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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.

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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.

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.

Coconut-braised wagyu beef shin with pickled cucumber salad


"I can't help but order the wagyu beef with pickled cucumber every time I visit Easy Tiger. Do you think the chefs would mind revealing the recipe?"
Lara Tsen, Yarraville, Vic

REQUEST A RECIPE
To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, Australian Gourmet Traveller, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email fareexchange@bauer-media.com.au. Please include the restaurant's name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.

You'll need

1 large beef shin (about 1.5kg bone out; see note) 800 ml Thai soy sauce (such as Healthy Boy) 1 tbsp coriander seeds 2 tsp white peppercorns 1 tsp caster sugar 800 ml coconut cream To serve: steamed jasmine rice   Pickled cucumber salad 100 gm caster sugar 100 ml rice wine vinegar 2 Lebanese cucumbers, thinly sliced on a mandolin 3 red shallots, thinly sliced on a mandolin 1 lemongrass stalk (white part only), finely chopped ½ cup each (loosely packed) coriander, sawtooth coriander and Thai basil

Method

  • 01
  • Place beef in a non-reactive container that it fits in snugly. Add soy sauce to cover (you may need extra), add coriander seeds, peppercorns and sugar, cover and refrigerate to marinate, turning occasionally (8 hours to overnight).
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 130C. Drain beef from marinade (discard marinade) and place in a small roasting dish or casserole. Add coconut cream to cover, cover with foil and roast until very tender (8-10 hours). Set aside to rest (15 mintues).
  • 03
  • For pickled cucumber salad, stir sugar, vinegar and 100ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat to dissolve sugar, set aside to cool, then transfer to a serving bowl. Just before serving, toss in remaining ingredients.
  • 04
  • Cut beef into large pieces, pour braising liquid over, top with pickled cucumber salad and serve hot with steamed rice.

Note At Easy Tiger this dish is often paired with son-in-law eggs. Allow eight hours to marinate the beef or begin this recipe a day ahead. At the restaurant, chef Jarrod Hudson uses Sher wagyu beef shin; if it's unavailable, substitute another wagyu shin or regular beef shin (you may need to order it ahead).


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Featured in

Dec 2013

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