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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

Restaurants serving breakfast

Ladro, Greville

Ladro, Greville

Are restaurants challenging cafés for breakfast supremacy?

Traditionally speaking, restaurant chefs aren't thrilled by the notion of cooking breakfast only hours after scrubbing down from dinner (and let's not even mention prepping for lunch). So it was that the Yellow team, says chef Brent Savage, was "not particularly enthusiastic" when he first floated the idea of doing a morning menu at the Potts Point, Sydney, bistro. And yet it's been a big hit (with diners, at least), the unusual likes of the liquorice bread and the poached eggs in onion broth gaining a fast following.

Yellow is just one of a raft of restaurants edging into the turf more typically held by cafés. In Melbourne, the Greville Street branch of Prahran's Ladro now offers a breakfast pizza topped with buffalo mozzarella, egg, speck, cherry tomatoes and basil, along with wood-fired eggs and Nutella-filled "breakfast bombs". Sydney, ever the breakfast-obsessive city, has a clutch of new early-morning options. Chief among them is the brunch menu at Woollahra newcomer Pinbone. It only runs Sundays, but what it lacks in frequency it more than makes up for in scope, tripping lightly from possibly the city's best fruit salad to excellent croques of both genders, a badass steak sandwich and coffee that puts many a specialist espresso bar to shame. Midweek, look to Alpha. The CBD Hellenic heroes also do a fruit salad worth writing home about (watermelon, strawberry and pomegranate), but the killer app here is the baked eggs with eggplant, peppers and tomato. That and the opportunity to order rice pudding (in the form of rizogalo) for brekky. Boom!

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