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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.

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.

Roasted rib of beef with ndolé


"Ndolé traditionally uses morogo, a wild African spinach, and this dish has its variations from southern to western Africa," says Welgemoed. "A good example can be found at Melbourne's Belle's Hot Chicken - ask for a serve of Almost Arnold's Beans."

You'll need

1.5 kg rib-eye rack of aged beef (with 4-5 ribs), halved, at room temperature For brushing: vegetable oil   Ham-hock stock 1 ham-hock bone (about 300gm; see note) 1 carrot, coarsely chopped 1 onion, coarsely chopped Large handful of celery leaves 6 thyme sprigs 2 garlic cloves   Ndolé 2 tbsp vegetable oil onions, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 birdseye chilli, finely chopped 100 gm kapenta or ikan bilis (see note) 2 tsp biryani spice mix (see note) 500 gm (1 large bunch) English spinach, washed, dried and coarsely chopped 250 gm (½ large bunch) silverbeet, washed, dried, stems and leaves coarsely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • For ham-hock stock, place ingredients and 1 litre water in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low-medium and simmer, topping up water as needed to keep ingredients covered, for around 2 hours until stock is well flavoured. Strain stock through a fine mesh sieve (discard solids) and reserve 125ml stock (freeze remaining stock for up to 3 months or refrigerate for up to 3 days).
  • 02
  • Light a hardwood or charcoal barbecue and burn it down to embers (about 1 hour for wood, and 30-40 minutes for charcoal).
  • 03
  • For ndolé, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sauté onion, garlic and chilli until onions are tender (5-6 minutes). Add kapenta and biryani spice mix, cook until fragrant (3-5 minutes), then add silverbeet and spinach, and cook until the liquid from the greens evaporates (5-7 minutes). Deglaze the pan with the ham stock and season to taste. This can also be cooked over a fire in a cast-iron pot.
  • 04
  • Brush ribs with oil, then grill until charred and the internal temperature reaches 55C on a meat thermometer for medium-rare (25-30 minutes). Rest covered with foil for 10 minutes, season to taste, carve and serve with ndolé.

Note Ham hock bones may need to be ordered from the butcher. Kapenta, an African version of ikan bilis, are dried Lake Tanganyika sardines and an important staple, providing refrigeration-free protein to people of Africa. Kapenta is available from selected African food stores, or substitute ikan bilis, available from Asian food stores. Biryani spice mix is available online from herbies.com.au.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Ochota Barrels “Botanicals of the Basket Range”, a vermouth-like wine.

Featured in

Jan 2016

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