July 2009

Root vegies such as parsnips and beetroots are plentiful now, as are leafy ones such as cabbages. A Mews in Glebe works magic with winter’s best by pairing confit pork with braised red cabbage, black pudding, celeriac salad and pear chutney. The menu changes regularly here, so while you might not get exactly that, there’ll be something equally seasonal. Savoy cabbage stars in a salad with apple, mustard and pickled walnuts alongside a coffee-crusted loin of venison as well.

Sweet red onion chutney provides a good balance to a rich duck liver and brandy pâté at Strangers with Candy.  Fat bulbs of fennel are appearing, particularly on Italian menus, including Alio, where they’re thinly shaved and adding crunch and contrast to a plate of Pino’s salami and marinated Persian fetta. Eggplant just goes on and on, so why wouldn’t the Italians make the most of it with pasta a la Norma at every turn? But we adore its oily richness in a hotpot with chilli and sneaky slivers of pork at Shanghai Yang Zhou House.

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