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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.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

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.

Five Senses to open pop-up brew bar in Sydney

Sydney's Surry Hills isn't exactly bereft of speciality coffee, yet coffee roaster Five Senses has found a niche with Filter: The New Black, a two-week pop-up café focusing squarely on filtered beans.

Taking over the ground floor of a warehouse on Kippax Street, the pop-up aims to be a space where novices and the filter-fluent alike can hone their palates on tasting flights of six or seven roasts. Tasting sessions and workshops on home brewing complement these filter 101s.

Like nearby cafés Neighbourhood by Seán McManus, Artificer and Glider KS, Five Senses has enlisted Porter & Maple for their pop-up's fit-out. A sleek white timber and birch-ply cube brew bar is home to a shiny SP9 filter machine, and there's room for an espresso machine, too. Surry Hillbillies can trip their way through tasting flights at two long communal walnut tables - think beer-hall meets brewhouse.

Around 15 varieties of coffee will rotate over the two weeks across the filter and espresso machines. They range from Ethiopian, Colombian and Kenyan roasts to the more expensive Geisha varieties from Panama and micro-lot roasts from Five Senses' farm in north Sumatra. "We'll put a naturally processed Ethiopian that's really fruity next to a processed Colombian that's tasting pretty clean, then we'll walk you through it," says Ben Bicknell, Five Senses' project manager.

As befits the filter focus, the food front is just slightly left-of-centre. You'll find doughnuts from Short Stop in lieu of croissants, and Jesse McTavish, late of Melbourne breakfast powerhouse Kettle Black, has plans for a coal grill menu with Japanese twists on café staples such as avocado on toast with reduced whey and local seaweed.

Five Senses Pop Up - Filter: The New Black, 64 Kippax St, Surry Hills, NSW, fivesenses.com.au/popup; Sat 3 September to Sun 18 September, daily 7am-4pm.

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