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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.

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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

Sweet Stone brigadeiros

Sweet Stone brigadeiros

Sweet Stone brigadeiros

Brazil's national sweet has hit Australia.

Imagine fudge. Now combine it with a chocolate truffle, mix it with condensed milk and butter, then roll it in flaked almonds, raw coconut or milk chocolate splinters. What you have now isn't some kind of Frankenstein-style chocolate nightmare; it's a Sweet Stone brigadeiro. And it's delicious.

The brigadeiros Barbara Cardoso recalls from her childhood in Brazil were a staple found at every single event or celebration.

"They were literally condensed milk, butter and a Nesquik-sort of powder," she says. "The chocolate powder wasn't that good, and they were always too sweet."

Inspired by a crop of dedicated artisanal brigadeiro shops she saw popping up back home, she sought to invest in premium ingredients to lift the sweet from basic to brilliant in Australia. After locking down a supplier of sustainable Fair Trade-certified Belgian Callebaut and French Cacao Barry couverture chocolate, and experimenting with flavours and styles, Cardoso and her partner Ross Capsanis settled on seven premium expressions of the brigadeiro and launched Sweet Stone in 2014 on Sydney's Northern Beaches.

Velvety smooth with a ganache-like texture, slight chew and gloss, Cardoso's product is exceptional. A gift box of mixed flavours may include chai-spiced, original, almond, coconut, a dual flavour combining Ecuadorian dark chocolate and white chocolate or a Mayan variety with a touch of cayenne pepper. The sweets come presented in selections of four, eight, 15 or 30 and arrive in a neatly designed box, each stone nestled in its own compartment. We recommend going large, really large, to save yourself from instantly ordering more.

Sweet Stone ship Australia-wide and are available online at sweetstone.com.au

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