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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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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.

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.

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.

Salmon roe mayonnaise with fried homemade filo pastries


You'll need

60 gm plain flour, plus extra for dusting 500 ml (2 cups) olive oil, for deep-frying   Salmon roe mayonnaise 2 tbsp strained lemon juice, or to taste 1 small garlic clove, finely grated 150 gm salmon roe 125 ml (½ cup) light olive oil

Method

  • 01
  • Combine flour, 30ml water and a pinch of sea salt in a bowl. Knead until smooth, then wrap in plastic wrap and stand at room temperature for 1 hour to rest (the dough needs to be soft so the filo can be thinly rolled).
  • 02
  • Preheat oil in a deep-fryer or deep-sided saucepan to 180C. Halve dough and, working with one half at a time, dust with flour and roll through a pasta machine, folding and rolling and reducing settings notch by notch until you reach the last setting and dough is 1mm thick (dust with extra flour as you go to avoid sticking; alternatively, you can roll the dough using a thin rolling pin). Keep dough covered with a damp cloth while you roll the other half, then cut sheets widthways into 16cm x 4cm strips and deep-fry in batches until golden (3-4 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper. Makes about 32. Filo pastries will keep stored in an airtight container for 3 days.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, for salmon roe mayonnaise, combine lemon juice, garlic, 50gm salmon roe, 40ml water and a pinch of freshly ground white pepper in a blender. Process until smooth, then, with motor running, add olive oil, drop by drop at first, then in a thin steady stream until completely incorporated and mixture is thick and emulsified. Transfer to a bowl, cover with remaining salmon roe and serve with filo pastries for dipping.
This recipe is from the March 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

“An egg is an egg is an egg,” Kyritsis says. “Greek taramasalata is also a mayonnaise made from egg, lemon and oil. In this recipe, I use salmon roe. It’s always been a matter of family pride that our taramasalata was the smoothest of all. Commercial filo is a fine product, but most of the time I make my own because its texture is so much better.”

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Ouzo or a cold lager.

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