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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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

LP’s Quality Meats, Sydney

Luke Powell

Luke Powell

Prepare for a smokin' hot addition to inner Sydney's emerging neighbourhood.

Chippendale is having a moment. The central Sydney suburb is already home to celebrated bakery Brickfields and New Restaurant of the Year nominee Ester, and next year they'll be joined by a trio of interesting eateries at The Old Clare, the boutique hotel opening on the site of the Clare Hotel on Broadway.

In the meantime, LP's Quality Meats, the first solo venture from former Tetsuya's head chef Luke Powell, is the hot new kid on the block.

The 100-seater is due to open just around the corner from Ester this month. "It's going to be a meat-centric kind of place," he says, "so we'll be carving cured and smoked meats right at the bar."

Powell is nothing if not versatile: he has worked at top-flight kitchens including the San Sebastián landmark Mugaritz, and also had a hand in designing Sydney's tastiest burger, cooking at Mary's in Newtown in its first months. He's also laid his hands on a mammoth barbecue that "can cook hundreds of chickens at a time" but says he plans to steer clear of the American barbecue thing and avoid the more popular likes of pulled pork and ribs. "There are so many other things we can show."

The space, an old mechanic's workshop, will become 240 square metres of "polished concrete floors, walls of tiles and high ceilings". A fellow Tetsuya's alumnus, James Audas, will run the floor. "I really feel like it's going to blow up, this area," says Powell, a Chippendale resident of seven years' standing. "I'm super-excited."

LP's Quality Meats, 1/12-16 Chippen St, Chippendale, NSW

Looking for more Sydney dining options? Check out our list of the best restaurants in Sydney.


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