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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. 

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.

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Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

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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.

Keftedes with tomato, mint and parsley and crisp vine leaves


You'll need

180 ml extra-virgin olive oil 2 large onions, finely chopped 6 large vine-ripened tomatoes 70 gm (¼ cup) tomato paste 1 kg minced veal ¾ cup (firmly packed) each flat-leaf parsley and mint, finely chopped 50 gm (1/3 cup) plain flour, plus extra for dusting 3 tsp each ground cumin, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg For shallow-frying: light olive oil 8 vine leaves preserved in brine

Method

  • 01
  • Heat 60ml extra-virgin olive oil in a large, deep-sided frying pan over medium heat, add onion and sauté until golden (12-15 minutes). Set aside to cool.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 170C. Blanch tomatoes until skins split (30 seconds), then refresh. Peel, halve over a bowl, discard seeds and reserve liquid. Combine 60ml liquid (reserve remainder) with tomato paste and 125ml water in a large bowl. Stir well to dissolve tomato paste, then add veal, herbs, flour, spices and cooked onion, season well, mix thoroughly and refrigerate to rest (1 hour).
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, place tomato halves cut-side down in a roasting pan lined with baking paper, drizzle with 60ml extra-virgin olive oil, season to taste and roast until starting to caramelise (30-40 minutes). Cool slightly, then pulse in a food processor with remaining tomato liquid until coarsely chopped. Season to taste and keep warm.
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, heat 1cm olive oil in a deep-sided frying pan until hot. Add vine leaves one at a time and fry, turning once, until crisp (1-2 minutes), then set aside to drain on absorbent paper.
  • 05
  • Shape veal mixture into walnut-sized keftedes and place on a tray (makes about 40 balls). Heat remaining extra-virgin olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Dust keftedes with flour and fry in batches, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked (6-8 minutes). Serve hot with roast tomato sauce and crisp vine leaves.
This recipe is from the March 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

“At a charity function I did with Jonathan, I asked him to come up with an idea for an appetiser and he suggested keftedes,” Kyritsis says. “They always remind me of hearty home cooking so when Jonathan came up with these light and fragrant little mouthfuls instead, I was delighted. He said he learned to make them this way from his aunty Diana. Well, she must have been a wonderful cook.”

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Fruity rosé.

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