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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.

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.

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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.

Pea and ham soup

Mustard-crusted roast beef with peas à la Française


You'll need

70 gm (¼ cup) Dijon mustard 1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve 2 tsp each finely chopped thyme, rosemary, chives and tarragon, plus extra to serve 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 1 tbsp olive oil 4 pieces beef fillet (200gm each), at room temperature 80 ml dry white wine   Peas à la Française 1½ tbsp olive oil 1 small onion, finely chopped 2 bacon rashers, diced ½ garlic clove, finely chopped 80 ml dry white wine 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock 2 thyme sprigs 1 baby cos lettuce, coarsely chopped 200 gm frozen peas

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 220C. Stir mustard, herbs and garlic in a bowl to combine, season to taste and set aside.
  • 02
  • For peas à la Française, heat oil in a deep frying pan over medium-high heat, add onion, bacon and garlic and sauté until onion is tender and bacon begins to crisp (4-5 minutes). Deglaze pan with wine and simmer until reduced by half (1-2 minutes). Add stock and thyme and simmer to develop flavours (4-5 minutes). Add lettuce and peas, season to taste and simmer until lettuce and peas are just tender (4-5 minutes).
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat, add beef and brown well all over (3-4 minutes). Pat beef dry with paper towels, brush with half the mustard mixture, return to pan, transfer to oven and roast until cooked to your liking (4-5 minutes for medium-rare). Set aside to rest for 5 minutes. Deglaze pan with wine and reduce by half (1-2 minutes). Whisk in remaining mustard mixture and a couple of spoonfuls of pea-braising liquid and season to taste. Serve beef with peas à la Française, spoon pan juices over and scatter with extra herbs.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Oct 2015

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