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. 

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

Australia's change-making chefs

Dan Hong

Dan Hong

Meet the game-changing Australian chefs pushing boundaries and challenging food norms.

DAN HONG
Ms G's, El Loco, Mr. Wong and Papi Chulo​, Sydney
One of the most recognisable names in the Sydney food scene, Hong's repertoire spans dim sum and refined Shanghai cuisine at Mr Wong, to innovative pan-Asian street food at Ms G's and a casual, bright interpretation of the flavours of Mexico (plus a good splash of tequila) at El Loco. His ability to adapt his skills to push the boundaries of flavour and technique across several cuisines has set a new standard for casual dining in Sydney, and Australia.

LENNOX HASTIE
Firedoor, Sydney
Lennox Hastie has abandoned stainless steel ovens and gas stoves at Sydney's Firedoor, choosing instead to harness the power and flavour of fire, smoke and coals. Everything on Hastie's menu is cooked over specifically chosen woods, from ironbark to apple wood, depending on the ingredients being used. Whether you opt for Murray cod or milk-fed lamb, Hastie's wielding of flame is precise, primal and utterly effective.

BRENT SAVAGE
Yellow, Sydney
The first Sydney-based restaurant of note to abruptly swerve and adopt an entirely meat-free menu, Brent Savage's bold culinary move at Potts Point's Yellow has captured the attention of vegetarian and carnivorous diners alike. The result? It's hard to pine for animal protein when the vegetables on your plate are so damn good; the new menu shows Savage at his most inventive. There's certainly plenty of textural variety; peas become mousse, pumpkin turns into crisps seasoned with toasted coriander, while chips are made from wild mushrooms and sesame. "Young celery and almond crunch" is all but audible on the printed page.

SHAUN QUADE
Lûmé, Melbourne
Known for challenging traditional dining practises and pushing the boat out on all fronts, Quade's fare can get a little trippy at Lûmé. The baby corn cradled in a taco and perched on a corn husk-lined coconut shell is actually grilled camel hump. The honey served with a burnt barley crumpet turns out to be eel-flavoured. Quade places as much focus on the restaurant's booking system, lighting, scent and temperature as the food itself. This multisensory experience is designed to make dining at his restaurant as enjoyable as possible, with Quade employing a team of psychologists to ensure this is achieved effortlessly.

PAUL CARMICHAEL
Momofuku Seiōbo, Sydney
Executive chef at Sydney's Momofuku Seiōbo, GT's 2017 Restaurant of the Year, Paul Carmichael looked to the flavours of his homeland, Barbados, for new direction - flavours formerly mostly unknown in Australia. This new and fresh vision has seen pineapples invade the fridges, and jerk spice used without fear. We're accustomed to the idea that we should expect the unexpected at Momofuku, but even so, none of us guessed that it would be the flavours of the Caribbean that would supply such a thrill. Finding it in Pyrmont is a revelation.

CLAYTON WELLS
Automata, Sydney
After working as sous-chef at Sydney fine-diner Momofuku Seiōbo and clocking time at Tetsuya's and Quay, Clayton Wells launched into his own stratosphere at Chippendale's Automata, inside The Old Clare Hotel, only months ago. The emphasis is firmly on the smart over the casual at Automata, from dollops of butter infused with chicken and anchovy and sprinkled with sunflower seeds to go with your house-made bread, to cream-heavy burrata injected with fluorescent shellfish oil that spills out when pierced with a fork. Wells builds flavour with the likes of mushrooms, seaweed stocks and fermented juices, and turns to native coastal herbs and blistered fruit for sweetness and tang, keeping it all under $100 for a tasting menu too. See recipes from Automata here.

BEN SHEWRY
Attica, Melbourne
One of Australia's most renowned and well-respected chefs, Ben Shewry has been able to connect with his diners through his ability to evoke real emotion through what's on their plates.Drawing on his own memories as inspiration, and after spending almost a decade in the restaurant business, Shewry continues to push boundaries and experiment with local produce. This passion alone was able to transform a struggling Thai restaurant in Melbourne's outer suburbs into what is now the world's number 33 restaurant. Attica now enjoys a permanent waiting list.

THI LE
Anchovy, Melbourne
Thi Le, an alumna of Andrew McConnell's kitchens, quietly explodes any preconceptions about what Vietnamese cuisine can look like in a contemporary context. A lettuce leaf and buddle of herbs cradles not the classic spring roll, but blood sausage and slivers of raw ginger. She swaps beef pho for beautifully steamed clams in a spicy chicken and kaffir lime soup. It's not foam and tricks that win the day here, but good taste and real skill.

 

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