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. 

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.

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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

Pea and ham soup

Charcoal-grilled octopus and tarama


"This twice-cooked octopus is one of our most popular dishes at Stanbuli," says chef Ibrahim Kasif. "In Istanbul's traditional meyhanes, the tarama is usually served split and loose, but this version is emulsified, thick and luscious." Start this recipe at least four hours ahead to prepare the octopus, or preferably overnight.

You'll need

1 kg large octopus, cleaned 1 cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve Juice of 1-2 lemons, to taste 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground pul biber (Aleppo pepper; see note) Sweet paprika, to serve   Tarama 50 gm tarama paste 30 gm fine soft white breadcrumbs 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, crushed 50 ml white vinegar Pinch of caster sugar 500 ml (2 cups) canola oil 50 ml olive oil Squeeze of lemon, to taste

Method

  • 01
  • For tarama, process tarama paste with bread, onion, garlic, vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor to combine, then add combined oils in a thin steady stream until thick and emulsified (add a little cold water if mixture thickens too much). Add lemon juice, season to taste and pulse to combine. Refrigerate to chill. Tarama will keep refrigerated for about a week.
  • 02
  • Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Beat octopus against sink or with a meat mallet to tenderise (10-15 seconds), add to saucepan, reduce heat to low (80C) and poach until very tender (1¼-1½ hours). Drain and refrigerate octopus, uncovered, until gelatinous (at least 4 hours or overnight).
  • 03
  • Burn coals on a charcoal barbecue down to white embers and wait 15 minutes for embers to settle. Grill octopus until charred and smoky (15-20 minutes). Transfer to a board and chop into pieces, then place in a bowl with parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, a good pinch of salt, cumin and chilli. Toss to combine and serve with tarama dusted with sweet paprika and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.

At A Glance

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At A Glance

Additional Notes

Aleppo pepper is available from Turkish grocers; if it’s unavailable substitute another ground chilli. Tarama paste is a concentrate made from mullet roe, available in tins from delicatessens and fishmongers.

Drink Suggestion

Petit Pittacum Mencia from Spain – an elegant nose, generous on the palate.

Featured in

Aug 2016

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