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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Archie Rose's Horisumi-Winter gin

Talking boutique gin and symbolism with Kian Forreal, acclaimed Japanese-tattoo artist and Archie Rose collaborator.

Stanley Street Merchants, Holloway, Broome House of Curry

Holloway, Brisbane

Holloway, Brisbane

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country this week, including Stanley Street Merchants, Holloway, and Broome House of Curry.

SYDNEY
Stanley Street Merchants
A crowd-funded, up-cycled seasonal pop-up packed with local and native ingredients? Stanley Street Merchants is so now that it might as well be eating a kale cronut while twerking in a onesie taking a selfie (correction: that's so 2013). And yet it's strangely hard to hate - in person anyway. The welcomes are warm, the service is sweet, and there's some genuinely likeable stuff on the menu. West Australian chef Matt Stone (best known for his work with eco-canteen Greenhouse) presents a menu that, though it's sprinkled here and there with showy elements (crickets as a bar-snack, a fried corn-silk garnish, ants on a dessert), mostly succeeds on the strength of its down-home wholesomeness. That could be lemon myrtle-custard doughnuts and good St Ali coffee at breakfast, twice-cooked chicken on creamed corn with Jerusalem artichoke chips with a side of boiled greens at lunch or, after dark, cocktails shaken by Shady Pines alumnus Bobby Carey (we're looking at you, Battle of Darlinghurst, and all the Bourbon, absinthe and bitters you entail). Okay, not so much with the wholesomeness with that last one. Anyway, they're here for a good time, not a long time, so make the most of it, Sydney. Stanley Street Merchants, 78 Stanley St, Darlinghurst, (02) 7901 0396. PAT NOURSE

BRISBANE
Holloway
A holloway is a timeworn path, but no-one could accuse Holloway's owners, self-described creative compulsives Martin Gordon Brown and chef Raffaele Persichetti, of taking the road well travelled. Their West End design studio is best known for its custom wristwatches and classic eyewear, cleverly made from recycled materials. In April, they opened a BYO restaurant - and, yes, it's another eye-catching one-off. From the shadow-throwing lampshades overhead (made from wooden spectacle frames) to flooring fashioned from timber slices and pebbles, there's nothing cookie-cutter about this newcomer. The menu is short but wide ranging - handmade rags of chestnut pappardelle, say, loaded with a gutsy duck ragoût or Portuguese-inspired salt cod-studded bolinhos de bacalhau, or perhaps an excellent beef rendang. Reasonably priced, the dishes are rustic and flavoursome rather than precision perfect, but you can taste the care and respect for raw materials with each bite. Holloway, 69 Hardgrave Rd, West End, Qld, 0439 178 787. FIONA DONNELLY

BROOME
Broome House of Curry
Concrete floors. Pastel yellow walls. A three-door drinks fridge filled with Coca-Cola Amatil's greatest sips. The frills are few at this weeks-old Indian and Pakistani eatery, but any aesthetic shortcomings are more than compensated for by vibrant, well-defined flavours from the subcontinent. Don't be put off by the bain-maries and familiar names - dishes are prepared before lunch and dinner daily and it shows. Juicy chunks of chicken thigh loll in a savoury yellow curry. Slow-cooking transforms cubes of goat into a rich, fork-tender wonder. Studded with dried dundicut chillies, beef vindaloo is memorable for its hot and sour complexity rather than ruthless incendiary burn. Friendly Muhammad Baig is cast as both cook and front man and does everything from serving diners to roasting skewers of chicken tikka to order. It's a small detail, granted, but one of the many that makes Broome House of Curry worth seeking out when next in the Kimberley. Broome House of Curry, Shop 23, Paspaley Plaza, 15-17 Carnarvon St, Broome, WA (08) 9192 8899. MAX VEENHUYZEN

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


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