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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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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.

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.

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.

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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.

O Tama Carey's fried eggs with seeni sambol, coconut and turmeric

"I first cooked a version of this dish - inspired by the excellent deep-fried egg dish at Billy Kwong - while working at a restaurant in Sri Lanka," says O Tama Carey. "The lattice-like eggs are doused in a creamy turmeric curry sauce and topped with seeni sambol, a sweet-spiced caramelised onion relish. This dish is equally perfect for an indulgent breakfast as it is served as part of a larger meal." The recipe for the seeni sambol makes more than you need, but to get the right balance of spices you need to make at least this much. It keeps refrigerated for up to three weeks; use as an onion relish. The curry sauce can be made a day or two ahead.

Venetian chocolate cake with star anise gelato


You'll need

220 gm almond meal 200 gm dark chocolate (55% cocoa solids), finely chopped 175 gm softened butter 175 gm caster sugar 11 eggs, separated 80 ml amaretto For dusting: plain flour   Star anise gelato 675 ml pouring cream 4 star anise 170 gm caster sugar 2 egg yolks (about 70gm)   Chocolate sauce 75 gm caster sugar 65 ml pouring cream 200 gm dark chocolate (55% cocoa solids), finely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • For star anise gelato, bring cream and star anise to just below a simmer in a saucepan over low heat, refrigerate overnight to infuse.
  • 02
  • Whisk sugar and yolks in an electric mixer until doubled in size (3-5 minutes). Strain cream through a fine sieve into a saucepan over low heat, whisk in yolk mixture, then stir continuously until mixture thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon (or reaches 75C on a sugar thermometer; 8-10 minutes). Transfer to a bowl placed over ice, stir occasionally until cool (15-20 minutes), freeze in an ice-cream machine until required. Makes about 750ml.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 160C. Scatter almond meal on a baking tray and roast, stirring occasionally, until golden and toasted (3-5 minutes). Set aside to cool.
  • 04
  • Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over simmering water, stirring occasionally until glossy (2-3 minutes) and set aside.
  • 05
  • Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and creamy (3-5 minutes). Add yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add chocolate, amaretto and toasted almond meal, stir to combine, transfer to a bowl, set aside.
  • 06
  • Whisk eggwhite in an electric mixer to soft peaks (2-4 minutes). Fold into chocolate mixture with a metal spoon until incorporated, then spoon into a 25cm-diameter buttered and floured springform pan lined with baking paper. Bake until just cooked through (40-45 minutes), cool slightly (10 minutes), release sides of pan and cool to room temperature.
  • 07
  • Meanwhile, for chocolate sauce, combine sugar and 125ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir to dissolve sugar, bring to the boil, then remove from heat to cool slightly. Meanwhile, bring cream to the simmer in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisking continuously, add chocolate a little bit at a time, mixing until smooth and glossy. Add sugar syrup, whisk to combine, serve warm over Venetian chocolate cake with star anise gelato.
This recipe is from the August 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

“I love the Venetian chocolate cake at Assaggio Ristorante. It’s the next best thing to being in Venice – maybe better. Please publish the recipe.”
Diane Goulis, Adelaide, SA

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 14 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 14 people

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