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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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.

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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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. 

Chorizo recipes

Where would Spanish cuisine be without the chorizo? This versatile smallgood lends its big flavours to South American stews, soups, and salads, not to mention the ultimate hot dog. Let the sizzling begin.

Hunter Valley NSW travel guide

Our guide to the best of the region.

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.

Bird's Nest Restaurant, Monopole, Jackson's, Berta

Bird's Nest Restaurant, Brisbane

Bird's Nest Restaurant, Brisbane

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country this week including  Bird's Nest Restaurant, Monopole, Jackson's, and Berta.

BRISBANE
Bird's Nest Restaurant
This hip yakitori shop, designed by Katsuya Iwamoto, uses the humble chicken to the max. Co-owners and grill-wranglers Emi Kamada and Marie Yokoyama thread bits of everything from liver and heart to parson's nose onto skewers before applying a little binchotan charcoal love. The char-flecked results are smokily delectable. Chunks of thigh are seasoned simply with Himalayan salt, pepper and a lemon drizzle to winning effect. Tomato butabara skewers are punchy flavour bombs, their thin pork belly wrappings stretched to bursting across a quartet of sweet blistered cherry tomatoes. And did we mention the frosty Asahi on tap? Bird's Nest Restaurant, Shop 5, 220 Melbourne St, South Brisbane, Qld, (07) 3844 4306. FIONA DONNELLY

SYDNEY
Monopole
Fret not, Bentley fans. While you wait for the restaurant to reopen in its new CBD digs, much joy is to be had with the snappy new lunch deal Nick Hildebrandt and Brent Savage offer at their splendid Potts Point wine bar. A mere $38 buys a set two courses, which change from weekend to weekend. Among them you'll find roasted cauliflower and Jerusalem artichoke paired to lush effect with parmesan, and a handsome pork belly number accented with smoked corn, saffron and shavings of fennel. Goat's cheese marshmallow with blood orange and star anise ice-cream makes for a fittingly outré finale, while the wine list (recently named the year's best by Max Allen at the GT Restaurant Awards) just gets better and better. A steal. Monopole, 71a Macleay St, Potts Point, NSW, (02) 9360 4410. JOHN HANNAN

PERTH
Jackson's
Is casual the new black? Neal Jackson, patron-chef of Jackson's and a pioneer of degustation dining in the west, seems convinced. After 15 years of faithful service, the restaurant's much-loved "dego" has been retired; in its place are a new no-bookings lounge area offering a menu written with broad Asian brushstrokes - salmon yakitori and a Momofuku-ish pork bun - and other comforting flavours of the things-chefs-like-to-eat-after-service variety. While the kitchen hasn't quite gone Hungry Jackson's, there's something primal and deliciously satisfying about lowbrow-highbrow mash-ups like brioche crab butties, and dainty Comté, jamón Ibérico and black truffle toasted-sandwich triangles. It's solid value, too. Barring the wheel of baked Camembert, the small plates are all a tenner or less, leaving you more dollars to divert towards the excellent wine list. Jackson's, 483 Beaufort St, Highgate, WA, (08) 9328 1177. MAX VEENHUYZEN

HOBART
Berta
North Hobart's daytime eating options have just become a whole lot more interesting with the opening of Berta, Alex Jovanovic and Alisha Wilson's reincarnation of their former evening eatery, Piccolo. While the loss of Piccolo stung, sitting at an outside table at Berta in the sunshine with a fried chicken and pickled cucumber sandwich or pork and fennel sausages with radicchio more than eases the pain. Berta is also open for breakfast, with a menu that runs the full gamut of egg options, as well as porridge, gingerbread hotcakes, and more. Berta, 323a Elizabeth St, North Hobart, Tas, (03) 6234 4844. SUE DYSON & ROGER MCSHANE

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


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