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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

Fratelli Paradiso to open a second branch … in Tokyo

Giovanni Paradiso at 10 William St

Giovanni Paradiso at 10 William St

Sydney's favourite Italian restaurant is taking its classic dishes to Tokyo.

This year's hot trend? If the restaurants of Sydney's Potts Point dining hub are any guide, it's all about opening outposts in Japan. Giovanni Paradiso, co-owner of Fratelli Paradiso, said he and the team had kicked the tires on other sites in Sydney and Melbourne for an expansion from the Italian landmark, but in the end it was an offer in Tokyo that ticked all the boxes. Fratelli Paradiso will open a 90-seat restaurant with a 50-seat "10 William St-style" bar in late April next year.

Frat Paz's near-neighbours at The Apollo may have beaten them to the punch, opening in Ginza this past April, but Paradiso says Japan has been on the horizon for some time. "Funnily enough it's been a long time in coming; the first approaches were made four years ago, but it was only in the last six months that the stars aligned for us to do it on our own terms."

Japanese-born former Fratelli head chef Toshi Nakayasu will run the kitchen, turning out a mix of familiar favourites, plus some local specials. "The lasagne, the calamari Sant'Andrea, they'll all be there," says Paradiso, "And I think we'll use Australian beef for the bistecca Fiorentina."

The ready availability of wine from around the world in Tokyo - especially natural wine - is something Paradiso says he's particularly excited about. Beyond the connection in the kitchen, the Fratelli Paradiso/10 William St gang have a link to Japan in the form of sommelier Matt Young, a connoisseur of Japanese drink and culture who also imports sake into Australia under the Black Market label. The opportunity to delve ever deeper into natural wines and sake and pour them for an appreciative audience, says Paradiso, "is a big hook for us".

The restaurant will be called Fratelli Paradiso; Paradiso says he hasn't given much thought to how it might translate to Japanese. "Heavenly Brothers could work quite well. It sounds like a chain of bomboloni shops."

Fratelli Paradiso in Tokyo will open in April 2017.

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