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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Hot and sour soup


"This is surely one of the most recognisable dishes in China and is known everywhere in the West. This classic probably had its roots in Beijing, though it is claimed by Sichuan and Hunan as well. It originally called for chicken's or duck's blood but I must confess that I'm quite happy to do without. The heat of the soup relies not so much on chilli but black pepper instead" - Tony Tan

You'll need

150 gm lean pork or chicken, julienned 1.5 litres chicken stock 1 clove of garlic, bruised 2 cm piece ginger, bruised 5 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes until soft, drained, stems removed and julienned 2 tbsp dried cloud ear mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes until soft, drained, hard ends trimmed and torn into small pieces 30 gm lily buds (golden needles, see note), soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, drained, hard ends trimmed and halved, optional ¼ cup Sichuan preserved vegetable (see note), julienned ¾ tsp granulated sugar, to taste 1 tbsp light soy sauce 1 tbsp dark soy sauce 200 gm beancurd, cut into 1.5cm pieces 2 tbsp cornflour combined with 1/3 cup water 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1/3 cup Chinkiang vinegar (see note), or to taste 2 tsp sesame oil 1 green onion, finely sliced   Marinade 1 tsp dark soy sauce 1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine 1½ tsp cornflour combined with 1 tbsp water

Method

  • 01
  • Combine pork (or chicken), marinade ingredients, ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of salt in a bowl, stand for at least 10 minutes to absorb flavours.
  • 02
  • Place stock, garlic and ginger in a saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat, then add mushrooms, lily buds, preserved vegetable, sugar and soy sauces, and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil and add pork, separating using a fork, then add beancurd, return to the boil and slowly stir in cornflour mixture. Slowly bring back to the boil, pour in eggs, stirring continuously using chopsticks or a fork, reduce heat to low and let eggs set for 30 seconds. Stir in vinegar and season with freshly ground black pepper, then add sesame oil and green onion and serve immediately.

Note Sichuan preserved vegetable (called zhacai in Mandarin or ja choy in Cantonese) is often sold in cans or plastic bags or in refrigerated counters in Chinese grocers. Made from the stems of a variety of mustard green, it is brined, then pickled in chilli powder. It is best to rinse off the excess chilli and salt before use. Chinkiang vinegar is a fragrant black vinegar made from glutinous rice, water and salt, from Jiangsu Province. Gold Plum Chinkiang vinegar is one of the best. Lily buds (golden needles) are dried unopened flowers of yellow and orange day lilies. The Chinese call them 'golden needles' because they are thin and yellow in colour. They are sold in plastic packets.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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