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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.

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.

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.

Chow mein noodles with tofu, Chinese bacon and ginger


This is a far cry from the old-school takeaway chow mein. Chow mein noodles are firm and hold up to stir-frying well.

You'll need

400 gm fresh chow mein noodles, rinsed under cold running water 80 ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil 300 gm firm tofu, cut into 2cm cubes 80 gm mild pancetta or Chinese bacon, diced (see note) 60 gm ginger, cut into julienne 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 80 ml (1/3 cup) Shaoxing wine 80 ml (1/3 cup) chicken stock, or water 80 ml (1/3 cup) light soy sauce 1 tbsp dark soy sauce 3 cups (loosely packed) amaranth (see note) 2 spring onions, thinly sliced into rounds, plus extra cut into julienne to garnish 1 tsp roasted sesame oil, or to taste To serve: bean sprouts and roasted chilli oil (optional)

Method

  • 01
  • Cook noodles in a saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (3-5 minutes), then drain and set aside in a colander to steam dry.
  • 02
  • Heat oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Add tofu and bacon in batches and stir-fry until golden (2-3 minutes), then set aside. Add ginger and garlic to wok and stir-fry until fragrant (20-30 seconds), then add Shaoxing wine, stock and soy sauces, and bring to the boil. Add noodles, toss to coat and warm through, then add amaranth and spring onion and toss until greens are half-wilted (10-30 seconds). Serve hot topped with roasted sesame oil to taste, bean sprouts and julienne spring onion, with chilli oil to the side.

Note Chinese bacon is available from the meat section of most Asian supermarkets and grocers. Amaranth is a soft-leaf Asian green that can also be purple; if it's unavailable substitute other leafy Chinese greens or English spinach.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

May 2015

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