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. 

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Top Drops: July 2016

Numbered from left to right, down the image.

 

1. SUPER SAKE

Miyako-Bijin "White Label" Junmai Yamahai, Awaji-shima, Japan, $75

After importing and wholesaling for years, Black Market Sake are now retailing through their website, making it easier to get hold of stunning drinks like this: aromas of radish and apple, slinky texture, deep and complex umami-rich finish.

Imported by blackmarketsake.com

 

2. SINEWY SYRAH

2012 Cobaw Ridge Syrah, Macedon Ranges, Vic, $50

If you like medium-bodied, intensely flavoursome shiraz grown in cool, high-altitude vineyards, try this beauty: subtle but seductive scents of pepper and dark humus lead to a sinewy mouthful of glossy blackberries and powdery tannin.

cobawridge.com.au

 

3. TONGUE HUGGER

2012 Celler Escoda-Sanahuja, Nas del Gegant, Conca de Barbera, Spain, $41.95

This bold Spanish red sits at the far end of "natural wine" production - biodynamic farming, no additions - but, thanks to its sturdy tannic backbone, tastes bold and youthful: superbly rich purple fruit, meaty, earthy, glorious.

Imported by apostrophewine.com.au

 

4. RICH WHITE

2014 Rutherglen Estates Renaissance VRM, Rutherglen, Vic, $32

The more blends of viognier, roussanne and marsanne I taste, the more I think how well-suited these grapes are to warm-climate regions like Rutherglen: this wine is ripe, complex and generously proportioned, but long and savoury, too.

rutherglenestates.com.au

 

5. COUNTRY WINE

2014 Pyramid Valley Howell Cabernet Franc, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, $54

Slice some chunky terrine and crusty baguette and pour yourself a glass of this deliciously rustic, medium-bodied red with its wild hedgerow berries and touch of earthy funk. You might still find the 2013 around the traps: it's also superb.

Imported by imbibo.com.au

 

6. BONZA VINO

2015 Giovanni Armani Giorgio Bianco Superiore, SA, $25

Love the fake cheesy Italian name; love the daggy, early-'90s computer design (check out the website for a giggle); love the mouthful of melon-pulpy deliciousness delivered by garganega and sauvignon blanc grapes. Bravo!

gag.pizza

 

7. MID-LIFE TINNIE

Pirate Life Throwback IPA, Adelaide, SA, $5

Brewing mid-strength (3.5 per cent alcohol) beer without sacrificing flavour is a challenge, but the Pirates have risen handsomely to the call: there's loads of fragrant hoppy goodness and refreshing bitterness in this lovely little tinnie.

piratelife.com.au

 

8. SPANISH BOTANIC

Cillar de Silos Golfo Vermut, Ribera del Duero, Spain, $75

This fabulous vermouth comes from one of my favourite producers of red wine in Ribera del Duero. At its heart is a base of super-rich tempranillo grapes, over which are draped layers of dark, swirling botanical complexity.

Imported by thespanishacquisition.com

 

9. NEW NERO

2015 Eldorado Road Luminoso Rosé, North-East Victoria, $25

This terrifically dry, spicy and satisfying rosé is made from the black nero d'Avola grape variety, originally from Sicily, but now thriving in Australia's warmer regions. Eldorado Road also makes a bold, slurpy $35 red from the same grapes.

eldoradoroad.com.au

 

10. TOP PET NAT

2014 Brave New Wine Little Sister Pet Nat, Mount Barker, WA, $28

This little beauty from WA is one of the best Australian pet nats - naturally sparkling wines that finish fermentation in the bottle - I've tasted: it's full of juicy little red berries, cascading and snapping and popping across your tongue.

bravenewwine.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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