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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.

Calamari with fava, barley rusks, capers and rocket


"Fava is a great dish.," says Conistis. The best split peas come from the island of Santorini, which is also known for its capers and seafood. "This dish captures all the flavours of Santorini on one plate."

You'll need

175 gm Cretan barley rusks (see note) 2 tbsp salted capers, rinsed ½ cup each (loosely packed) finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and mint 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling 1 garlic clove, crushed 1.5 kg calamari (4 medium), cleaned, tubes left whole, wings and tentacles reserved To serve: rocket, thinly sliced spring onion and lemon wedges   Fava 350 gm dried yellow split peas 3 golden shallots, finely chopped 2 fresh bay leaves 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil   Ladolemono 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil 50 ml lemon juice 1 tbsp (firmly packed) finely chopped oregano 1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed, finely chopped 1 red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped 1 tsp dried Greek oregano (see note)

Method

  • 01
  • For fava, rinse split peas in a sieve under cold running water, transfer to a large saucepan with shallot, bay leaves and garlic, cover with cold water to 3cm above the split peas and simmer, stirring occasionally, over low heat until tender (about 45 minutes). Drain (reserve cooking liquid separately; discard bay leaves), then process split peas in a food processor with oil and enough of the reserved liquid (about 200ml) to form a smooth purée. Season to taste and keep warm.
  • 02
  • Preheat a char-grill pan over medium heat. Crumble barley rusks into a bowl, add capers, parsley, mint, oil and garlic, season with freshly ground black pepper to taste and stir to combine. Spoon a quarter into each calamari tube (do not overstuff), drizzle with a little oil and char-grill tubes, wings and tentacles until golden and cooked through (2 minutes on each side).
  • 03
  • For ladolemono, whisk ingredients in a bowl, season to taste and set aside.
  • 04
  • Divide calamari, fava and rocket among plates, pour ladolemono over, scatter with spring onion and serve with lemon wedges.
Note Cretan barley rusks and Greek oregano are available from Greek delicatessens.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Drink Suggestion

2009 Antonoupolous Gris de Noir, Mantinia, Greece.

Featured in

Sep 2013

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