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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.

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.

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.

Ben Greeno leaving Momofuku Seiobo, joining Merivale

Ben Greeno

Ben Greeno

The top end of Sydney's restaurant scene is about to get a shake-up as Ben Greeno, chef at Momofuku Seiobo, leaves the casino to join the Merivale Group. It's understood that Greeno, who has headed operations at the three-star restaurant since it opened in 2011, leaves Momofuku in April, starts with Merivale in May, and the first kitchen under his direction in the new role, the renovated Paddington Arms, will be open in July. It's around July, too, that the company plans to open another as-yet-unnamed restaurant just a few doors away at 380 Oxford Street. Former Chez Panisse chef Danielle Alvarez will be running the kitchen, with Greeno to have a hand in it in an advisory capacity. A third project, built around Greeno's cooking, is also in the offing.

"I don't really want to talk about what I'm doing next till I've left Momofuku, but I would like to say that I'm very grateful for the time I've had here," says Greeno. "I've learned a lot here, and the restaurant means a lot to me. I'm sad to leave, but I'm excited about the future."

Merivale boss Justin Hemmes, for his part, says Greeno's first project is a new concept for the company, "specifically tailored around what he wants to do and the style of cooking that he wants to do. We haven't worked on the menu yet but we've obviously worked on the concept. Ben wants to cook casual, accessible food really well and we're going to build the venue around his style and his offering, which is the old Paddington Arms."

A Merivale spokesperson added that it "won't be sliders and dude-food", but it won't exactly be Noma-influenced modern-Australian-American-Korean either. 

Hemmes said he was very taken with Greeno's work. "Ben's one of the greatest talents in the country and arguably in the world, I think. He's a remarkable individual. Not only is he a true professional in his craft, but his attitude and his management techniques are highly professional. He's a remarkable guy. We think alike and we're certainly on the same path, so it's a good fit."

Greeno, a native of northern England, was part of London's Young Turks group and counts Noma and The Paul in Copenhagen and Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham among his previous employers.

Momofuku Seiobo, the first branch of David Chang's acclaimed Momofuku restaurants to open outside New York, landed in Australia amid a flurry of publicity and shot to prominence quickly, taking out the top slot in the Gourmet Traveller Top 100 and being named Restaurant of the Year in 2013. Another senior member of staff, sous-chef Clayton Wells, departed last year and will open Automata at The Old Clare boutique hotel development in Chippendale in July.

A spokesperson from Momofuku head office in New York described the parting as amicable. "We are extraordinarily thankful for everything that Ben has done for Momofuku Seiōbo," she said, "and we look forward to seeing the growth and success that Ben will inevitably have in future projects."

A senior chef from Momofuku in New York, yet to be confirmed, will head up the kitchens at Seiobo from May.

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