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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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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.

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.

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.

O Tama Carey's fried eggs with seeni sambol, coconut and turmeric

"I first cooked a version of this dish - inspired by the excellent deep-fried egg dish at Billy Kwong - while working at a restaurant in Sri Lanka," says O Tama Carey. "The lattice-like eggs are doused in a creamy turmeric curry sauce and topped with seeni sambol, a sweet-spiced caramelised onion relish. This dish is equally perfect for an indulgent breakfast as it is served as part of a larger meal." The recipe for the seeni sambol makes more than you need, but to get the right balance of spices you need to make at least this much. It keeps refrigerated for up to three weeks; use as an onion relish. The curry sauce can be made a day or two ahead.

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.

Kisume, Melbourne

Chris Lucas has flown in talent from all over the world, including Eleven Madison Park, for his bold new venture. Here’s what to expect from Kisume.

Where to stay, eat and drink in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Beyond Kuala Lumpur's shopping malls, Lara Dunston finds a flourishing third-wave coffee scene, tailored food tours and charming neighbourhoods.

Café Nice, Sydney

Read our 2015 review of Café Nice

On a fine Sydney afternoon, our chat with the principals of Café Nice is not happening. The sun streams through the windows, picking up the yellow highlights in the paintwork and the glints on the mirrors and the wings of the framed specimens in the butterfly room. A vast cruise ship docked at the quay, visible past the ferry terminal, provides the distant backdrop, and the striped blue awning billows gently.

The problem is, no one wants to leave. Corks are pulled on more bottles of rosé, les desserts are given another look, and it looks like the interview is just going to have to wait. It's that sort of place.

The afternoons, says proprietor Barry McDonald, are what Nice is all about. To recreate the magic of Nice (and, by extension, the magic of Café Nice), he says, the lazy sun of the later day is where you have to start. "I think that's part of the feel. Preferably outdoors. And you've got to have a rosé."

The restaurant, on the Circular Quay site that was once home to Merrony's, is a step westward, thematically speaking, for McDonald, who is best known for his Fratelli Fresh providore brand and its Sopra restaurants. In opening Café Nice with his daughter Nina Gravelis, McDonald is tipping his hat to a place he loves, and, with the aid of Sopra chef David Young, channelling a side of French cooking that doesn't find much expression in Australia.

"I don't think anyone else in Sydney is doing this kind of food. What we're trying to show people is that it's not really French food, it's Niçoise. And there is a difference. It's a lighter, fresher food - a lot of olive oil, a lot of vegetables, a lot of seafood." It's not what we're used to in terms of French food, he says, but it translates well to an Australian setting. "Café Nice is all about casual food, casual dining, beautiful light French wines and a bit of fun."

Café Nice, 2 Phillip St, Sydney, NSW, (02) 8248 9600.


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