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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.

Sri Lankan crab curry


"This is one of my very favourite curries, and one I like to cook for any occasion worth celebrating," says Carey. "It's relatively simple to make yet it has a complex flavour and also looks very impressive. It's hot, spicy, messy and requires you to get involved." Start this recipe a day ahead to marinate the crab.

You'll need

10 raw blue swimmer crabs (4kg; preferably male – they have larger claws) 100 gm ghee 2 Spanish onions, finely chopped 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 70 gm ginger, peeled and thinly sliced 5 small green chillies, thinly sliced 1 cup (loosely packed) curry leaves 20 gm (¼ cup) Sri Lankan curry powder (see note) 1 tbsp each fennel seeds and brown mustard seeds 2 tsp each hot chilli powder and ground coriander 1 tsp fenugreek seeds 1 tbsp sea salt flakes 400 ml coconut milk 100 ml tamarind extract (see note) 2 cups coriander leaves, plus chopped roots and stalks (cut near root and washed) To taste: fresh lime juice To serve: rice or flatbread

Method

  • 01
  • Hold each crab over a bowl as you prepare them to keep all the lovely juices. Use your fingers to find the triangular flap, lift and remove the whole top shell (keep the top shell of half the crabs to cook; this is purely for visual impact). Discard the feathery gills and place the crab on a board. Cut in half from top to bottom with a sharp heavy knife and lightly bash both large claws with the back of a cleaver to crack the shell. Repeat with remaining crabs, then refrigerate them, along with the reserved top shells. Refrigerate juice in bowl.
  • 02
  • Melt ghee in a large wide saucepan over medium heat, then add onion, garlic, ginger, chillies and curry leaves and fry, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened (5 minutes). Dry-roast curry powder in a frying pan until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add to pan along with remaining spices and sea salt and stir regularly until you feel the spices starting to catch on the bottom of the pan (about 5 minutes). Mix in coconut milk and tamarind, add the reserved crab juice and bring to the boil, then remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Add crab pieces, mix well and refrigerate overnight.
  • 03
  • Bring crab mixture to room temperature. Place a very large (see note) saucepan on high heat and leave it until it becomes very hot so it retains heat when crab mixture is added, then add crab mixture and chopped coriander roots and stalks, let mixture start to sizzle, gently stir for a moment (this can be with such a full saucepan), then cover with a lid. Continue cooking covered, lifting lid to move the crabs about every few minutes, until crabs turn orange and are cooked through (about 20 minutes). Check seasoning, squeeze in some lime juice and serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.

Note Sri Lankan curry powder is available from Herbies Spices, and Sri Lankan or Indian food shops. Tamarind extract is available from Asian food shops. If a very large saucepan is unavailable, cook crab in two large saucepans.


At A Glance

  • Serves 8 - 10 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 - 10 people

Featured in

Dec 2015

Recipes (9 )

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