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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. 

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.

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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

Hot fudge sundae with honeycomb


You'll need

250 ml (1 cup) heavy cream (45%) 3 tsp caster sugar To serve: good-quality vanilla bean ice-cream To serve: coarsely chopped salted peanuts   Honeycomb 160 gm caster sugar 25 gm (¼ cup) honey 62 gm (¼ cup) glucose 7 gm (2 tsp) bicarbonate of soda   Hot chocolate fudge 130 gm good-quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped 20 gm unsalted butter 150 gm (2/3 cup) caster sugar 140 gm glucose 1 tbsp cocoa powder

Method

  • 01
  • For honeycomb, combine sugar, honey, glucose and 30ml water in a saucepan. Cook over high heat, stirring to dissolve and brushing down sugar crystals from sides of pan, until light blonde and reaches 150C on a sugar thermometer (8-10 minutes), being careful it doesn’t become too dark. Remove from heat, add bicarbonate of soda (be careful as mixture will bubble up), whisking vigorously for about 5 seconds, then pour onto a baking paper-lined tray (you will need to work quickly as the honeycomb will continue cooking if left in the pan). When honeycomb has cooled and hardened (20-30 minutes), break into bite-sized chunks and store in an airtight container. Honeycomb will keep for a week.
  • 02
  • For hot chocolate fudge, melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Combine remaining ingredients, 160ml water and 1 tsp sea salt in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then add chocolate mixture. Return to the boil and cook over high heat, shaking pan to dissolve any lumps, until well emulsified (3-5 minutes). Set aside in pan and keep warm.
  • 03
  • Whisk cream and sugar until firm peaks form. Set aside in refrigerator. Reheat chocolate fudge over high heat until warmed through. Scoop ice-cream into 6 serving glasses, followed by a generous dollop of whipped cream. Scatter with pieces of honeycomb and peanuts, drizzle chocolate fudge over and serve immediately.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Rich, raisin and toffee Rutherglen such as Campbells Isabella Rare Tokay.

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