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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

Wagyu burger


You'll need

30 gm unsalted butter 3 onions (about 600gm), coarsely chopped 30 ml Madeira 400 gm wagyu, coarsely minced (see note) 100 gm wagyu fat, coarsely minced (see note) 50 gm dried fine breadcrumbs 1 egg, lightly whisked 2 tsp grapeseed oil 4 thin slices of vintage cheddar (80gm) 4 brioche rolls, split (see note) To serve: mayonnaise 1 baby cos, outside leaves discarded, leaves separated   Pickled beetroot 500 gm beetroot (about 3), trimmed, washed 200 ml red wine 100 ml ruby port 100 ml cabernet sauvignon vinegar 50 gm white sugar   Carmelised onion 2 onions, thinly sliced 2 tsp grapeseed oil

Method

  • 01
  • For pickled beetroot, combine ingredients with 1 litre water and 1 tsp salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to the boil, reduce heat to low, then simmer gently until beetroot are tender and liquid reduces to 400ml (1½-2 hours). When cool enough to handle, peel and thinly slice beetroot and set aside. Strain cooking liquid through a muslin-lined fine sieve into a saucepan, bring to the boil over medium heat and reduce to 260ml (10-12 minutes). Place beetroot in a sterilised jar, cover with liquid and seal. Pickled beetroot may be kept in refrigerator for up to 1 month. Makes 600ml.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for caramelised onion, combine onion and oil in a saucepan, season to taste and stir frequently over low-medium heat until caramelised (45 minutes-1 hour). Set aside and keep warm.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat, add onion and stir frequently until caramelised (35-40 minutes). Deglaze pan with Madeira, cool completely, then transfer to a bowl and add minces, breadcrumbs and egg and mix with your hands to combine. Season to taste. Mould into 4 patties, place on a tray, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • 04
  • Preheat oven to 250C. Heat grapeseed oil in an ovenproof frying pan and sear burgers over medium heat until browned (1-2 minutes each side). Transfer to oven, roast for 1 minute, then top each burger with a cheese slice and roast until cheese just melts (1-2 minutes).
  • 05
  • Meanwhile, preheat a grill on high heat and lightly toast cut-side of rolls, then spread with mayonnaise. Top roll bases with lettuce, burger, caramelised onion and beetroot. Sandwich with roll tops and serve immediately.
Note If you don’t have a mincer, you may need to ask your butcher to prepare this for you in advance. Keep mince cold as it softens easily at room temperature. Brioche rolls are available from select bakers. Substitute with a soft burger bun.

“On a trip to Sydney I had the wagyu burger at Plan B café. I’d love you to ask chef Justin North to share his recipe.”
Anh Nguyen, Oakleigh, Vic

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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