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An ambitious, brand new regional hotel has been awarded not one but three top accolades this year.
Andrew McConnell’s yakitori, buns, dumplings and lobster rolls head south of the river.
Sydney’s favourite whisky bar makes a rare overground appearance at a pop-up on Pitt Street Mall.
Our guide to the best of the region.
The Byron at Byron devises new ways to relax and revive.
Industrial designer David Caon shares his secrets on how to travel like a pro.
Is this the best-looking cafe in Sydney?
Load up your three-tiered tray with raspberry tarts, super scones and chicken curry puffs and get ready for a higher high tea with chef Bethany Finn from the Mayflower.
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 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.
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.
No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.
Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.
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.
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.
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.
"The zucchini have gone crazy," says Rodney Dunn. "Which is great. The lettuce is always happening, it's just prolific and everywhere. The corn grows a foot every day, and the raspberries are finishing, with the birds getting the last of them. We had our first tomatoes the other day, so that's good. The pigs are getting fatter by the day, and I'm waiting for them to be old enough to go and have some fun with the boar so they can give me some little piglets. The geese are biding their time, and I'm going to fatten them over winter; the Jersey cows are being nuisances. They've been to the bull, but I'm not sure if they're pregnant."
Welcome to a day in the life of Rodney Dunn. As a former full-time food editor here at Gourmet Traveller, he was more accustomed to whiling away his hours in the city in the test kitchen and photo studio, but for Dunn, it has been a matter of taking the boy out of the country, but not the country out of the boy. Raised in Griffith, in southern central New South Wales, he left home for the city to pursue his interest in cooking, cutting his teeth in restaurants such as Tetsuya's before turning to work in magazines. For all his flair in the kitchen and his talent for preparing food for the camera, the country kept calling. "I wanted to have access to better food," he says. "I really wanted to eat vegetables we couldn't buy, to have the experience of having our own animals, our own milk, and to make a living out of sharing that experience with other people."
So it was that in 2007, Dunn, his wife Séverine Demanet and their toddler Tristan left Sydney and settled in a 19th-century schoolhouse 45 minutes north of Hobart at Lachlan in the Derwent Valley. After some hard yards with shovel, sledgehammer and backhoe, they opened the doors on The Agrarian Kitchen late last year, and it's already being hailed by local and overseas pundits as a cooking school in a class of its own. The first part of most sessions involves pulling ingredients from the garden, but despite the rustic setting, the kitchen is equipped with shiny new professional-grade equipment, augmented by a wood-burning oven designed by fire-guru Alan Scott. In addition to the heirloom fruit and veg and the Barnevelders, Wessex saddlebacks and other assorted rare-breed livestock on the farm, other topnotch Tassie produce plays a part, whether it's black truffles, wild trout or rock lobster. Locals pitch in their skills, too; butcher and pig breeder Lee Christmas lends a hand with the Whole Hog class (yes, it means exactly what you think), for example, while Gordon Ramsay protégé and pastry chef Alistair Wise gives lessons on the sweet stuff.
The romance of the setting is undeniable. "I look at it, and think, gee, that's not growing as well as I'd like it to, and the weeds are getting away a bit over there, but other people come here and just fall in love with the place," says Dunn. There's no lack of poetry in Dunn's soul, but his mind, nonetheless, is on smokehouses and greenhouses, root cellars and milking sheds. How long will it take to get The Agrarian Kitchen to a point where he'll be satisfied with it?
"The rest of my life," he says, "I hope."
The Agrarian Kitchen, 650 Lachlan Rd, Lachlan, Tas, (03) 6261 1099.
WORDS PAT NOURSE PHOTOGRAPHY SHARYN CAIRNS
This article appeared in the March 2009 issue of Australian
pasta with almonds, parsley and ricotta
Roast loin of Wessex saddleback
Leaf salad with anchovy salad cream
Pan-fried baby potatoes
Roast red onions
Peach, raspberry and almond crumble
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