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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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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.

Where to stay, eat and drink in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Beyond Kuala Lumpur's shopping malls, Lara Dunston finds a flourishing third-wave coffee scene, tailored food tours and charming neighbourhoods.

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.

Where to celebrate Chinese New Year in Sydney and Melbourne

Billy Kwong, Sydney

Billy Kwong, Sydney

Looking for somewhere to celebrate Chinese New Year? Here's our list of some of the best options in Sydney and Melbourne. 

Melbourne
Kick off the Year of the Monkey in Chinatown, the epicentre of Melbourne's Lunar New Year celebrations, where the Dai Loong Association is hosting a line-up of performances, cultural workshops and hawker stalls from 2-14 February. Federation of Chinese Associations is curating Chinese New Year celebrations at Federation Square, while in Docklands their 100-metre-long dragon is returning to roam the streets at large. Take refuge at the table where the real celebrations begin. Over the cusp of the New Year, Flower Drum (17 Market Ln, Melbourne, 03 9662 3655), one of the greats in Australia's Canto-cooking scene, is hosting lion dancers over a menu of suckling pig, lo hei sashimi and yuen tai, while Ruyi Modern Chinese (16 Liverpool St, Melbourne, 03 9090 7778) dishes up a modern Chinese dégustation and nightly performances to boot. Spice Temple Melbourne at Crown (Riverside at Crown, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank, 03 8679 1888) is hosting a Chinese banquet for lunch and dinner over the full two-week run. Also in the Casino precinct, head to the Riverwalk on the weekend 5-7 February for the Hawkers Bazaar featuring contemporary Asian street food, live entertainment, fireworks and exhibitions. And if you want to take the celebrations sky-high, hit the red carpet at Eureka Skydeck (7 Riverside Quay, Southbank, 03 9693 8888), Southbank's lucky 88th-floor observation deck, for red lanterns and sensational views.

Sydney
City of Sydney's Lunar Lanterns festival illuminates the city's central business district from 6-14 February in the largest Chinese New Year celebration outside China. Off the back of last year's Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors exhibition, this year's lantern trail symbolises the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, with activities and performances taking place at every lantern site from Chinatown to Circular Quay. The sails of the Opera House are shining red to mark the changing year from 7-9 February, and inside at Bennelong(Bennelong Point, Sydney, 02 9240 8000), chef Peter Gilmore is merging East and West in a grilled lobster bun with pickled cucumber and fermented chilli, cleverly matched with a Monkey See, Monkey Do cocktail of spiced rum and Thai chilli syrup. For more buns, baos and mainland treats, all five Phoenix Restaurants are serving traditional plates along with lion dancing, while Master (368 Crown St, Surry Hills, 02 8065 0838), Billy Kwong (1/28 Macleay St, Elizabeth Bay, 02 9332 3300) and Mr Wong (3 Bridge Ln, Sydney, 02 9240 3000) will be dishing up celebratory New Year specials.

Looking for the best Chinese restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne? Here are our picks.

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