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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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mizu, The Roast Collection, Momofuku Seiobo

Mizu, Brisbane

Mizu, Brisbane

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country this week including Mizu, The Roast Collection, and Momofuku Seiobo..

BRISBANE
Mizu
For years, Japanophiles have trekked to pint-sized Mizu in Teneriffe (pictured) in search of everything from glistening curls of sashimi to sake classes and off-beat treats such as its Japanese-style weekend brunch. The owners have now unveiled Mizu 2.0, and with its matte-black walls and bare tables, this low-key arrival is a definite win for West End. At lunch, red lacquered bento boxes display their precisely arranged contents to great advantage. Alongside black sesame-sprinkled rice and a bowl of savoury miso goodness, you might find an array of sashimi (tuna, salmon and reef fish), a tumble of mixed leaves glossy with zingy Mizu dressing, a duo of salty-sweet dashi maki rolls and your selection from eight "mains" - from chunks of crisp battered chicken kara-age to wagyu yakiniku. It's a cracking value at under $20. Mizu West End, 63 Hardgrave Rd, West End, Qld, (07) 3844 9918. FIONA DONNELLY

MELBOURNE
The Roast Collection
Melbourne Food and Wine's winter festival, The Roast Collection, is now in full swing across Melbourne and Victoria, with roast-centred events happening throughout June. This Sunday sees GT's Brigitte Hafner head to Eastern Peake winery in the beautiful Clunes-Creswick district, about an hour and a half north-west of Melbourne, where she and her team from the Gertrude Street Enoteca will be slow-cooking shoulders of lamb from local producers Tuki Farm. There'll also be twice-baked cheese soufflé and tarte Tatin in the mix, plus plenty of excellent Eastern Peake pinot noir, all served in Eastern Peake's lovely glass-walled cellar door. At $100 a head for food and wine, it's the perfect excuse for a Sunday drive. Eastern Peake Winery, 67 Pickfors Rd, Coghills Creek, Vic. Bookings 0419 501 175. MICHAEL HARDEN

SYDNEY
The Momofuku Seiobo bar
The problem with best-kept secrets is that they just don't last. Somehow word that the Sydney branch of Momofuku sells food at its tiny bar by the entrance seems to have gone largely unheeded by the hordes whose hopes are so frequently dashed by the web-based bookings system for the restaurant proper. Okay, so the bar menu is a far cry from the wonders of the real thing right now, but here's a handful of good reasons why it's worth your time and attention: (1) It takes walk-ins. (2) It offers the same service and, better still, wine service as the rest of the restaurant. (3) And the same rockin' tunes. (4) It's bar food, but it's very good bar food. No other pickle-plate in town comes close, and that goes double for the eggs. If you want something sizeable, there's also the likes of the Korean rice cakes with lamb and XO sauce. (5) You can get the pork buns if you need them. (6) It won't cost $200 a head unless you go REALLY hard on the Bornard. (7) They do the Momofuku Ssäm Bar-style Brussels sprouts. Momofuku Seiobo, Level G, The Star, Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont, NSW. PAT NOURSE

Got a hot tip for our Hot Plates team? Tweet us at @gourmettweets, or tag your Instagram photos with #GThotplates.


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