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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.

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.

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.

O Tama Carey's fried eggs with seeni sambol, coconut and turmeric

"I first cooked a version of this dish - inspired by the excellent deep-fried egg dish at Billy Kwong - while working at a restaurant in Sri Lanka," says O Tama Carey. "The lattice-like eggs are doused in a creamy turmeric curry sauce and topped with seeni sambol, a sweet-spiced caramelised onion relish. This dish is equally perfect for an indulgent breakfast as it is served as part of a larger meal." The recipe for the seeni sambol makes more than you need, but to get the right balance of spices you need to make at least this much. It keeps refrigerated for up to three weeks; use as an onion relish. The curry sauce can be made a day or two ahead.

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.

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.

Hawker Hall, Melbourne

Chris Lucas

Chris Lucas

The beer came first at Chris Lucas's latest hospitality behemoth, a 200-seat Asian hawker-style restaurant named, appropriately enough, Hawker Hall.

Lucas, the impresario behind Melbourne's permanently buzzing Chin Chin, Baby and Kong, had noticed shifting beer tastes among his customers over the past few years. "A quantum shift, I'd call it. Women in particular are drinking more beer but it's of a fresher, lighter style that suits Asian food particularly well."

His increasing interest in hops led to a collaboration with Manly's 4 Pines brewery, the "huge" response to which "drove the idea for a beer hall initially, but we're restaurateurs first so we thought it made sense to combine it with food, and we wanted to stick to the Asian genre."

Enter the former furniture factory at the Windsor end of Chapel Street, stripped back to its bare bones - supporting timbers, corrugated iron roof - and due to open as a reinvented Asian hawker market in July.

Hawker Hall will be devoid of the Lucas neon trademark. "I'm trying to put some distance between us and the me-toos, but I have some surprises up my sleeve." The group's executive chef Benjamin Cooper is along for the ride, meaning the food will be bold, brash and authentic. "It falls into the broader categories you see in a hawker market," says Lucas. "Dumplings, noodles, curries, barbecue. Street food in the last little while got lost in the ether so we're making sure it's a true representation."

As for those house beers, there will be one designed to go well with chilli, another suited to sweet-and-sour Thai flavours. Of 30-plus beer taps, four will be devoted to Lucas's own as-yet unnamed label, made at Stefano de Pieri's Mildura Brewery.

"We're pushing back against the parochial craft-beer culture. Going in the opposite direction, as it were, with the food first and designing the beer around it. I like to mix it up."

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