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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. 

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.

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.

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.

GT reader dinner: Philippe, Melbourne

Philippe's PÂTÉ EN CROÛTE

Philippe's PÂTÉ EN CROÛTE

What's the secret to Melbourne's best chicken? According to French chef Philippe Mouchel, it's all about the bird.

"You need to have top chicken," says Mouchel. "It needs to be free-range and cooked in a rôtissoire - ours is imported from France - for 45 minutes before resting."

Given that the chef behind CBD newcomer Philippe has been wowing Melbourne with his French cooking skills for more than 25 years - he first came to Australia in 1991 under the Paul Bocuse banner - it's safe to say he knows what he's talking about. But while roast chook may be the house specialty, there's no shortage of other reasons to flock to Mouchel's new restaurant.

We're celebrating the opening with a four-course reader dinner. You're invited to break bread over a menu including the famed rôtisserie chicken and kicking off with pâté en croûte, "One of the oldest dishes in France," says Mouchel. His combines pork, veal, foie gras and pistachios with a lift from pickled vegetables. It's followed by citrus-cured rockling, poached and set atop seafood risotto with a bouillabaisse sauce and finishes with an elegant almond blanc-manger.

"On the night expect good food, good service and a good time as well," says Mouchel.

Join us for dinner at 6.30pm on Monday 19 September at Philippe, 115 Collins St, Melbourne, Vic. The cost of $140 includes four courses and a $10 donation to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. To book, call (03) 8394 6625. For more on the OCRF, call 1300 OVARIAN or visit ocrf.com.au

Philippe reader dinner menu

* Pâté en croûte, foie gras, pistachios, mushrooms, pickled vegetables
2013 Moorooduc Estate Pinot Noir, Mornington Peninsula, Vic

* Fillet of poached rockling, seafood and seaweed risotto, soupe de poisson
2014 Etienne Boileau Chablis, Burgundy

* Rôtisserie chicken, lechefrite potatoes, natural jus
2010 Château Bouscassé Madiran

* Almond blanc-manger, citrus, meringue
2007 Tertre du Lys d'Or Sauternes, Bordeaux

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