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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.

How to make matcha

Skip the lattes, muffins and soft-serve and embrace matcha on its own terms.

Matcha, the powdered green tea central to ceremonial Japanese tea gatherings since the 13th century, has featured in all manner of incarnations recently, but in Japan the traditional tea experience is still an art form.

If you haven't got three-plus hours for a full ceremony but want to steep yourself in some semblance of tea culture, Adam Wojcinski sensei, and disciple and official translator for the 16th Grandmaster of the Ueda Sōko samurai traditional Japanese tea ceremony, suggests a five-minute matcha meditation. Start with the right equipment. First, select a chawan, or tea bowl, he says, that "you're going to enjoy drinking from every day". Pick a high-grade, vivid green powder from Uji in Kyoto - from Wojcinski's Nippon Cha, say, or Melbourne's Storm in a Teacup. It should smell fresh and sweet. Rinse the chasen, or tea whisk, and chawan with hot water before adding two scoops of matcha (using a traditional bamboo scoop, or chashaku) to the bowl. Add 80ml of hot water and begin whisking: take the chasen around the bowl in one slow, circular motion before whisking faster. The tea will reach a foamy mousse texture or flatness, depending on your preference. Then, it's time to drink, with a focus on introspection and presence. The earthy flavour should have a "massive super bomb of umami" behind it, says Wojcinski. "It sings like a whole green opera down your throat when you drink it." nipponcha.net

Here are our picks if you're looking to try matcha at home.

Styling by Aimee Jones

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