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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. 

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O Tama Carey's fried eggs with seeni sambol, coconut and turmeric

"I first cooked a version of this dish - inspired by the excellent deep-fried egg dish at Billy Kwong - while working at a restaurant in Sri Lanka," says O Tama Carey. "The lattice-like eggs are doused in a creamy turmeric curry sauce and topped with seeni sambol, a sweet-spiced caramelised onion relish. This dish is equally perfect for an indulgent breakfast as it is served as part of a larger meal." The recipe for the seeni sambol makes more than you need, but to get the right balance of spices you need to make at least this much. It keeps refrigerated for up to three weeks; use as an onion relish. The curry sauce can be made a day or two ahead.

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.

Royale of asparagus with speck dressing


You'll need

20 spears (2½ bunches) asparagus 100 gm butter 2 golden shallots, thinly sliced 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock 2 eggs 2 egg yolks 200 ml pouring cream   Speck dressing 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil 2 golden shallots, finely diced ¼ long red chilli, finely chopped 150 gm speck, cut into 5mm dice 100 ml chicken stock 25 ml sherry vinegar

Method

  • 01
  • Trim and peel 8 asparagus tips and set aside. Slice remaining asparagus into thin rounds, discarding the woody ends. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat, add butter, shallots and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender but not coloured (2-3 minutes). Add sliced asparagus and stir occasionally until asparagus starts to soften (2 minutes), then add stock, season to taste and simmer until asparagus is tender (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat and strain, reserving cooking liquor, then blend asparagus in a blender until smooth, adding a small amount of cooking liquor if needed to form a smooth purée. Pass purée through a fine sieve and refrigerate until chilled (you’ll need 220ml).
  • 02
  • Preheat a steam oven to 90C. Whisk eggs, yolks and cream and reserved 220ml asparagus purée in a bowl to combine and season to taste. Pass through a fine sieve. Pour 125ml into four 185ml heatproof bowls and cover with plastic wrap. Steam in a steam oven (or steam very gently in a steamer basket placed over a saucepan of simmering water) and steam until just set (25-30 minutes). Remove and cool to room temperature. If not serving immediately, refrigerate until required; custards will keep covered with plastic wrap for 2 days.
  • 03
  • Blanch asparagus tips in boiling water (1-2 minutes), then refresh in iced water. Set aside to drain.
  • 04
  • For speck dressing, heat a saucepan over medium heat, add 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, then shallots and chilli, and stir occasionally until tender but not coloured (1-2 minutes). Add speck, and stir until light golden-brown (5-6 minutes), then add chicken stock and sherry vinegar and reduce by half (3-4 minutes). Add remaining olive oil and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
  • 05
  • To serve, bring asparagus custards to room temperature if chilled, then spoon speck dressing on top, garnish each with 2 asparagus tips and finish with a few grinds of freshly cracked pepper to taste.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

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