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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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Frisée salad with roasted figs and pancetta croûtons


"This is a perfect salad for autumn with the sweet taste of figs, salty pancetta, and the bitter crunch of frisée," says Waters. "I like to mix red wine vinegar and balsamic together; I find balsamic vinegar a bit too sweet on its own."

You'll need

3 small heads frisée 6 ripe figs 3 tsp each balsamic and red wine vinegars 1 tsp olive oil 1 small shallot, diced 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil   Pancetta croûtons 3 slices country-style levain bread, 2cm-thick, crusts removed For brushing: olive oil 8 slices pancetta (about 120gm)

Method

  • 01
  • Tear off and discard the tough, dark outer leaves from frisée. Remove and discard the root ends of each head, separate the individual leaves, wash and dry well.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 190C. Halve figs lengthways and arrange in a roasting pan cut-side up. Sprinkle with 1 tsp of each vinegar and oil, season to taste, then bake until soft (7-10 minutes).
  • 03
  • Mix shallots and remaining vinegars in a small bowl and season to taste. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes to marry the flavours, then add extra-virgin olive oil and combine. Check taste, adding extra vinegar, oil and salt as needed. Add any roasting juices from figs into the vinaigrette.
  • 04
  • Cut bread lengthways into eight 2cm-wide sticks and brush with oil. Wrap each bread stick with a slice of pancetta, place on an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake until pancetta begins to crisp (10 minutes). Keep warm.
  • 05
  • To serve, toss frisée with some vinaigrette in a serving bowl, then arrange figs and pancetta croûtons on the greens.

Note This recipe is from The Art of Simple Food II ($40, hbk) by Alice Waters, published by Clarkson Potter and reproduced with GT style changes.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

An off-dry rosé.

Featured in

Apr 2014

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