Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

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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.


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.

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.

Where to stay, eat and drink in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Beyond Kuala Lumpur's shopping malls, Lara Dunston finds a flourishing third-wave coffee scene, tailored food tours and charming neighbourhoods.

Kisume, Melbourne

Chris Lucas has flown in talent from all over the world, including Eleven Madison Park, for his bold new venture. Here’s what to expect from Kisume.

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.


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.

What a catch

One of the things I love about summer holidays is cooking fish with my friend Philip Cox. Better known for his architecture, Philip is fabulous in the kitchen. He's one of those cooks who produces wonderful dishes seemingly without effort, and I enjoy watching his unique style of cooking; he's fast and almost nonchalant in the way he throws things together. His confidence in the kitchen and his repertoire of recipes have been honed over many years of cooking for friends at his beach house in Bermagui.

Bermagui is located on the rugged south coast of New South Wales, where fish are plentiful in the estuaries and along the rocky shoreline. Friends gladly catch them and bring to Philip to cook. When the fish aren't biting, he travels into town to buy them from the local coop. There are often many guests coming and going, and the food seems to simply appear and stretch to accommodate. I still have a tantalising memory of the whiting fillets a friend caught last summer. Philip cooked them over an open fire in a thin iron pan in butter, a dash of peanut oil (which he prefers to olive oil) and a good deal of coarsely grated lemon. As he flipped the fish onto plates, he returned the pan to the fire for a moment to brown the butter. The grated lemon zest imparted flavour and then turned into wonderful crisp lemon chips. A very simple but outstanding dish.

Just-caught fish cooked with skill is one of the most satisfying things to eat. Fish needs little embellishment: a little extra-virgin olive oil, some butter, salt flakes and lemon. On one occasion Philip grilled garfish over hot coals and served them with lemon, and as garfish are so delicate in flavour, they were perfect.

Another memorable fish dish from Philip last summer was steamed bream with ginger, spring onions, garlic and soy sauce, with sizzling hot sesame oil drizzled over the whole fish just before it was served. Divine. Then there was an excellent fish soup made with a base of sautéed onion, celery, carrot, ginger, Malay curry paste and fish stock (which Philip had made with the bones and heads of the fish) passed through a coarse sieve. The small pieces of fish were poached in this soup, which was finished with a splash of Cognac.

The number-one secret to great tasting fish is freshness, so look for specimens that smell of the ocean and have bright scales and clear eyes that are bulging, not sunken. I usually buy whole fish and then ask the fishmonger to scale and fillet them. You can better judge the freshness of a whole fish than a fillet. Fillets absorb water during their storage on ice, which leaches precious oils, and hence flavour, from the fish.

Some fish are ideal for grilling, such as whole baby snapper, salmon fillets and barramundi. Some are more suited to a flat grill, generally varieties that are more delicate, such as whiting, garfish and flathead. Either way, the grill should be very hot and very clean and the fish should be brushed with oil so the skin doesn't stick. I usually cook fish skin-side down first until it's golden-brown, and flip it over onto the flesh only just at the end to finish it off. Fish cooks very quickly (fillets need only a few minutes), so keep a close eye on it, and it's ideal if you take the fish off the heat just before it's cooked through, because it will continue to cook as it rests.

How can you tell when a fish is cooked? Experienced cooks will give the fish a prod at the thickest part to feel if the flesh gives way, but you can also check for the "milk" that seeps from the fish once it's cooked (be aware that this usually happens once it's past the point of no return).

A few of my favourite accompaniments to serve with grilled fish are avocado salsa with preserved lemon, chilli, coriander, lime juice and extra-virgin olive oil; homemade mayonnaise with a touch of crushed garlic; and tomato salsa made with the ripest of tomatoes, finely chopped shallots, sumac, coriander, pomegranate molasses and lots of extra-virgin olive oil.

This summer I'm taking some interesting spice blends and curry pastes, extra-virgin olive oil and salt flakes on my journey to the South Australian coast, so I can be adventurous with the fish I cook. I also plan on stopping at Robe on my way to eat fresh lobster. I find the flesh so rich and sweet and delicate that they are best boiled in sea water, then served simply with aïoli or mayonnaise or a fresh herb butter and some lemon wedges.

I hope your holidays are equally delicious.


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