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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.

First Look: inside the Lexus Design Pavilion at The Melbourne Cup Carnival

Attica's All parts of the pumpkin

Attica's All parts of the pumpkin

Ben Shewry and David Moyle have big plans for the menu.

Lexus, never shy of pulling out the culinary big guns at its Design Pavilion in the Birdcage during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, has upped the ante this year. Over the course of Derby, Cup and Oaks Days. The luxury car company's three-storey pavilion at Flemington will see chef Ben Shewry presenting dishes from his current menu at Attica and David Moyle from Hobart's Franklin dishing up a five-course set menu in a dining room with views towards the track.

In keeping with the high level of culinary cred, Lexus has also taken on florist-designer-artist-businessman-entrepreneur-sustainability activist Joost Bakker as Pavilion designer for the third year, ensuring an air of good-looking edgy sustainability and a high level of recycling. Bakker's material of choice for this year's "Futurecave" is 100 per cent reclaimed concrete.

Ground floor of the Lexus Design Pavilion will show off the company's latest car moves - the LC 500 coupé, recently unveiled at Milan's Salone del Mobile - alongside the izakaya-style, booze-friendly food from Windsor food and liquor store Mr Miyagi.

The Miyagi offering - fried chicken and a "nori taco" filled with grilled salmon belly, sushi rice and spicy cabbage - will be available to all who gain access to the Pavilion, but for those interested in Moyle and Shewry, forward planning and a fair bit of networking are necessary.

Ben Shewry and David Moyle.

Moyle's five-course menu is influenced "by the sea and the environment" and will be served over five sittings per day. Bookings are taken in the Pavilion at the beginning of each day and the menu will include raw striped trumpeter with salted turnip, mustard and horseradish, smoked bone marrow toast with celery, peas, lovage and nettle sauce, and lemon and bay leaf ice cream.

On level three, where there's also an outdoor terrace with views of the racetrack, Shewry will be keeping things exclusive, serving just eight guests at a time, six times a day.

Those lucky enough to get an invitation-only seat will be treated to a selection of four dishes straight from the current Attica menu: hand-dived Port Philip Bay sea scallops, lightly steamed and served with lemon myrtle butter and desert lime; tiny little tarts with a matzo shell filled with chicken-soup jelly, ground chicken meat and schmaltz; a dish called All Parts of the Pumpkin, which means just what it says (cold-pressed pumpkin-seed oil and pumpkin juice included) and Shewry's take on a classic mint slice.

Giddy-up. 

Lexus.com.au

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