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

Rosetta, MoVida Sydney, Sidecar, The Apple Daily Bar & Eating House

Rosetta, Melbourne

Rosetta, Melbourne

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country including Rosetta, MoVida Sydney, Sidecar, and The Apple Daily Bar & Eating House.

MELBOURNE
Rosetta
Yep, it's big. And the lengthy menu at Neil Perry's very new ristorante (which some wags are already calling Wogpool) may leave you paralysed by choice. Here's my tip: go hard on the pasta (16 varieties, all handmade) and seafood, particularly if it's something grilled over mallee root  - prawns, say, or calamari (pictured). The room, a festa of marble, upholstery, timber panelling and chandeliers, is gorgeous, but on clement days the riverside terrace might just pip it for pole position. Riverside at Crown, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank, Vic, (03) 8648 1999 MICHAEL HARDEN

SYDNEY
MoVida Sydney
With Frank Camorra at the pans, Andy McMahon heading the floor and a crack team of veterans supporting them, the brand-new northern outpost of Melbourne's favourite tapas juggernaut might  - wait for it  - be even better than its Victorian counterpoints right now. Play it light with an Andalucian tomato, onion and tuna belly salad or go full-throttle with the superb braise of tripe, chorizo and chickpeas. It's win-win. Get in early, get in late, but get your taste however you can. 50 Holt St, Surry Hills, NSW, (02) 8964 7642 PAT NOURSE

HOBART
Sidecar
"Smoked" and "fried" are both big-flavour words guaranteed to set our mouths a-watering. Put them together and things get even more interesting. So this weekend the new smoked fried chicken dish at Hobart wine bar Sidecar is on our radar. After brining, the chicken is lightly smoked and then deep-fried, making for hands-on eating at its best. 129 Bathurst St, Hobart, Tas, (03) 6231 1338 SUE DYSON & ROGER McSHANE

PERTH
The Apple Daily Bar & Eating House
We're just a little smitten with Print Hall's first-storey paean to all things tasty and Asian. Admittedly, the no-bookings policy isn't exactly ideal, but with rewards like melty tamarind-blasted ribs and juicy Filipino sausage sang choi bau on offer, your persistence won't go unrewarded. Bring an appetite (and some wet wipes). 125 St Georges Tce, Perth, WA (08) 6282 0088 MAX VEENHUYZEN

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