Healthy Eating

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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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

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.

Pickled black fungus


"Black fungus has a unique texture and also carries the flavour of a dressing really well," says Victor Liong. "I liked the idea of a textural, clean appetiser - it's my homage to old-school Chinese ingredients, but with a newer approach, serving it as a refreshing pickle." Start this recipe a day ahead to marinate the fungus.

You'll need

1½ tbsp vegetable oil 200 gm black fungus, hard stems trimmed with scissors 30 ml Shaoxing wine 20 gm ginger, cut into julienne To serve: coriander leaves   Black vinegar dressing 100 ml soy sauce 80 ml (1/3 cup) sugar syrup (see note) 60 ml (¼ cup) Chinkiang vinegar 1½ tbsp vegetable oil 1 tbsp sesame oil 1 tsp chilli oil (see note) 10 gm ginger, finely grated on a microplane 1 small garlic clove, finely grated on a microplane

Method

  • 01
  • Heat oil in a wok over high heat, add fungus and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add Shaoxing wine and stir-fry until liquid reduces (1 minute). Place in a colander to drain and cool to room temperature.
  • 02
  • For dressing, whisk ingredients and 100ml water in a non-reactive container. Add fungus and ginger, and refrigerate overnight to marinate.
  • 03
  • Place pickled black fungus in a serving bowl, drizzle with a little dressing, top with coriander and serve.

Note For sugar syrup, combine equal parts caster sugar and water, bring to the boil, then cool. Chilli oil is available from Asian supermarkets; Victor Liong prefers the Koon Yick Wah Kee brand.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Drink Suggestion

A fresh crisp white wine, such as a 2011 Wanted Man White Label Marsanne Viognier. Or a lager-style beer, such as Tsingtao.

Featured in

Aug 2015

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