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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.

The Momofuku has landed

"I always thought about coming west," says David Chang, "I guess I just ended up a lot further west than I intended." Chang, by his own admission, is no party expert ("I've never thrown a party"), but the preview dinner he threw ahead of the opening of Seiobo, the first of his acclaimed Momofuku restaurants to open outside New York City, was nonetheless one of the hottest tickets in Sydney this year. The American chef, with a little help from Momofuku Ko chef Peter Serpico and British-born Seiobo head chef Ben Greeno, pulled off an impressive feast for a small group of industry heavyweights and press.

It's from that menu that we've drawn the dishes you see in our November issue. In some ways it's as much a celebration of Australian produce as of Momofuku's singular, eclectic, Asian-influenced style. "The fish thing here is ridiculous," Chang says. "The quality of shellfish here is unbelievable. And I love Blackmore wagyu, but I just can't understand why more people aren't using the offcuts."

With its fine-dining precision contrasted by an indie-rock soundtrack, and with its shifting mix of high-low, East-West (not to mention Deep South) references, the Momofuku empire, which comprises Momofuku Noodle Bar, Ssäm Bar, Ko, Má Pêche, and the Momofuku Milk Bars, isn't easy to pigeonhole. And the addition of Seiobo, named for the goddess guardian of the sacred peaches of eternal life in Japanese mythology, isn't going to make things any easier.

Chang is reluctant to be drawn on many details before the late-October opening of the restaurant. He'll concede that it'll seat between 20 and 30, depending on the configuration, and will have an open kitchen and design recognisably in line with the New York restaurants. As for the menu and the style of the food, he says that it'll be up the slightly more formal end of the spectrum, like Ko, rather than resolutely casual, like Ssäm Bar. It's not because he's being difficult, he stresses, so much as because he doesn't yet know himself how it's going to play out. "It's an organic process that will change the more we learn about the city and the more we learn about our purveyors." If you're thinking this is a Gordon Ramsay or Nobu-style roll-out, as codified and by the book as an Ikea assembly, think again.

"A reporter was giving me a hard time trying to get me to say what Momofuku food was, but I was like, I don't know - what's Australian food? See, you can't do it." He says he's not going so far down the local produce route that he's racing to put kangaroo on the menu, "but if we find a way to use it that's delicious and we don't look like a*******, then why not?"

The big question on Chang's mind ahead of the opening? "To pork bun or not to pork bun. We're not sure if we're going to put them on the menu." Before you get too upset by the thought of no local outlet for this most beloved of Momofuku staples, take heart: "We're also thinking of doing a new one. Just for Australia." Now there's a reason to party.

Momofuku Seiobo, The Star, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont, NSW, (02) 9777 9000.


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