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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

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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.

Blue-eye trevalla with Jerusalem artichokes, broad beans and chicken jus


You'll need

10 Jerusalem artichokes (about 800gm) 400 gm unpodded broad beans, podded For deep-frying: vegetable oil 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 4 skinless blue-eye trevalla fillets (180gm each) 2 tbsp finely chopped chives 30 gm butter   Chicken jus 2 tbsp olive oil 2 kg chicken wings, chopped into 2cm pieces 1 carrot, peeled and chopped into 2cm pieces 1 onion, chopped into 2cm pieces 1 celery stalk, chopped into 2cm pieces ½ head of garlic, halved crosswise ¼ bunch thyme 1 fresh bay leaf

Method

  • 01
  • For chicken jus, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add half the chicken and leave for 3 minutes before stirring, then stir occasionally until chicken is browned all over (3-5 minutes). Remove chicken from pan and repeat with remaining oil and chicken. Add vegetables and garlic to pan and sauté, stiring occasionally, until soft and starting to brown (6-8 minutes). Return chicken to pan, add herbs and 4 litres water, then bring to the simmer. Skim scum and fat from surface, then reduce heat to low and simmer gently until stock is well-flavoured (3½-4 hours). Strain stock through a fine sieve into a clean pan, discarding solids, and reduce stock over medium heat, skimming scum from the surface occasionally, until stock has reduced by two-thirds to 650ml (1-1¼ hours). Strain through a fine sieve and reserve 80ml. Remaining jus can be refrigerated or frozen for later use.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Wrap Jerusalem artichokes in foil and roast until tender (1-1½ hours). Set aside to cool briefly, then trim tops of artichokes and slice in half lengthways but not all the way through. Gently scrape the flesh out of artichokes, keeping the skin intact and scraping as much flesh as possible from the skin. Transfer artichoke flesh to a saucepan and reserve flesh and skins separately.
  • 03
  • Blanch broad beans in a saucepan of boiling water until tender (2-3 minutes), then refresh in iced water, peel and set aside.
  • 04
  • Heat oil in a deep saucepan or deep-fryer to 160C. Add artichoke skins in batches, and deep-fry, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp (2-3 minutes). Set aside to drain on paper towels.
  • 05
  • Heat an ovenproof frying pan over high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil and fish fillets and fry until golden (1-2 minutes). Turn fish over, then transfer pan to oven and roast until just cooked through (4-6 minutes).
  • 06
  • Meanwhile, heat artichoke flesh over medium heat (2-3 minutes), crush with a fork and add remaining olive oil and chives and season to taste.
  • 07
  • Heat a separate saucepan over medium heat, add 10gm butter and broad beans and stir until warmed through (2-3 minutes).
  • 08
  • Heat a separate small saucepan over medium-high heat, add remaining butter and cook until nut-brown, or beurre noisette (2½-3 minutes), then add reserved chicken jus, bring to the boil and season to taste.
  • 09
  • To serve, spoon crushed artichokes and broad beans onto plates, top with fish, spoon butter sauce over and top with artichoke chips.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

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