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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Swordfish souvlaki with lemon and herb pilaf


You'll need

20 gm butter, coarsely chopped 80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil ½ onion, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 lemons, finely grated rind only Juice of 1 lemon, plus extra wedges to serve 17 small fresh bay leaves 200 gm long-grain rice, rinsed in cold water 400 ml chicken or fish stock, warmed 1 cup (loosely packed) each mint and flat-leaf parsley, coarsely torn 1 kg swordfish, cut into 2.5cm cubes 1 tbsp dried oregano

Method

  • 01
  • Heat butter and 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan or large casserole over medium-high heat. Add onion, two-thirds of garlic, half the rind and a bay leaf, then sauté until onion starts to soften (3-5 minutes). Add rice, stir to coat rice in oil, season to taste, then add warmed stock. Increase heat to high to bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, then cover with a lid, reduce heat to low and cook until rice is cooked through (15-20 minutes). Remove from heat, cover and stand for 5 minutes. Before serving, stir through lemon juice and fresh herbs.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, soak eight wooden skewers in water. Combine swordfish in a non-reactive bowl with oregano, remaining oil, garlic and rind, season to taste and set aside to marinate (10 minutes). Preheat a char-grill over medium-high heat. Thread five swordfish pieces and two bay leaves onto each skewer, then char-grill skewers, turning occasionally, until just cooked through (4-5 minutes). Serve hot with pilaf and lemon wedges.
This recipe is from the March 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

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