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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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.

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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.

Bonito, ginger vinegar, avocado and sesame


You'll need

2 tsp sesame seeds 200 gm fillet of sashimi-grade bonito, skin on 1½ tbsp Healthy Boy soy sauce (see note) 3 radishes, sliced into paper-thin rounds 1 sheet of toasted laverbread or nori   Avocado purée 100 gm avocado flesh (about 1 avocado) 2 tsp lemon juice   Ginger vinaigrette 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp light olive oil 1 tbsp Healthy Boy thin soy sauce 1 tbsp sweet ginger vinegar (see note)

Method

  • 01
  • Gently dry-toast the sesame seeds in a frying pan over medium heat pan until lightly golden (1-2 minutes), then crush with a mortar and pestle to just break up the seeds.
  • 02
  • For avocado purée, blend ingredients and a pinch of salt in a tall cup with a stick blender until smooth. Push mixture through a fine sieve with the back of a spoon and taste to check seasoning, adding more lemon and salt if required.
  • 03
  • For ginger vinaigrette, whisk ingredients until well combined, season to taste and set aside.
  • 04
  • To remove the bloodline from the fish, slice down the middle of the fillet and remove the bones and blood-red flesh, then roll bonito in the soy sauce, place on a metal tray and blowtorch the skin lightly until blistered. Refrigerate immediately until chilled (15-20 minutes).
  • 05
  • Slice the fillet against the grain into 5mm-thick slices. Place on a tray, season lightly with salt and drizzle with some of the ginger vinaigrette. Arrange on a plate and drizzle with more vinaigrette. Dot avocado purée on the fish slices. Dress radish slices with vinaigrette, season with salt and arrange on the plate. Brush the laverbread or nori gently over a naked flame just to crisp slightly (4-6 seconds), then break it into rough pieces over the plate. Scatter with ½ tsp toasted sesame seeds and serve.

Note Healthy Boy soy sauce is available from Thai grocers or select Asian supermarkets. Yamato brand sweet ginger vinegar is available from Simon Johnson food stores.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

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