The Weekend Australian - Travel - - The Food Issue -

GREG Malouf has taken over from fel­low Aus­tralian Skye Gyn­gell as head chef at London’s Peter­sham Nurs­eries Cafe. He is also the au­thor of sev­eral food and travel books. More: pe­ter­sham­nurs­ Best break­fast spot: The souk in Amman, Jor­dan: falafel, ful madamas, pick­led minced chill­ies in olive oil, balila, (hum­mus with warm chick­peas) and just-baked Ara­bic bread. Most mem­o­rable food ex­pe­ri­ence on the road: I had an ex­tra­or­di­nary break­fast at Ali Bey’s ke­bab shop in Gaziantep in south­east Turkey. Sim­ple fare — liver and of­fal ke­babs — shared with taxi driv­ers and con­struc­tion work­ers at 6am. Stand­out af­ter­noon tea: The af­ter­noon tea buf­fet at the Gazebo Lounge at the Ci­ra­gan Palace Kempin­ski, Istanbul, where you can munch on up-mar­ket go­zleme and pis­ta­chio baklava as you gaze at the Bospho­rus. Favourite street food: For this Lebanese boy it has to be shawarma: grilled chicken with toum (a pun­gent lemon-gar­lic may­on­naise), hot chill­ies and salad stuffed into warm Ara­bic bread. Best en­joyed in Le­banon (or any­where else in the Mid­dle East). Invit­ing culi­nary des­ti­na­tion: The fan­tas­tic ta­pas bar Bar­ra­fina in Soho, London. The ta­pas are some of the best I’ve tasted and there’s a great buzz. I’ve been dream­ing of its grilled quail with aioli and amaz­ing blood sausage. Favourite shop­ping haunt: E. De­hil­lerin in Paris is one of the world’s best kitchen­ware shops. I bought a set of stain­less steellined cop­per pots here about 20 years ago and have used them al­most ev­ery day since. In­spi­ra­tional travel nar­ra­tive: I al­ways go back to Paula Wolfert’s Mediter­ranean Cook­ing. Although she’s best known for her books on Moroc­can cook­ing, I par­tic­u­larly love this book, which ex­plores the food of the coun­tries that fringe the Mediter­ranean Sea, from North Africa to Spain, France, Italy and Greece. It draws on her ex­pe­ri­ence of the re­gion and fea­tures home-style recipes. Dis­tinc­tive ho­tel: London’s gor­geous Hay­mar­ket Ho­tel, with a quirky town­house vibe, is in a bril­liant cen­tral lo­ca­tion, yet it’s peace­ful enough for a great night’s sleep. Most mem­o­rable travel ex­pe­ri­ence: While re­search­ing our book Sara­ban, [writ­ing part­ner] Lucy [Malouf] and I took a mid­night boat trip across the Per­sian Gulf, with a full moon over­head and tiny smug­gling boats whizzing all around. It was a mo­ment that re­ally cap­tured the spirit of our ad­ven­tures in Iran.

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