Healthy Eating

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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.

O Tama Carey's fried eggs with seeni sambol, coconut and turmeric

"I first cooked a version of this dish - inspired by the excellent deep-fried egg dish at Billy Kwong - while working at a restaurant in Sri Lanka," says O Tama Carey. "The lattice-like eggs are doused in a creamy turmeric curry sauce and topped with seeni sambol, a sweet-spiced caramelised onion relish. This dish is equally perfect for an indulgent breakfast as it is served as part of a larger meal." The recipe for the seeni sambol makes more than you need, but to get the right balance of spices you need to make at least this much. It keeps refrigerated for up to three weeks; use as an onion relish. The curry sauce can be made a day or two ahead.

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.

Unique Australian hotels

Paperbark Camp, Jervis Bay, NSW

Paperbark Camp, Jervis Bay, NSW

Australians celebrate their differences in all sorts of ways - from unique sports to distinctive cuisine, wines and, memorably, holiday accommodation. Take Hobart's Omnipod, aka the Avalon City Retreat, a two-bedroom eyrie bolted atop a seven-storey heritage office tower to capture views over Salamanca and the Derwent River. Walls of glass and a Huon pine tub on the deck are among Omnipod's many guest enhancements.

Five hours' drive from Adelaide, an 1850s sheep station showcases the serenity of the Flinders Ranges. The homestead at Arkaba Station accommodates 10 guests in bespoke surrounds of wool-bale tables and merino wool headboards. Days are spent exploring the station's 26,000-hectare backyard and neighbouring Wilpena Pound.

South Australia has a thing for heritage piles. One of the most recent historic houses to go public is Kingsford Homestead, the one-time set of cowgirl soapie McLeod's Daughters. The 1856 sandstone mansion, on the edge of the Barossa Valley, is now a small hotel of Georgian bones and glossy antiques. All-inclusive pricing covers everything from sunset cocktails to dégustation dinners in the cellar.

The best way to get up close to this country is to go camping. We love pitching up in exceptional places - especially when the tents come with ensuites, butler service and eco credentials. Take Sal Salis, nine swank safari tents that subsist on solar power and daily water rations in the dunes of Western Australia's Cape Range National Park. Fortunately such deprivations are eased by the submarine wonders of Ningaloo Reef, lamplit dinners and beach stargazing.

From the red coast to the red centre, where evocative desert camp Longitude 131 has fallen into the capable hands of James and Hayley Baillie (Southern Ocean Lodge, Capella Lodge). They've enlisted Southern Ocean's architect, Max Pritchard, to oversee a resort upgrade that will include infinity pool, a refresh of the 15 existing tents and new canopy suites with plunge pools facing Uluru.

We also love going bush at Jervis Bay on the NSW South Coast, where the solar-powered Paperbark Camp coddles guests with fanciful tents and candlelit dinners at its restaurant, The Gunyah. Guests who can drag themselves away are rewarded with stunning coastal scenery, dolphin magic and a ribbon of beach said to have the world's whitest sand. It's just one of many superlative Australian escapes.

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