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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.

Bodega's pork belly and bullhorn peppers


"Here's one from the first menu. Simplicity - soft, sticky, gelatinous pork inspired by white-cut chicken," say Abrahanowicz and Milgate.

You'll need

100 gm rock salt 1 kg piece boneless pork belly, skin removed 5 red bullhorn peppers Olive oil, for drizzling 70 ml extra-virgin olive oil 30 ml sherry vinegar 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced on a mandolin Sliced pickled guindilla chillies or other pickled green chillies, to serve (see note)

Method

  • 01
  • Rub salt all over pork belly, cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours to season. Wipe excess salt from pork and place in a steamer basket over a large saucepan of simmering water and steam until very tender when a knife is inserted (2-2½ hours).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, heat a char-grill pan to high. Drizzle peppers with olive oil and grill, turning occasionally, until blackened and collapsed (18-20 minutes). Transfer to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and stand to steam (20 minutes). Peel charred skin from peppers and open them up to remove seeds and stem. Slice lengthways, then layer peppers in a bowl with extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar and garlic, season with sea salt flakes, and stand to marinate at room temperature for 2 hours.
  • 03
  • To serve, arrange marinated peppers on serving plates, top with thickly sliced pork belly, drizzle with a little pepper marinade, season with sea salt flakes and scatter with sliced guindillas.

Pickled guindilla chillies are available at delicatessens such as Continental Deli in Newtown, Encasa Deli in Sydney and The Essential Ingredient (essentialingredient.com.au). 


At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Malbec rosé

Featured in

Jul 2016

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