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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.

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.

Hot Plates: Long Chim, Melbourne

Long Chim Melbourne

Long Chim Melbourne

They're not exaggerating about the heat. We're warned about it three times after we've ordered Long Chim's chicken Chiang Mai larp, the final time as the dish and its accompanying leaves of raw cabbage lands on the table. It's like a final check to make sure we know what we're getting ourselves into.

The dish is hot, enthusiastically so, with more chilli action than you'd find in the majority of Melbourne's Thai restaurants. But - and here's where we give thanks once again to chef David Thompson for finally gracing us with his presence - there's balance.

Chicken Chang Mai larp.

Related: Long Chim recipes

The chilli heat reaches a certain eye-watering level and then stays there, waving through other flavours - lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, the chicken itself, both mince and crisp skin pieces - to play their part against its spicy backbeat. With the pale, slightly chilled pieces of cabbage doing refreshing, cooling work, this Chiang Mai larp is everything you'd expect when one of the world's great interpreters of Thai cooking turns his hand to street food.

Stir-fried baby squid.

There are no small flavours here, no pandering to milquetoast palates that turn pale at the mention of bird's eye or sriracha. This is clip-over-the-ear authenticity, not always hot but always punchy and often rich. It's a good idea to come here with at least four people to give the menu a thorough, successful nudge.

The joyful exuberance of the food matches the '70s disco-rich soundtrack and the pop-leaning fit-out involving red metal stools and pale blue banquettes, illustrated Thai street scenes behind gold mesh and shelves artfully stacked with piles of plastic bowls and oversized mortars and pestles.

Deep-fried fish with three flavoured sauce.

It doesn't have the attractively scruffy atmosphere of the Sydney laneway version of Long Chim, but it's riverside and the opportunity to eat this kind of food on a large outdoor terrace is entirely fitting.

Beautifully textured beef skewers are topped with shreds of raw red onion and fragrant with cumin, coriander and turmeric, while chewy-sticky chive cakes are salty sweet with dark soy.

Crunchy prawns with herbs, shallots and chilli.

Don't miss the noodle dishes: thin, salty-lime-dressed rice noodles tossed with chicken, prawns, coriander and peanuts, say, or rich, salty beef noodles that come with a side of superb Koh Loy sriracha sauce (Thompson's favourite, made in Si Racha in Thailand).

Baked prawns with glass noodles.

There are good, sweet things, too, like a not-too-sugary grilled sticky rice with banana and an intense, orangey-brown Thai ice-cream topped with coconut and pistachio nuts. A list of Thai food- appropriate cocktails includes a particularly refreshing number called Or Tor Kor Mule #2, a blend of lime-leaf vodka, ginger beer and Thai bitters.

Melburnians could feel slighted that David Thompson has made us wait this long for his attentions. But now he's arrived and his delivery's so good, all is well and truly forgiven.

Long Chim, Riverside at Crown, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank, Vic, (03) 8582 3082, crownmelbourne.com.au/restaurants; open daily noon-2.30pm, Sun-Thu 5.30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5.30pm-11pm

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