engineering degree under his belt by this point). To make money he took a job as a kitchen hand at Bondi’s Brown Sugar restaurant. “One day, one of the chefs was sick, and my head chef Neil gave me an opportunity to cook,” recalls Aryal. “Apparently I was better than the chef who was currently working. It made me feel good and I decided I would become a chef and started going to TAFE.”

After a few years by Sydney’s beaches Aryal moved to Melbourne for a stint at Flinders Lane’s iconic Cumulus Inc, where he worked his way up to sous chef. He spent years honing his craft at fellow Melbourne hotspots including Spice Temple at Crown, Vue de Monde and Cutler & Co. (even launching his own restaurant, Moon Under Water, at The Builders Arms Hotel).

More recently, Aryal helmed Commune Group as head chef, working across Tokyo Bird and Firebird. Today, you’ll find him in the kitchen at the newly opened Miss Pearl Bar and Dining – the latest addition to Melbourne’s Southbank Theatre precinct and operated by The Fresh Collective. Offering locals and theatre-goers an Asian-influenced dining experience inspired by the flavours of Japan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Split across snacks, small and large plates, sides and a bar menu, the menu includes moreish bites such as crispy tofu with banana blossom, fried yuba and tamarind; miso-roasted cauliflower with lemongrass sate and crisp soybean, and larger dishes such as Jack’s Creek flat iron steak with shio kombu butter and togarashi fries, and market fish with chickpeas.

Here, Aryal sits down with T Australia to talk about the new venture, how he unwinds after service, and shares his recipe for Miss Pearl’s crispy eggplant with Lao Gan ma chilli caramel.

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The interior at Miss Pearl Bar and Dining in Melbourne's Southbank arts precinct. Image courtesy of the venue.

On what drives him…

It’s a bit cliché but passion and love towards food. I have always enjoyed cooking or working in kitchen environment.  Sometimes it’s hard but I need to make sure I’m motivating and leading the team well.

On unwinding after service…

10 years ago, it would be a cold glass of beer but nowadays if I finish early, I go home and spend some time with my wife and 2 children. If I finish late then a glass of whisky and some good music.

On his favourite ingredients…

Murray Cod fish is my best thing to cook at the moment. It’s quite sensational. Very versatile. It has a really good amount of fat which makes it really moist even if you overcook it. Vegetable wise I have to say purple sprouting broccoli which is in season at the moment and they taste amazing. It’s hard to find in supermarket but I normally go to the farmers market on Sunday to buy some.

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The red neon exterior of Miss Pearl. Image courtesy of the venue.

On cooking at home…

My wife cooks more than me at home, to be honest, and I’m very glad she does that. Nowadays I cook breakfast for [the] kids and bake with them on Sundays.

On what excited him about his work…

I am most excited about collaborating and working towards something big— a common goal. Every day at work is an opportunity I have to contribute to the growth of the our restaurant and the company [The Fresh Collective]. This is what makes my day. It also has to be the team I work with. They are exceptional bunch of people, and everyone is looking after each other. They definitely make my job lot easier.

On the other venues and chefs inspiring his work…

Has to be chef Josh Niland. He is already a “GOAT” in modern cooking.  His restaurants St Peter and Fish Butchery are outstanding. He thinks on a different level and has a great concept which he works towards. I admire him the most at the moment.

Miss Pearl Bar and Dining’s Crispy Eggplant with Lao Gan Ma Chilli Caramel

Serves 6

Notes: You can buy kombu extract in a Japanese store. If you can’t find substitute kombu extract with soy bean paste which can be found easily on Asian grocer. Substitute light soy sauce with gluten free soy or tamari if you are gluten intolerant.

Ingredients for eggplant

3 whole large eggplants
50g sesame seeds
1 bunch chives
200g rice flour
200ml soda water (or sparkling water)


Trim all three sides off the eggplant lengthways, and cut into long batons each depending on size of eggplant. You will normally get about nine pieces from one whole eggplant.

Sprinkle some salt lightly on eggplant and leave it for 30 minutes. Dry with paper towel. (Salt draws out the moisture from eggplant which will make eggplant more crispy when cooking.)

Ingredients for Lao Gan ma chilli caramel

500g sugar
250ml water
250ml red vinegar
1 jar crispy chilli Lao Gan ma
50ml kombu extract
60ml light soy sauce


Strain oil from a crispy chilli jar and separate oil and chilli. Put to one side.

Put all ingredients in a pot and put on medium heat.

Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat. Cook for about 20 minutes or until it starts thickening up. You will know when it’s ready if the sauce coats the back of the spoon. You want a caramel consistency.

