Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

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Aløft

There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Brae

Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

The Bowery's Attack

The best defence is a good offence, not least of all in the cocktail cabinet, as this little-known classic amply demonstrates.

"On paper, it looks boozier than it really is," says Steve McDermott, bar manager at pioneering Brisbane watering hole The Bowery, of The Attack. "The Sherry in the mix lowers the alcohol. It's actually very palatable and pretty easy-drinking.'' A bit of a misnomer then? "The Attack cocktail will certainly get your night off to a good start.'' McDermott recommends making your own grenadine (dissolve a cup of sugar in a cup of pomegranate juice on the stove and cool) rather than using too-sweet commercial varieties. "This would have been shaken originally, but stirring gives the drink more clarity," he adds. The original recipe, which appears in Harry McElhone's 1927 Barflies and Cocktails, doesn't call for a garnish, but McDermott says the drink benefits from a lemon twist. Charge! The Bowery, 676 Ann St, Fortitude Valley, Qld, (07) 3252 0202.

THE BOWERY'S ATTACK COCKTAIL
Add 40ml Calvados, 20ml fino Sherry, 20ml Cognac, a dash of anise-flavoured liqueur ("Pernod works fine," says McDermott, "or you could give your glass a rinse with Absinthe"), a dash of grenadine and a dash or two of Angostura bitters to a chilled mixing glass, then add ice to nearly fill. Stir smoothly for 40 seconds, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and serve without delay.

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