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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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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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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.

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.

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.

Fried rice with prawns, pineapple, green onion and coriander


You'll need

2-4 green birdseye chillies, finely chopped 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 2 coriander roots, scraped 2 tbsp vegetable oil 6 large green king prawns, peeled, tails and intestinal tracts removed, thickly sliced 2 eggs, lightly whisked 1 tsp shrimp paste, diluted in 2 tbsp water 2 cups (½ cup uncooked) boiled jasmine rice, cold 1 poached chicken breast, shredded (see note) 40 gm (½ cup) fried shallots (see note) 90 gm (about ½ cup) diced pineapple 8 longans, peeled, halved and seeds removed 4 snake beans, thinly sliced 4 tbsp each fish sauce and lime juice To taste: white sugar 2 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally To serve: coriander leaves and lime wedges

Method

  • 01
  • Combine chilli, garlic, coriander root and 1 tsp sea salt in a mortar and, using a pestle, pound to a fine paste.
  • 02
  • Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat, add paste and stirfry for 30 seconds or until fragrant and starting to colour. Add prawn, egg and stir to scramble. Add shrimp paste and stir vigorously to incorporate. Add rice and cook, stirring, until warmed through. Add chicken, fried shallots, fruit and beans and season to taste with fish sauce, lime, sugar and salt. Serve in bowls scattered with green onion and coriander and lime wedges to the side.
Note To poach chicken, combine 1 chopped green onion, 2 coriander sprigs, a small piece of ginger, thinly sliced, and 3 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat, add chicken, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool chicken in stock. Fried shallots are available from Asian grocery stores.

“Andrew Gimber’s Thai fried rice at Rae’s on Watego’s in Byron Bay is awesome. Could you ask him for his recipe.”
Ruby Devlin, Coogee, 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 2 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 2 people

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