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.

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.

Donovans
Modern Australian
  • 40 Jacka Blvd,
    St Kilda,
    Melbourne, VIC
  • (03) 9534 8221,
    www.donovanshouse.com.au/
  • Lunch daily noon-3.30pm

    Dinner daily 6pm-10.30pm

Donovans
-37.866664,144.973989

Gail and Kevin Donovan have filled a former bathing house built in the 1920s with inviting objets that make you feel like you've walked into a Nancy Meyers movie - fat candles, plump cushions, old photos hung salon-style. Though its stellar seafront location and priciness draw a glossy, cashed-up crowd, Donovans doesn't brag. Welcoming waitstaff wear Blundstones and turmeric-coloured aprons, the chairs are a vintage mix and the menu is studded with many crowd-pleasers, from pasta to charcoal grills to shared dishes such as whole roast duck and the signature bombe Alaska. Try crunchy fried school prawns with lemon aïoli alongside that first rosé, or satiny chicken liver parfait with ginger compote. Saffron risotto is dotted with crab, while barramundi comes on kipflers with piquant tomato and caper acqua pazza. Time it right to catch the sunset as you linger over tonka-bean panna cotta by the fireplace.


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At a glance

  • Wine:
  • Three glasses
  • Price:
  • E $22-$29

    M $34-$65

    D $15-$24

  • Feature:
  • Licensed
    Bar
    Vegetarian
    Wheelchair Access
    Private room
    Impressive Wine List
  • Cards:
  • American Express
    Diners Club
    Eftpos
    MasterCard
    Visa
  • Bookings:
  • Bookings recommended
  • Chef:
  • Emma D’Alessandro

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