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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

Downtown ribs


"Lamb ribs are delicious and a great snack for large groups," says Andrew McConnell. "They work well for entertaining because most of the preparation can be done a day ahead." Start this dish a day ahead to marinate the lamb.

You'll need

2 lamb racks (about 400gm each) For frying: grapeseed oil To serve: fried sliced garlic and lemon wedges (optional)   Spice mix 150 gm brown sugar 50 gm roasted dry chilli powder 25 gm smoked paprika 25 gm (1/3 cup) coriander seeds 2 tbsp black peppercorns 25 gm (½ cup) Sichuan peppercorns 1 tbsp (heaped) white peppercorns 8 star anise 2 gm (1 tsp) cloves

Method

  • 01
  • For spice mix, combine sugar and spices in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind to a fine powder.
  • 02
  • Coat lamb ribs in a generous amount of the spice mix, reserving some for serving, cover and refrigerate overnight to marinate.
  • 03
  • Cook racks in a steamer over a saucepan of boiling water until soft and giving (1½-2 hours), then refrigerate until chilled (1-2 hours).
  • 04
  • Slice racks into ribs and grill on a barbecue or fry in a non-stick frying pan until golden and caramelised (3-5 minutes). Serve immediately scattered with extra spice mix, fried garlic slices and lemon wedges.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

Asahi Super Dry “Dry Black” lager, Osaka. Crisp and refreshing, and the nuttiness of the toasted malt combines well with the rich lamb.

Featured in

Apr 2014

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