Ingredients for eggplant

3 whole large eggplants
50g sesame seeds
1 bunch chives
200g rice flour
200ml soda water (or sparkling water)


Trim all three sides off the eggplant lengthways, and cut into long batons each depending on size of eggplant. You will normally get about nine pieces from one whole eggplant.

Sprinkle some salt lightly on eggplant and leave it for 30 minutes. Dry with paper towel. (Salt draws out the moisture from eggplant which will make eggplant more crispy when cooking.)

Ingredients for eggplant frying batter

200g rice flour
200ml sparkling water or soda water


Heat about one litre of vegetable oil in a shallow pot and bring it up to 180-degrees.

While you wait for oil to heat up, mix rice flour and soda water until well combined. Make sure there are no lumps.

Dust eggplant in rice flour and then toss in the batter.

Deep Fry at 180-degrees until golden brown (approx. four minutes)

Toss with the caramel sauce until it coats eggplant completely. Garnish with chopped chives and sesame seeds.

Father’s Day Lunch is Sorted: Five Recipes to Impress Dad with This Weekend

From one-bite wonders to a crispy, nutty dessert, treat Dad this Father’s Day (or any day) with recipes from Australia’s best chefs.

Article by T Australia

PIXIE RECIPE_6Pixie's Barbequed Diavola Chicken with Fermented Chilli and Salmoriglio. Photography courtesy Pixie Bar & Restaurant.

Is your dad a foodie? In lieu of a lunch or dinner reservation this Father’s Day, consider taking over the kitchen yourself – guided by the experts, of course. Here, T Australia shares our favourite recipes to try this weekend – from Longshore’s raw abrolhos scallop with mandarin koshu dressing to Raja’s mouthwatering ricotta jilipi with pistachio sabayon.

Marion's anchovies on toast with salsa verde. Photography by Jo McGann.

Marion’s Anchovy Toast

A canape is an opportunity for a chef to pack as much punch, flair, craftsmanship and balance as they can into a single bite. The writer Paul Chai tracked down the best one-bite wonders for T Australia, including Marion’s Anchovy Toast by Andrew McConnell (chef and owner of Trader House). See the full recipe here.

Longshore's Raw Abrolhos Scallop a la carte. Photography by Jason Loucas.

Longshore’s Recipe for Raw Abrolhos Scallop with Mandarin Koshu Dressing

“This dish is super simple, light and fresh,” says the head chef at Sydney’s Longshore, Jarrod Walsh. “At Longshore we sourced our scallops from Western Australia, however you can use any fresh scallop available. We also make our own yuzu kosho in-house, which is a very long process, but you can substitute for a store bought from any Japanese speciality shops.”

A word of caution: “Don’t be scared how spicy the dressing is. Once eaten all together the sweetness of the scallop and mandarin take away the heat giving, it a nice zing.”

See the full recipe here.

Pixie's Barbequed Diavola Chicken with Fermented Chilli and Salmoriglio. Photography courtesy Pixie Bar & Restaurant.

Pixie’s Recipe for Barbequed Diavola Chicken with Fermented Chilli and Salmoriglio

For Diana Desensi, paving the way for the next generation of hospitality workers isn’t just a personal inclination – Pixie Food & Wine’s head chef sees it as a duty of care. “I’ve worked hard and am fortunate enough to align with owners and venues who respect my views within the industry and who support me in trying to change the stigma of strong women in the kitchen,” she says. “When you do what we do with no ego and genuine love for the industry without getting you get caught up in the trivial stuff, it’s all actually quite easy.”

Here, she shares with T Australia Pixie’s recipe for delicious Barbequed Diavola Chicken with Fermented Chilli and Salmoriglio.

This fish pie is among one of the best-selling dishes at Bannisters, says Rick Stein. Photography by James Murphy.

Rick Stein’s Famous Bannisters Fish Pie Recipe

“It’s a one-dish wonder!” says the chef Rick Stein of this recipe. “I think when you come to the restaurant you want the opportunity to try as much of the great seafood we have on offer and with the pie, it ticks all the boxes! Local fish, scallops, mussels, and prawns. What more could you want? This pie is always among one of the best-selling dishes in the restaurant, you can bet on that.”

Raja’s ricotta jilipi with pistachio sabayon. Photograph by Nikki To.

Raja’s Ricotta Jilipi with Pistachio Sabayon

For the chef Ahana Dutt, a passion for cooking can be traced back to her mother. “My mum is a great cook, and a lot of my childhood was spent helping her in the kitchen and tagging along for market visits,” she says. “Deciding to become a chef was a natural progression.” Dutt, the head chef at the newly opened Raja, shares with T Australia her recipe for a sweet, golden and nutty Ricotta Jilipi with Pistachio Sabayon – the ultimate dessert to whip up for Dad this Father’s Day.

