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.

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.

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.

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.

Toasted sandwiches as bar snacks

The late-night sandwich at Bar Brosé

The late-night sandwich at Bar Brosé

There's some pretty exciting stuff going on between the slices right now, and it’s not just reserved for the lunchbox. Whether it’s triangles of gooey Taleggio and truffle, or a rich Christmas ham and 'nduja number, the humble toasted sandwich has stepped up its game and (yes!) made friends with the wine bottle. Here’s where to get your taste.

SYDNEY

Mercado (watch a video of Mercado's toastie being made.)
The golden soldiers of pan-fried brioche encasing thin layers of smoked wagyu tongue and pickled green tomato at Mercado are hard to beat. Bring a glass of lightly oxidative chardonnay from Jura producer Jean Bourdy into the mix and it's basically unstoppable. Mercado, 4 Ash St, Sydney, NSW, (02) 9221 6444, mercadorestaurant.com.au

Bar Brosé
The late-night sandwich at Bar Brosé is a toastie that chef Analiese Gregory used to make for the staff at Acme after service. They loved it, and now that it's a permanent fixture on the Brosé menu, you can too. Ham glazed Christmas-style with pineapple and mustard, plus spicy 'nduja and Comté cheese? Count us in. Bar Brosé, 231a Victoria St, Darlinghurst, NSW, barbrose.com.au

Continental Deli
Between all the Pyengana cheddar, Brillat Savarin, Taleggio and pecorino in the deli fridge at The Continental, there's plenty of cheese to go around - and that's before you've even dunked smoked sausage into a fondue-style baked Vacherin. For those who want to keep it simple (the term is relative), however, the cheese toastie - pumped with Taleggio, cheddar and truffle, and served with potato chips and pickles - is the go. Continental Deli, 210 Australia St, Newtown, NSW, (02) 8624 3131, continentaldelicatessen.com.au

See our favourite recipes for toasted sandwiches here.

MELBOURNE

Ides
Peter Gunn's cheese sandwich at Ides might be the Met Gala of cheese toasties: a big-flavoured, dressed-to-impress designer toastie. It starts with sesame sourdough fried in butter. That's topped with Heidi raclette that's been mixed with some anise oil, compressed in a bag and thrown in boiling water until it's soft and warm through. (Stay with us.) The cheese is then topped with pomegranate seeds and mandolin-cut rhubarb that's been flash-cooked in the oven with coconut oil. Next comes a dressing of hibiscus vinegar and chilli oil. And then you eat it. Ides, 92 Smith St, Collingwood, Vic, (03) 9939 9542, idesmelbourne.com.au

Bar Liberty
Meet the GLT: a kosher BLT made using gribenes - crunchy fried chicken skin - in place of bacon on sliced white. This is the stuff Sunday brunch dreams are made of, and you won't miss the bacon one bit when you're knocking back a few glasses of chenin blanc or skin-fermented riesling. Bar Liberty, 234 Johnston St, Fitzroy, Vic, barliberty.com

Marion
The plan might only be to drop in for a pre- or post-dinner drink at Marion, but do yourself a solid: if there's a toasted sandwich on the menu, order it. It could be four fingers of fried Baker D Chirico soft white stuffed with house-made cow's milk cheese, Dijon, confit onion and smoked pork sausage from Meatsmith, or the equally satisfying fried mortadella and gentleman's relish ciabatta. Dynamite stuff. Marion, 51-53 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, Vic, (03) 9419 6262, marionwine.com.au

The cheese toastie at Continental Deli

PERTH

Budburst
The croque-monsieur: also known as the king of toasted sandwiches. At Budburst, the cheese is Gruyère, the leg ham is juicy and the whole croque is enriched with generous quantities of béchamel before it's baked for maximum crunch and savour. And did we mention it's just eight bucks? Budburst, 406 Oxford St, Mt Hawthorn, WA, (08) 9444 3406, budburstsmallbar.com.au

BRISBANE

The Apo
There is plenty to explore on The Apo's extensive menu, but start with the three-cheese toastie made with raclette, Comté and Gruyère next to a small-batch vodka Martini from award-winning bartender Pez Collier. The chicken liver éclairs make for a fine next chapter, too. The Apo, Bakery Lane, 690 Ann St, Fortitude Valley, Qld, (07) 3252 2403, theapo.com.au

TASMANIA

MONA
You could go to The Source for a fancy lunch, sure. Or, for something a little snackier, stop in at the wine bar overlooking the lawns and split a "David's cheese sandwich, please" from executive chef Vince Trim. Smoked scamorza, toasted Comté, house-made tomato relish, onion jam and grain mustard call Pigeon Hole Bakery's light rye home. An accompanying Moo Brew is optional, but encouraged. MONA, 655 Main Rd, Berriedale, Hobart, Tas, (03) 6277 9900, mona.net.au

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