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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Steak with the flavours of pho


"I didn't want to put pho on the menu at Ms G's because I feel that everybody who loves this dish has a favourite spot to go for it, so why mess with that logic?" says Hong. "This dish takes all the flavours I love about pho and makes something you can share (ever tried sharing noodle soup?). This dish is a bit involved but by the time you're done, you'll know how to make both a basic and seasoned pho stock (skills for life), as well as nailing this new dish. It's like pho, but lighter and fresher - think Vietnamese steak and salad."

You'll need

2 rib-eye on the bone (about 400gm each) To serve: lemon wedges   Seasoned pho stock 1 onion, peeled 80 gm piece ginger, smashed but in 1 piece 1.25 kg beef bones 1 pig’s trotter 250 gm beef brisket 25 spring onions 30 gm Chinese cardamom (see note) 1¼ tsp cloves 30 gm cassia bark 30 gm star anise 8 pieces (10gm each) liquorice root 1¼ tbsp caster sugar 1 tbsp konbu extract (optional; see note) 1¾ tbsp fish sauce   Pho jus 55 gm kuzu (root starch; see note) mixed with 55ml cold water to make a thick slurry   Hoisin nuoc cham 200 ml nuoc cham (see prawn toast with yuzu mayonnaise, coriander and mint recipe) 1½ tbsp hoisin sauce 1 tsp sriracha   Salad ½ onion, very thinly sliced, soaked in water for 10 minutes 1 spring onion (green part only), thinly sliced 20 (½ cup) Thai basil leaves 20 (½ cup) coriander leaves 6 sawtooth coriander leaves, finely sliced (see note) 150 gm bean sprouts, blanched for 30 seconds then refreshed in iced water 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced into rounds

Method

  • 01
  • For the seasoned pho stock, hold the onion and ginger over an open flame, using a pair of tongs, until nicely charred. Set aside. Put the bones, trotter and brisket into a large heavy-based stockpot. Cover generously with cold water and and bring to the boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and drain, discarding the water. Wash the bones and meat under running water to remove any impurities. Wash out the pot, then return the bones, trotter and meat to it, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Skim off any impurities, then add the charred onion and ginger, the spring onions and the spices. Simmer for 8 hours, skimming the surface often. Strain. When cool, pour into a large container and store in the freezer, or keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. This is the basic pho stock. To finish seasoned pho stock, combine 500ml stock, 1½ tsp salt and the remaining ingredients in a bowl, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  • 02
  • For the pho jus, bring 500ml seasoned pho stock to the boil in a saucepan. Slowly add the kuzu slurry in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Stop adding the slurry when you reach an unctuous, saucy consistency (3-4 minutes; you may not need to add all the starch). Cover, set aside and keep warm.
  • 03
  • For the hoisin nuoc cham, mix all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • 04
  • Season and grill the steaks in a frying pan or on a char-grill on high to your preference (rare to medium is best in my opinion; 10-15 minutes for medium rare). Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
  • 05
  • For the salad, combine the onion, spring onion, herbs, bean sprouts and chilli, and drizzle with some of the hoisin nuoc cham.
  • 06
  • Cut the meat into 1cm slices and arrange on a serving plate. Put the bones on the plate, too. Spoon the pho jus over the meat, then top with the salad. Serve with lemon wedges and extra pho jus on the side.

Note Chinese cardamom and sawtooth coriander are available from Asian grocers and supermarkets. Konbu extract can be hard to find; substitute a large piece of konbu when simmering the stock. Konbu extract and kuzu are available from specialty Japanese food shops. If you can't find kuzu, substitute potato starch. This recipe is from Mr Hong ($49.99, hbk), published by Murdoch Books and has been reproduced with GT style changes.


At A Glance

  • Serves 3 - 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 3 - 4 people

Drink Suggestion

A wine with tannin structure without being too powerful – a Luke Lambert Nebbiolo Reserve, Heathcote.

Featured in

Nov 2014

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