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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Chicken and lemon tagine with cracked green olives


You'll need

1 chicken (about 1.6 kg), jointed 1 onion, coarsely grated 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tsp each ground ginger and finely ground black pepper ½ tsp each ground cumin and sweet paprika ¼ tsp saffron threads, ground with a mortar and pestle 900 gm green olives, pitted 120 ml lemon juice, plus extra to taste 400 gm (2 cups) couscous 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock 1 cup (firmly packed) each flat-leaf parsley and coriander, coarsely chopped, plus extra to serve To serve: toasted slivered almonds and thinly sliced preserved lemon rind

Method

  • 01
  • Combine chicken, onion, garlic, spices and 1 litre water in a large casserole, bring to the boil over medium heat, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer, turning chicken occasionally, until almost cooked through (15-20 minutes). Add olives and lemon juice and cook until chicken is tender (10-15 minutes).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, preheat griller to high. Place couscous in a heatproof bowl, drizzle with olive oil and massage through the grains. Bring chicken stock to the boil, pour over couscous, stir, cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, stand for 10 minutes. Remove plastic wrap, season generously to taste and fluff grains with a fork.
  • 03
  • Remove chicken from casserole, place on oven tray lined with foil, grill, skin side up, until brown (3-5 minutes), set aside, keep warm.
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, reduce cooking liquid over medium-high heat until thick (7-10 minutes), season to taste with extra lemon juice, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Return chicken to casserole, stir through herbs and serve with couscous, scattered with extra herbs, slivered almonds and preserved lemon rind.
This recipe is from the November 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

“The tagine at Pata Negra is among the best I’ve had outside Morocco. Would you ask chef Kurt Sampson for the recipe?”
Julia North, Applecross, WA

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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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