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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.

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.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

Andrew McConnell: Deep-fried ice-cream


You'll need

4 egg yolks 150 gm caster sugar Scraped seeds of 2 vanilla beans 810 ml milk 150 ml pouring cream 1 egg 150 gm (½ cup) plain flour 110 gm (1½ cups) panko crumbs For deep-frying: vegetable oil   Black sesame paste 35 gm (¼ cup) black sesame seeds 55 gm (¼ cup) caster sugar 50 gm dark chocolate, finely chopped Pinch of ground ginger   Ginger syrup 125 gm caster sugar 20 gm (3cm piece) young ginger, finely grated

Method

  • 01
  • For black sesame paste, dry-roast sesame seeds until aromatic (1-2 minutes). Cool, pound in a mortar and pestle until finely ground. Bring sugar and 60ml water to the simmer in a small saucepan, remove from heat, stir in black sesame seeds, chocolate, ginger and a pinch of salt, stir until chocolate has melted. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until cool.
  • 02
  • Whisk egg yolks, sugar and vanilla seeds on high speed in an electric mixer until pale (3 minutes). Meanwhile, bring cream and 750ml milk to the simmer. Pour milk mixture over yolk mixture, whisking on low speed, then return to pan and stir continuously over low-medium heat until mixture begins to thicken (7-10 minutes). Stir occasionally until cool, then churn in an ice-cream machine. Spoon ice-cream into 12 x 6cm-diameter hemisphere moulds (see note), then freeze until firm but not hard (1-2 hours).
  • 03
  • Scoop 1 tsp ice-cream from the middle of each hemisphere with a melon baller. Fill cavity with 1 tsp black sesame paste, freeze until firm (3-4 hours), then unmould ice-cream and join hemispheres in pairs to make balls, rubbing to close gaps. Freeze until required.
  • 04
  • Whisk remaining milk and egg in a bowl to combine. Take one ice-cream ball at a time from the freezer, roll in flour, dip in eggwash, roll in crumbs, then return to freezer. Repeat until all ice-cream balls are coated, then repeat process so each ball has two layers of crumbs. Freeze until very firm (overnight).
  • 05
  • Meanwhile, for ginger syrup, combine ingredients and 100ml water in a small saucepan, bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat, cook for 30 seconds, cool, then strain into a small jug.
  • 06
  • Heat oil in a deep saucepan or deep-fryer to 200C. Deep-fry 1 ball at a time (be careful as hot oil will spit), gently turning until golden (30 seconds-1 minute). Remove from heat, drain on absorbent paper, serve immediately with ginger syrup. Repeat with remaining balls, skimming oil to remove excess crumbs.
Note Hemisphere silicone moulds are available from specialist kitchenware suppliers such as Chefs’ Warehouse. Chill them in the freezer before using them.

This recipe is from the April 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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