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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.

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Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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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.

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.

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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Pickled beetroot with creamed goat's cheese and pine nut vinaigrette


You'll need

2 (150gm each) beetroot, peeled 250 ml (1 cup) sugar syrup (see note) 75 ml cabernet sauvignon vinegar 1 tbsp olive oil 1 golden shallot, finely chopped 250 gm soft goat’s cheese (see note) 50 gm crème fraîche 1 tbsp thinly sliced chives To serve: baby chard, mizuna cress or chervil   Pine nut vinaigrette 50 gm pine nuts 50 ml grapeseed oil 50 ml cabernet sauvignon vinegar

Method

  • 01
  • Combine beetroot, sugar syrup, vinegar and 1.5 litres water in a saucepan, cover and cook gently for 2 hours or until tender. Cool.
  • 02
  • Heat olive oil in a frying pan over low heat, add shallot and ½ tsp sea salt and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft, without colouring. Transfer shallot to a bowl, add goat’s cheese, crème fraîche and chives, season to taste with sea salt and ground black pepper. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle.
  • 03
  • For pine nut vinaigrette, fry pine nuts in oil in a small frying pan over medium heat until golden. Strain and reserve nuts and oil separately. Place vinegar in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until reduced to a third (about 15ml). Repeat with 100ml beetroot cooking liquid and cook for 15 minutes or until reduced to a third. Combine reduced vinegar, reduced beetroot liquid and reserved oil in a bowl, whisk to combine and season to taste.
  • 04
  • Cut beetroot into 3mm-thick slices, then, using a 4cm round cutter, cut rounds from slices. Arrange 3 beetroot discs on each plate, pipe 1 tbsp goat’s cheese mixture onto each disc and top with another disc. Drizzle with vinaigrette and scatter with pine nuts and cress.
Note To make sugar syrup, combine ½ cup white sugar and ½ cup water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and bring to the boil, then cool. Warren Turnbull prefers to use Kervella soft goat's cheese.

"Would you ask chef Warren Turnbull from Sydney's Restaurant Assiette for his pickled beetroot and creamed goat's cheese recipe?"
Rachel Stein-Holmes, Balmain, NSW

Request a recipe
To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, Australian Gourmet Traveller, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant's name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

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