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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

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.

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.

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.

Lemon dream

"This cake is the new religion at Flour and Stone, and never fails to send those worshipping it into a dream of billowy clouds," says Ingram. "It has come to many parties, including one where its name was changed to reflect the euphoric place it transports you to."

Rainbow trout rillettes, rye, cucumber and watercress sandwiches


"The combination here is ever so posh," says Philippa Sibley. "Cucumber and watercress sandwiches with smoked rainbow trout - perfect after a spot of tennis, lazing on the porch with a nice G & T. Remember these little freshwater trout have delicate flesh and very fine bones; this makes them fiddly, but relatively easy to fillet compared to bigger fish."

You'll need

1 loaf rye bread 2 small Lebanese cucumbers 100 gm butter, softened 1 bunch watercress, leaves picked   Rainbow trout rillettes 2 whole rainbow trout (300gm each; see note) 100 gm unsalted butter, at room temperature 100 gm plain yoghurt, at room temperature 1 egg yolk 40 ml lemon juice 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil 1 tbsp chopped chives 1 tbsp grated horseradish 1 smoked rainbow trout (300gm), skinned and flaked

Method

  • 01
  • For rillettes, using a razor-sharp knife, make an incision in each trout from the back of the head to past the front fin. First run the knife down the spine from the head going down towards the tail. Reverse the knife and zip back up towards the head. Cut through the rib cage and remove the fillet. Because the flesh is so soft and delicate, don’t flip the fish over as you would for a more robust beast. Simply make an incision at the tail end and run your knife up the spine, keeping the blade flat and close to the bone and remove the whole skeleton, including the head. Then slide the knife under the rib bones, removing as little flesh as possible. Pin-bone the fresh trout using fish tweezers, being very careful to remove all bones. Preheat the oven to 160C. Place a piece of baking paper on a baking tray. Arrange the 4 fish fillets skin-side down on top. Add a few tablespoons of water and some seasoning. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 4-5 minutes. The fish should be rare at the thickest point. Allow to cool. Drain off the excess juice. Turn the fillets over and peel off the skin, then remove any dark flesh. Tear the fish into small pieces or flake with a fork and set aside. Put the butter and yoghurt in a mixing bowl and hand-whisk until the mixture becomes fluffy (alternatively, you can use an electric mixer or food processor). Add the egg yolk and a little of the lemon juice. Drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil, then add the rest of the lemon juice. Fold in the flaked fish, chives and horseradish. Test for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.
  • 02
  • Slice the rye bread thinly. Slice the cucumbers thinly and season lightly with salt to wilt slightly. Butter the bread generously and layer on the cucumber and watercress, sandwich with top slices, then cut the sandwiches into random lengths and serve alongside the rillettes. Encourage your guests to spread the rillettes onto the sandwiches and eat with their fingers.

Note You can ask your fishmonger to fillet the fish for you. This recipe is from New Classics ($49.95, hbk) by Philippa Sibley, published by Hardie Grant Books. It has been reproduced with minor GT style changes.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Dec 2013

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