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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. 

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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.

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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.

Club sandwich


You'll need

  Sandwich 1 kg sebago potatoes, peeled, cut into1 cm thick chips and soaked in cold water For deep frying: peanut oil 4 small (about 200gm each) chicken breasts 1 tbsp olive oil 4 rashers short-cut bacon 12 slices white bread, toasted 1 baby cos lettuce, tough outer leaves removed, leaves separated and washed 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, thickly sliced   Mayonnaise 2 egg yolks 2 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp white wine vinegar 200 ml olive oil

Method

  • 01
  • For mayonnaise, pulse egg yolks, mustard and vinegar in a food processor until combined then, with motor running, add olive oil in a steady stream until emulsified and thick. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground white pepper. Mayonnaise will keep refrigerated for up to 1 week. Makes 1 cup.
  • 02
  • Drain potato and pat dry with absorbent paper. Heat peanut oil in a deep fryer or large deep saucepan to 150C. Add half the potato and cook for 6 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain on absorbent paper. Repeat with remaining potato, then set aside for 10 minutes.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Season chicken with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and cook chicken over medium heat for 3 minutes on each side or until golden, then transfer chicken to an oven tray and roast for 10 minutes or until cooked through. In the same frying pan cook bacon, turning occasionally, for 3 minutes or until golden. Keep warm.
  • 04
  • To assemble, place 4 pieces of toast on a clean work surface, spread each with mayonnaise and top with lettuce, bacon, tomato and then chicken. Spread second piece of toast on both sides with mayonnaise, and place on top. Repeat with remaining filling ingredients. Spread remaining toast with mayonnaise and place mayonnaise-side down on top. Secure sandwiches with 2 toothpicks and halve diagonally.
  • 05
  • Increase oil heat to 180C and deep-fry chips for 3-5 minutes or until golden and crisp, drain on absorbent paper, season to taste with sea salt and serve immediately with club sandwiches.

Was it the Saratoga Club-House in New York's Saratoga Springs or double-decker railway club cars that provided the inspiration for this most beloved of sandwiches? We're not losing a lot of sleep on the question but, either way, all the authorities agree the club sandwich is something of a 20th-century American culinary icon. And as Americans made that century their own, so too did the club, travelling with hotel and business interests, becoming a staple of bar and room-service menus around the globe.

So much so that observing the regional variations on the classic, whether slight or involving prawn paste mayo, has become something of a sport among a certain breed of traveller. Turkey is so common a substitute for chicken that many people think it's the protein of choice - point of order: unless the turkey is very, very juicy and the chicken at hand is very, very dry, it's not… so turkey doesn't count, nor does the common addition of a fried egg. Sometimes the classics are best left alone. Alone, that is, with chips.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
GT
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Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

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2017 Restaurant Guide

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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Additional Notes

WHERE TO TRY IT

Harry's Bar, Venice

Regarded by many (indeed, many who work at Harry's) as the best in the world. Calle Vallaresso, 1323, Venice, +394 1528 5777.

Hotel de Paris, Monaco

The tiny, perfectly formed article seen at Monte Carlo’s grand dame works out at about $10 a bite. Place du Casino, Monte Carlo, Monaco,+377 9806 30 16.

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