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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Archie Rose's Horisumi-Winter gin

Talking boutique gin and symbolism with Kian Forreal, acclaimed Japanese-tattoo artist and Archie Rose collaborator.

Hot Plate: Nora, Melbourne

Nora's

Nora's "Sorry I'm Crabby Today"

Nora re-opens as a dégustation restaurant, balancing out-there sensibilities with an exciting yet un-pretentious menu.

Nora's menu reads like the set list of a slam poet: Daft Punk is Playing in My Mouth, 12am In the Fridge, Sorry I'm Crabby Today, Too Many Italians and Only One Asian, Tagliatelle of Oyster Not Oyster.

You don't actually get a printed menu until after you've finished your $95 dégustation either. So when one of the 12 or so dishes lands and your waiter announces: "Slowly But Surely", how are you supposed to know that the beautiful looking emerald green granita is made from a couple of different types of coriander, that the black discs are radish that's been pickled for more than a year, and that the tiny crumbs are fried garlic?

By the time Slowly But Surely rolls around, a palate-cleanser marking the border between sweet and savoury dishes, you'll already understand that Nora has its own set of rules. You'll have eaten green papaya cut to look like pasta that's tossed with a "pesto" of roasted cashew nuts and sator (aka stinky beans) and school prawns (Too Many Italians and Only One Asian), or a marinated chicken heart sitting in a pastry oyster shell topped with a sweet fish sauce and frozen pomelo (Oyster Not Oyster).

Those who ate at Nora when it was a café, or who attended one of their Friday night Small Dinner Club events will already have an idea about how owners Sarin Rojanametin and Jean Thamthanakorn roll. But this permanent dinner incarnation should surprise even the forewarned. Rojanametin, a self-taught cook, offers flavours that are original and experimental, with humour and creativity front and centre. But despite a million warning bells signalling overreach and pretentiousness, the quality of the food is never sacrificed in the name of simply being "out there".

The dishes eat like discovery. Service is charming and efficient. The drinks list, from sommelier Kentaro Emoto, takes its cues from the food, not surprisingly favouring the natural end of the spectrum. There's also a juice matching that's revelatory in its ability to balance the savoury with the sweet.

Not everybody will love Nora, especially those who crave volume, but those that love it will love it a lot.

Nora, 156 Elgin St, Carlton, Vic, (03) 9041 8644, noramelbourne.com; open Thu-Mon for two sittings at 6.15pm and 8.45pm.

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