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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

Coconut rice pudding with star anise and rhubarb


Rice pudding is one of our favourite winter sweets. Here we've sweetened it with coconut sugar and flavoured it with vanilla and star anise. Poached rhubarb adds a tangy twist.

You'll need

500 ml (2 cups) coconut milk 500 ml (2 cups) pouring cream 150 gm arborio rice, rinsed well 1 star anise 80 gm each caster sugar and coconut sugar (see note) 3 egg yolks To serve: coconut cream and coconut sugar (optional)   Poached rhubarb 400 gm rhubarb (about 1 bunch), trimmed, cut into 5cm lengths 75 gm each caster sugar and coconut sugar 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped 1 star anise

Method

  • 01
  • Bring coconut milk, cream, rice and star anise to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat and stir occasionally at first, then more frequently, until rice is almost tender (15-20 minutes).
  • 02
  • Whisk sugars and yolks in a bowl until pale (2-3 minutes), add to rice mixture and cook, stirring continuously, until thickened (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat.
  • 03
  • For poached rhubarb, toss rhubarb, sugars and vanilla seeds in a bowl, spread in a deep frying pan, add vanilla bean, star anise and 50ml water, and stir gently over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the simmer, cover with a lid and cook until rhubarb is just tender (3-4 minutes). Uncover and set aside.
  • 04
  • Divide warm rice pudding among bowls, top with warm rhubarb and syrup, and serve with coconut cream to drizzle and extra coconut sugar.

Note Coconut sugar is produced from the sap of coconut palm flowers and comes in a block or granulated. It's sold at Asian grocers and health-food shops.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Featured in

Aug 2014

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