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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Braised white beans with chicken and parmesan


For a vegetarian option, double the white bean recipe and serve it with char-grilled bread drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with garlic.

You'll need

500 ml (2 cups) chicken or vegetable stock 2 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 800 gm canned white beans, drained, rinsed under cold water 2 thyme sprigs 100 gm thinly sliced curly kale 40 gm finely grated parmesan, plus extra, to serve   Chicken meatballs 500 gm minced chicken 60 gm parmesan, finely grated 50 gm fine fresh sourdough breadcrumbs 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 tbsp thyme

Method

  • 01
  • For chicken meatballs, combine ingredients in a bowl, season to taste, form heaped tablespoons of mixture into balls and set aside on an oven tray.
  • 02
  • Bring stock to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Add meatballs in batches and simmer until just cooked (4-5 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reserve stock.
  • 03
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until tender (4-6 minutes). Add beans and thyme, stir to coat, then add reserved stock and simmer until reduced by half (4-5 minutes). Add kale, stir until beginning to soften (1-2 minutes), then add meatballs and stir to warm through. Add parmesan, season to taste, spoon into serving bowls and serve hot with extra parmesan.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Jul 2013

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