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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

Anason opens at Barangaroo

Veal tongue, garlic confit, pickles, pita

Veal tongue, garlic confit, pickles, pita

It's all about the tongue bun. Sure, there have been impressive tongue sandwiches in this town before, the one at Monopole not least among them. But it's usually stealth tongue, tongue sliced into fine shavings of unidentifiable mystery meat. Not at Anason. No. Peeking from between the fluffy white folds of a bao, this is very much identifiably a veal tongue, lolling tongue-like amid pickles and purslane. It's a great dish, especially taken with a glass of (Turkish) wine, a cocktail or some Gosset as the sun goes down over the water mere metres away (it's there somewhere, behind the hoardings for the new Barangaroo ferry terminal).

Anason, opened by Somer Sivrioglu from Balmain Turkish eatery Efendy, is the first permanent restaurant to open on Wulugul Walk at Barangaroo. It arrives ahead of new projects from the teams of Bentley and Aria, and is here to stay longer than the pop-ups from Noma and Belle's Hot Chicken. Modelled on the meyhanes, or drinking places, of Turkey, it nonetheless has something of a scant feeling; airy, with just a small shopfront kitchen, most of its seating out in the open, and its restrooms shared with the rest of the complex.

Among the tables stands a little cart hung with simit, Turkey's sesame-crusted answer to the pretzel, seemingly lifted straight from the streets of Istanbul. Served with tarragon labne, the simit make for one of the most appealing of the 20 or so small, mostly seafood- and vegetable-oriented mezes-style dishes on the menu. Little prawns with a festival of colourful tomatoes and kashar cheese in a guvech (traditionally a sort of stew) are less convincing - the prawns themselves are not a highlight. But another strained yoghurt number designed to be served with bread, the atom, with the smokiness of dried marash chillies, is a winner.

Prices (and plate sizes) aren't large, and the staff are mustard-keen, so while the cooking might not be razor-sharp straight out of the gate, there's no reason not to dive in and explore the menu for yourself in more detail. It's summery, seafoody and sweet. All this and tongue buns - get yours today.

Anason, Anadara Building, Wulugul Walk, Barangaroo, NSW, (02) 9188 1581, anason.com.au

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