Dessert Is Sorted: Try This Recipe for Raja’s Ricotta Jilipi with Pistachio Sabayon

The head chef at the newly opened Raja, Ahana Dutt, talks with T Australia about maintaining drive, the restaurants on her radar, and shares her recipe for ricotta jilipi with pistachio sabayon.

Article by Victoria Pearson

Raja_1Raja’s ricotta jilipi with pistachio sabayon. Photograph by Nikki To.

For the chef Ahana Dutt, a passion for cooking can be traced back to her mother. “My mum is a great cook, and a lot of my childhood was spent helping her in the kitchen and tagging along for market visits,” she says. “Deciding to become a chef was a natural progression.”

When Dutt, the head chef at the newly opened Raja restaurant in Sydney’s Potts Point, decided to pursue cooking as a career, some around her wondered if she would come to resent preparing food for others. “It can happen. When you love something so much, you could end up hating it if you had to do it day in and day out,” she says. “But I believe that the corollary is also true, that you can truly excel at something that you are so passionate about.”

Here, Dutt sits down with T Australia to talk about her journey to Raja (the sister restaurant of next-door neighbour, Ezra), her current favourite flavours to cook with, and her recipe for ricotta jilipi with pistachio sabayon.

Cocktails at Raja - the sister restaurant to Pott's Points' Ezra. Photograph by Nikki To.
Photograph by Nikki To.

On her path to Raja…

Before Raja I was at Firedoor for 6 and half years. I joined there as a student and
worked my way up to sous chef. A lot of who I am as a chef and the way I cook is reflective of my time there.

On maintaining drive…

It’s not easy, but for me, at the end of the day it is the people who I am cooking for
and the people who I am cooking with.

On unwinding after service…

Almost every other day I talk to my mum on my way back home. Music, definitely! A
glass of chilled red helps too.

On her current favourite ingredients…

So many things! Beautiful Romanesco from Moonacres, purple sprouting broccoli from Newcastle Greens, puntarella from Ramarro Farm, Queen scallops from South Australia. I could go on forever. We are very lucky to be working with some amazing producers. I am also really enjoying mixing traditional Indian flavours with native Australian ingredients (desert lime kasundi, native citrus pickle).

The interior of Raja in Sydney's Potts Point. Photograph by Nikki To.
Raja's head chef, Ahana Dutt. Photograph by Nikki To.

On cooking at home…

I cook a lot at home actually. It is such a big part of self care for me. My go to meals range from dal, rice and fried fish to congee to kimchi jjigae. As long as there is rice, I am sorted.

On what excites her about her work…

I feel an immense sense of pride and gratitude to be able to represent Indian cuisine in the way that Raja is. It is a job I take very seriously. I am cooking my food and there is nothing more exciting than that.

On the other venues on her radar…

I went to Longshore a couple of weeks ago (and then again the following week) and was absolutely floored. Everything was beautiful, well executed and just delicious. You could tell that they’ve put a lot of care in the quality of produce they use. Plus Jarrod and Dorothy do hospitality very well.

Raja’s Recipe for Ricotta Jilipi with Pistachio Sabayon

Serves 2

Ingredients for Jilipi

22g semolina
30g milk
190g ricotta 
30g mawa or milk powder 
2.5g baking powder
4g powdered sugar 
26g flour 

Ingredients for Sabayon

6 Egg yolks
135g Sugar
90g pistachio butter 
150ml cream  

Ingredients for Cardamom Sugar Syrup

500g caster sugar
1L Water
4 cardamom pods
Grapeseed oil for deep frying
Flaky salt to taste
Toasted pistachio for garnish



Soak the semolina in milk and set aside.

In a mixer add the remaining ingredients for the jilipi and beat together using a whisk attachment. Whisk in the soaked semolina.

Rest the mixture for half an hour minimum, before transferring to a piping bag.

Line a tray with baking paper.

Cut a 1 inch hole in the piping bag and make spirals, about 6 cm in diameter.

Rest in the freezer.

Bring any neutral oil to 180 degrees and drop in the frozen jilipis. Fry till dark golden.


Place the egg yolks in an electronic mixer bowl with a whisk attachment.

While the mixer is on 9 speed 4, rain in the sugar.

Keep going till the mixture becomes pale and fluffy. Add in the pistachio butter.

Once the butter is incorporated, add in the cream and whisk till soft peaks form.

Cardamom syrup

Bring the sugar, water and crushed cardamom pods to a boil and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Reserve.

To serve

Soak the fried jilipis in the sugar syrup.

Dollop some pistachio sabayon in the middle of a plate. Place a soaked jilipi on it.

Add toasted crushed pistachio on top and finish with salt.