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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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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.

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.

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.

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.

Bread pudding with caramel ice-cream


You'll need

700 ml milk 150 gm good-quality soft white bread (½ loaf), crusts removed, coarsely torn 75 gm seedless raisins ½ tsp each ground ginger, ground allspice and ground cinnamon ½ tsp finely grated nutmeg Finely grated rind and juice of ½ orange 60 gm butter, melted and cooled 2 eggs, lightly beaten 260 gm caster sugar 1 tsp plain flour   Caramel ice-cream 180 gm caster sugar 80 ml (1/3 cup) pouring cream 400 ml milk 6 egg yolks

Method

  • 01
  • For caramel ice-cream, stir 60gm sugar and 20ml water in a saucepan over medium heat to dissolve sugar, brush down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush and cook without stirring until dark caramel (6-7 minutes). Remove from heat, add half the cream (be careful as hot caramel will spit), swirl to combine and set aside. Combine milk and remaining cream in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to the simmer. Whisk remaining sugar and yolks in a large bowl until pale, gradually add milk mixture, whisking to incorporate. Transfer to a clean saucepan and stir over low-medium heat until mixture coats a spoon thickly (6-7 minutes). Strain into a bowl, add caramel mixture and refrigerate to develop flavours (4 hours). Freeze in an ice-cream machine, then freeze until required. Makes about 800ml.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, combine milk, bread, raisins, spices, orange rind and orange juice in a bowl, stir to combine, refrigerate to develop flavours (2 hours), then stir through melted butter.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 175C. Whisk eggs and 200gm sugar in a bowl until pale (3-4 minutes), then whisk in flour. Stir in bread mixture and pour into a 6cm-deep, 18cm x 26cm ovenproof dish. Scatter with remaining sugar, place dish in a large roasting tray and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up sides of dish. Bake until golden and just set (30 minutes). Serve warm with caramel ice-cream.
This recipe is from the August 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

“I’ve been trying to replicate the bread pudding from London’s Canteen without success. Would they be happy to share the recipe?”
Harold Flynn, Lane Cove, NSW

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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 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

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