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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We asked our favourite confectioners and cafe owners from around the country for their hottest tips.
Sydneysiders revive a landmark restaurant in country New South Wales.
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Charleston, the antebellum jewel of the Carolina coast, has embraced its Lowcountry roots, writes Shane Mitchell, and now shines anew.
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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.
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.
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.
Where would Spanish cuisine be without the chorizo? This versatile smallgood lends its big flavours to South American stews, soups, and salads, not to mention the ultimate hot dog. Let the sizzling begin.
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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.
The Cambodian staple tipple is getting the royal treatment
at bars and tasting rooms.
The traditional Cambodian firewater, rice wine, has been given a style makeover. A new infused rice-spirit company, Sombai, opens smart tasting rooms and an infusion workshop in a traditional timber house in Siem Reap this month. And cocktail-making classes using the spirits have begun at atmospheric Asana bar, in the last antique Khmer wooden house in the heart of the Old Town.
Inspired by traditional Cambodian rice wine, which is heady and regarded as medicinal, French expats Lionel Maitrepierre and Joëlle Jean Louis founded Sombai and began producing premium-quality rice spirits infused with Cambodian spices, herbs, roots and fruits two years ago, drawing further inspiration from the fruit-infused rums of Louis's native Mauritius.
After opening a tasting lounge at Siem Reap in April last year, the couple began selling their aromatic liquors at restaurants, bars, boutique hotels and the monthly artisanal Made in Cambodia Market at Shinta Mani resort. Sombai's pretty bottles - handpainted by local artists and tied with the traditional Khmer checked krama (scarf) - have become popular souvenirs, and sunset tastings at the couple's home draw travellers after a day exploring Angkor Wat.
Now visitors can squeeze in a 90-minute cocktail class at Asana, a laid-back bar furnished with hammocks and sofas made from stuffed rice sacks. Asana's owners Sophari "Pari" Ung and Guilhem Maitrepierre have devised fun classes to introduce traditional Khmer ingredients such as lemongrass, tamarind, turmeric and wild ginger to cocktails such as the Asana Sling, made with gin, Cointreau, triple sec, cherry brandy, bitters, grenadine, lime and pineapple juice and Sombai's galangal-tamarind rice spirit, one of eight blended flavours. A durian-based flavour is in development.
Sombai, Sombai La off Thmor Meas Rd, Siem Reap. Asana, The Lane, between Street 7 and Pub St, Old Market area, Siem Reap. Classes at 5.30pm daily.
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