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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. 

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Brae

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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.

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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.

Frank Camorra: Tarta de queso (Cheesecake)


You'll need

For greasing: butter For dusting: plain flour 500 ml (2 cups) pouring cream 155 gm caster sugar 300 gm cream cheese, softened 5 eggs 180 gm goat’s curd 125 gm (½ cup) thick plain yoghurt 2 lemons, finely grated rind only 1 lemon, juice only 40 ml brandy 2 tbsp pure icing sugar

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly butter a 25cm springform tin, then dust with flour, shaking out excess. Process all remaining ingredients except icing sugar in a food processor until smooth (1-2 minutes). Pour into prepared tin and bake until just set (25-30 minutes). Carefully remove cheesecake from the oven, sprinkle icing sugar over the top and bake until set (8-10 minutes). Remove from oven and brown top with a blowtorch until very dark (1-2 minutes). Alternatively, brown cheesecake under a very hot grill. Cool to room temperature before serving.
NoteThis recipe is from MoVida Rustica: Spanish Traditions and Recipes by Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish and published by Murdoch Books ($59.95, hbk) and appeared in the October 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller. In editing these recipes for publication, we have made minor changes to bring them into Gourmet Traveller style.

"I don't have much of a sweet tooth so it took a friend of mine I just happened to bump into in San Sebastián one night to put me on to the local cheesecake. It is cooked in a hot oven, so the outside has a well-developed caramelised skin that goes from golden to brown to black - don't be alarmed as it's all part of the act. It is so lovely that when I finished testing this version I ended up eating nearly half of it. And yes, Spanish chefs do use Philadelphia cream cheese."

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

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