Poacher’s Way, Canberra

A very loud rattling sound greets me as I drive up the dusty road past the vineyard to Clonakilla, a multi-award winning winery at Murrumbateman, 40 minutes north west of Canberra. Even with the windows firmly up to keep out the fine dust, the rattling grows louder and louder by the second.

Tropical Fruits

For many exotic fruits, their flavour is best appreciated when just picked. While some (such as lychees, mangosteens and rambutans, all with sturdy skins) have become more readily available, they’re really at their peak when tasted close to home, as most do not travel well. One example is the exquisite white sapote, a sweet white-fleshed fruit with a thin green skin. When ripe, the flesh is soft and luscious and tastes like fine vanilla custard.

Scallop salad (pla hoi shenn)

This simple but tasty salad is from David Thompson's magnificent new book "thai food" (Penguin). Thompson is Australia's foremost exponent of authentic Thai cuisine and this new book is a tribute to his years of passionate research and knowledge.

Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Most of us are accustomed to the fresh Vietnamese rice paper rolls but ones are bound with an egg and fried and are very tasty. They were part of the cooking class at Hai's Cafe in Hoi An, on the east coast of Central Vietnam, where I visited last week.