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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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. 

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.

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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

Pea and ham soup

Subcontinental, Sydney

Subcontinental, Sydney

Subcontinental, Sydney

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country right now: Subcontinental, Sydney.

Subcontinental by name, subterranean by nature, this new side-project from team Longrain replaces the basement space formerly occupied by Shortgrain canteen and the bar with a smart Indian diner. The layout hasn't changed dramatically. Gone are the camouflage and army men, replaced by the odd cow and elephant motif. There's a merciful absence of DJs in the room, and the carefully crafted soundtrack that somehow weaves together the works of Marvin Gaye and The Lemonheads sets an appealing tone. The careful layering of spice has long been a Longrain signature, and so it continues: duck in a cardamom-dominant curry made creamy with cashew nuts is cooked on the bone for succulence, while a long-boned lamb cutlet proves the tandoor's worth. There's not much heat and twang. The exceptions might be the intensity of the tamarind sauce with the cheese pakoras (good) and the heavy-handed use of ajwain spice on raw kingfish (not so good). But flashes of brilliance (burrata deployed in place of traditional fresh cheeses with a peanut sauce and an orange salad) and a drink-me wine list suggest some promise. It's not quite so confident an opening as Sam Christie's recent outings with The Apollo and Cho Cho San, though it may yet prove to be a slow-burn.

Subcontinental, 8 Hunt St, Surry Hills, NSW, (02) 9280 0088 

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