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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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. 

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.


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.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

Yellow goes green

pressed curd, charred leek and black garlic at Yellow

pressed curd, charred leek and black garlic at Yellow

Hold onto your sprouted seeds, herbivores, we have some exciting news: one of the country's leading restaurants, run by two of its most acclaimed professionals, is about to ditch meat and go vegetarian. Permanently. Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt are leading the fine-dining vego charge, making Yellow meat-free from February 17.

Most top-tier eateries have by now long dispensed with the old grumbles about cooking for vegetarians (even veganism seems small beer in the face of curlier contemporary requests for biodynamic low-FODMAP meals and the like) and embraced the challenge - or rather the freedom - that comes with a plant-based mise-en-place. Interesting and thoughtfully designed vegetarian menus are now par for the course for starred restaurants around the country. Bentley and Monopole, the other restaurants Savage co-owns with sommelier Nick Hildebrandt, for instance, have offered vegan menus for some time. And newer vegetarian restaurants such as Transformer in Melbourne have more than shaken-off the health-food stigma of days past.

But this is the first time an Australian restaurant of Yellow's profile has nailed its colours to the mast and ditched the meat.

So why now?

"It's something I've wanted to do for a long time," says Savage. "It's been a personal interest of mine, and I feel like it's more relevant now than ever. The way we eat meat now isn't going to be forever."

Having said that, Savage adds that he's not currently a vegetarian (though his wife, Fleur, is), and that ethics are not his prime motivation for the change. "That's not my reasoning. I just feel that there's an appetite for it; we've had a following for it at Bentley. I've been hanging out with some great vegetable growers, and I think it's something we can do well."

It's also not necessarily about cooking for vegetarians so much as cooking with vegetables. "Sure, lots of the chefs joked initially about being put back on the garnish section," he says, "but it's just an idea whose time has come. We can make vegetables delicious - why do we have to have such a focus on animal proteins?"

A glance at the menu of 16 shared dishes (plus three desserts, cheese and the $70 seven-course set 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.

He and Yellow chef Adam Wolfers also appear to have given a good deal of thought to creating layers of flavour through fermenting, salting and picking. Malt and koji (the fungus used to ferment soy beans) make appearances, as do their umami-rich fellows parmesan and black garlic.

Savage says that one of his favourite dishes straight out of the gate is the "pappardelle" made from strips of parsnip, sauced with a confit egg yolk and sprinkled with mushroom powder.

Savage and Wolfers don't lean too hard on the old dairy crutch, but when they choose to deploy animal fats, it's to clever effect. Fennel butter enlivens raw radish and Japanese turnips, for instance, while that pea mousse is joined on the plate by toasted buttermilk. Dishes are designed to be shared, and Saturday night will be tasting menu-only.

One thing that won't be entirely vegetarian is the weekend brunch menu. The scrambled eggs still come with the option of house-made bacon, the fried eggs with pickled mussels, and the poached eggs still loll in pork-hock consommé, alongside the famed grilled liquorice bread (find the recipe here), and the baked eggs with cauliflower and spinach.

Wine, meanwhile, something that has always been as central at Savage and Hildebrandt's venues as what's on the plate, will also remain on an even keel. Hildebrandt has given the list at Yellow more of a tilt towards natural and bio wines than Bentley and Monopole, and intends to tighten that focus.

"It took me a long time to get Nick on board with it, but now he's in 100 per cent and we're both really excited about it," Savage says.

"We're putting our balls on the line a bit, but at the same time it's something that we think is missing in Sydney."

Yellow, 57 Macleay St, Potts Point, NSW, (02) 9332 2344,


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