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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. 

Mussel chowder with crème fraîche


This recipe is similar to a New England-style chowder, which is often served with oyster crackers, traditionally used to thicken the soup. Use the classic clams instead of mussels if you prefer.

You'll need

100 ml dry white wine 1 kg black mussels, beards removed ½ large onion, diced 90 gm speck, diced 2 tsp olive oil 1 tsp thyme leaves 300 gm celeriac, diced 300 gm (about 2) floury potatoes (such as russet Burbanks), diced 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock To serve: crème fraîche, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and small salted crackers (optional)

Method

  • 01
  • Bring wine to the boil in a large saucepan over high heat, add mussels, cover with a lid and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until mussels open (3-5 minutes). Remove from pan and, when cool enough to handle, remove mussel meat from shells and set aside. Strain cooking liquor through a fine sieve and reserve.
  • 02
  • Sauté onion and speck in oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until onion is tender (5-7 minutes). Add thyme and stir for 1 minute, then add celeriac and potatoes, and stir to combine. Add stock and cooking liquor from mussels, and simmer rapidly until vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes).
  • 03
  • Add mussels to hot chowder, season to taste and stir to combine. Divide among bowls, top with crème fraîche, parsley and a good grind of pepper and serve with crackers.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

May 2015

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