El Público, Provenance Growers Salads, Brooks, Champ Kitchen & Bar

Photography: Frances Andrijich

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country including El Público, Provenance Growers Salads, Brooks, and Champ Kitchen & Bar.

El Público 
Never one to miss out on a party, Perth's favourite Mexican cantina (pictured left) is getting its fiesta on for Saturday's Beaufort Street Festival. Like you, we'll have to wait until the weekend to find out what the pop-up Shady Shack bar in the rear car park is all about, but we'll gladly vouch for Sam Ward's work in the kitchen. His pickled pig's feet tostadas have certainly turned my head: tortillas fried golden and crunchy, then piled high with coriander, pickled onion and beautifully gelatinous piggy bits. Party-starting food? I think so. 511 Beaufort St, Highgate, WA, 0418 187 708 MAX VEENHUYZEN

Provenance Growers Salads
It's not a restaurant dish that's captivating us at the moment; it's a plastic bag full of the most amazing collection of salad greens and flowers you'll ever come across. Each bag is prettier than a florist's posy, and in a salad bowl the explosion of flavours is mind-blowing. It must have something to do with springtime in the foothills of Mount Wellington, where Paulette Whitney's vegetable plot is located. Anything that has survived and flourished through its fairly brutal winter seems to have an intensity that your average sea-level gardener could never hope to achieve. This is as good as meat. Mind you, it's likely to be even better if it accompanies a slow-roasted lamb shoulder or some fatty pork. We'll see you at the market on Sunday. Provenance Growers,  Farm Gate Market, 49 Melville St, Hobart, Tas, 9am-1pm, Sunday SUE DYSON & ROGER McSHANE

The city basement space formerly known as Momo/Fifteen/Kitchen Cat has been colonised by the team from North Carlton's Gerald's Bar. They've brought an upmarket, clubby vibe - linen-dressed tables, besuited staff, banquette seating - but have also transplanted Gerald's relaxed, louche allure and excellent taste in wine. Former Embrasse chef Nic Poelaert is in the kitchen fancying things up. His tiny crisp pillows of rye stuffed with a sensational chicken liver parfait and topped with a blob of blackcurrant jam are the stuff dreams are made of. Basement, 115-117 Collins St, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9001 8755 MICHAEL HARDEN

Champ Kitchen & Bar
Finally, a worthy, airy all-day spot to regroup before a show or gallery-trawl of South Bank. Owner Justine Whelan's restaurant credentials include the founding of West End's charismatic The Gunshop Café and the award-winning Anouk in Paddington. Champ opened in August and its focus is split between a café-style "market table", laden from breakfast to dinner with ever-changing fresh treats, and a more serious but reasonably priced carte, featuring anything from a clever entrée of capellini coated in sea urchin butter to a zingy crab omelette at breakfast. Ground floor, ABC Building, 114 Grey St, South Bank, Qld, (07) 3844 4470 FIONA DONNELLY

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