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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lemon dream

"This cake is the new religion at Flour and Stone, and never fails to send those worshipping it into a dream of billowy clouds," says Ingram. "It has come to many parties, including one where its name was changed to reflect the euphoric place it transports you to."

Honey mousse with roast dates, fig and hazelnuts


You'll need

5 egg yolks 200 gm honey 3 gelatine leaves (gold strength), softened in cold water 375 ml (1½ cups) pouring cream, whipped to soft peaks 4 small black figs, such as mission, halved 60 gm roasted hazelnuts, peeled and coarsely crushed   Roast dates Pinch each ground cinnamon, cloves and cardamom 12 fresh dates 450 ml freshly squeezed orange juice 150 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice 120 gm caster sugar 6 green cardamom pods, bruised 100 ml olive oil

Method

  • 01
  • Whisk egg yolks in an electric mixer until thick and pale (5-7 minutes). Combine honey and 75ml water in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until combined. Bring to the boil (be careful not to boil over) and cook until syrup reaches 115C on a sugar thermometer (7-10 minutes). With motor running, gradually pour syrup over yolks (reserving about 2 tbsp in saucepan). Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to reserved syrup, stir to dissolve, then add to yolk mixture, whisking continuously until cold (7-10 minutes). Gently fold through cream, then spoon mousse into a 1.5-litre container, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set (1-2 hours).
  • 02
  • For roast dates, preheat oven to 180C. Bring a small saucepan of water and ground spices to the boil. Add dates, then remove from heat and stand for 5 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel, remove seeds and place in a small baking dish. Combine fruit juices, sugar, cardamom pods, 225ml water and 1 tsp salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Pour over dates, cover with aluminium foil and roast until tender (6-8 minutes). Remove from oven, remove foil and cool completely in syrup. Remove dates with a slotted spoon and strain syrup through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan. Bring syrup back to the boil over medium heat and cook until reduced by half (15-20 minutes). Add olive oil and whisk to combine.
  • 03
  • Serve quenelles of honey mousse with roast dates and figs scattered with hazelnuts and drizzled with spiced syrup.

“On a trip to WA, we had a night out at Bistro Felix, rounded off by the oh-so-delicious date, fig and mousse dessert. Would Damien Young be willing to pass on the recipe?”
Davina Coles, via email

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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 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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