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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.

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.

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.

The Producers: Arnold's yuzu

Arnold's yuzu on the branch

Arnold's yuzu on the branch

Spike your next cocktail or sauce with Australian-grown yuzu.

WHO Citrus grower David Arnold started propagating yuzu as a trial crop four years ago at his family's citrus orchard in Waikerie, in South Australia's Riverland region. Arnold chopped the tops off 40 Washington navel orange trees and grafted them with yuzu budwood. Now in their second season of commercial production, the trees are flourishing, and yuzu orders are accelerating from leading chefs around Australia.

Try our recipe for prawn toast with yuzu mayonnaise, coriander and mint.

WHAT Originating in east Asia, yuzu is believed to be a hybrid of sour mandarin and Ichang papeda, a slow-growing tropical lemon. The fruit has uneven skin, and a tart flavour that recalls grapefruit, but with mandarin overtones and a highly aromatic perfume. Rarely eaten as a fruit, yuzu's aromatic zest and juice are often used as seasoning, and it's an integral ingredient in the Japanese sauce ponzu.

WHY Arnold says his yuzu are grown in the perfect climate, making them more desirable among chefs. "They hang on the tree longer than in other places to reach optimal ripeness, giving more intense flavour and colour to the fruit." Chef Martin Benn is a particular fan of Arnold's fruit ahead of other imported yuzu, using it in dishes on his dégustation menu at Sepia in Sydney, such as chawanmushi, the savoury Japanese custard, with roasted katsuobushi butter and caviar, and for seared sea-urchin with smoked bone marrow and toasted milk bread. The chef has had yuzu in Japan and in Australia, and thinks the Australian fruit is as close to the Japanese variety you can get. "I haven't tasted or smelled better anywhere else in the world," says Benn. "As soon as you break the yuzu skin, you get a rush of the citrus perfume that is so intense it will make you salivate."

Try our recipe for Japanese cabbage salad with a yuzu mayonnaise. 

WHERE Adelaide-based wholesaler AMJ Produce Co distributes Arnold's yuzu.

amjproduce.com.au

Styling by Lisa Featherby

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