Healthy Eating

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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.

Sesame leaf dolmades, almond rice and preserved lemon avgolemono


"Dolmades are quite fiddly to make but well worth the effort. I love the taste difference using the sesame leaves to encase the rice filling, but if you can't source them try using perilla leaves from Asian grocers or vine leaves from Greek delis," says Conistis.

You'll need

100 ml extra-virgin olive oil 50 gm golden shallots (3-4), finely chopped 6 spring onions, thinly sliced 75 gm short-grain rice ¼ tsp dried mint ¼ cup (loosely packed) each dill leaves, mint leaves and flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 35 gm smoked almonds, coarsely chopped 25 gm currants 25 gm roasted sesame seeds Juice of 1 lemon 16-20 large sesame leaves, stalks removed (see note)   Preserved lemon avgolemono 3 egg yolks 2 tbsp lemon juice 1 small garlic clove, crushed 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil 300 ml vegetable stock, warmed and infused with a pinch of saffron threads 2 tsp finely diced preserved lemon rind

Method

  • 01
  • Heat half the oil in a saucepan over low heat. Add shallot and spring onion and cook until tender but not coloured (2-4 minutes). Add rice and dried mint and stir for 2 minutes. Add herbs, almonds, currants, sesame seeds and lemon juice and season to taste. Add 300ml hot water, cover with a lid and simmer until par-cooked (5 minutes). Set aside, covered, to cool.
  • 02
  • Place a sesame leaf rib-side up on a chopping board, place 2 tsp of rice in the centre, then roll up, folding the sides in as you go, and place join-side down in a saucepan large enough to fit dolmades snugly in a single layer. Repeat with remaining leaves and filling. Pour remaining oil over, add enough water to just cover, season to taste and weight with a plate. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer until rice is cooked and dolmades are tender (15-20 minutes). Set aside to cool slightly.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, for preserved lemon avgolemono, combine egg yolks, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor or blender, season to taste and, with motor running, gradually add oil in a thin, steady stream until all combined. Slowly add the hot stock, then fold in preserved lemon, season to taste and transfer to a bowl. Serve with dolmades.

Note Sesame leaves are available from select Asian grocers.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Drink Suggestion

2012 Alpha Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Amyndeon, Greece.

Featured in

Sep 2013

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