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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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Char-grilled asparagus and mozzarella salad with warm caper vinaigrette


You'll need

1/3 cup firmly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/3 loaf Italian-style bread, crusts removed, cut into 2cm cubes 3 bunches of thick-speared asparagus, ends trimmed 3 balls (125gm each) buffalo mozzarella, coarsely torn 2 cups snowpea tendrils or rocket leaves 2 tbsp salted capers, rinsed, soaked in water for 15 minutes, then drained 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 tbsp finely chopped chives

Method

  • 01
  • Place parsley in a small bowl, cover with boiling water, drain immediately, refresh in iced water, then drain again and squeeze out excess water. Process parsley and 1/3 cup olive oil in a food processor until very finely chopped, then transfer to a small frying pan.
  • 02
  • Place bread on an oven tray, drizzle with 1½ tbsp olive oil and cook at 190C for 10 minutes or until golden. Brush asparagus lightly with a little olive oil, then char-grill or barbecue, in batches, for 1-2 minutes on each side or until lightly charred and tender. Transfer to a large bowl, add toasted bread, mozzarella and snowpea tendrils.
  • 03
  • Add capers to oil mixture in frying pan and cook over medium heat until just sizzling, add lemon juice and chives, then remove from heat. Season to taste, then pour over salad and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

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