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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. 

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.

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.

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.

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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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.

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.

Hazelnut, fig and coffee syrup cake


Hazelnuts, figs and coffee are a union of flavours that work so well together. For best results, make this cake on the day of serving.

You'll need

250 gm (1 1/3 cups) hazelnuts 200 gm (1¼ cups) pure icing sugar 250 gm butter, at room temperature 6 eggs 110 gm self-raising flour, sifted   Fig and coffee syrup 200 gm dried figs 60 ml (¼ cup) amaretto 125 ml (½ cup) strong espresso coffee 110 gm (½ cup) caster sugar

Method

  • 01
  • For fig and coffee syrup, combine ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to the boil, then simmer over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until syrupy. Cool and set aside.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 200C. In a food processor, process hazelnuts for 1 minute or until finely ground, add icing sugar and process for another 20 seconds. Using an electric mixer, beat butter for 2-3 minutes or until pale and creamy, add hazelnut mixture and beat for another minute. Add eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition to incorporate, then add flour and beat until combined. Spoon cake batter into a greased and baking paper-lined 19cm x 26cm oval cake pan and tap pan on bench to level. Bake in centre of oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted withdraws clean, then cool cake in pan on a wire rack until room temperature.
  • 03
  • To serve, invert cake onto a wire rack, then invert again onto a platter. Remove half of the figs from syrup, arrange on top of cake and drizzle cake with half of the syrup. Serve with remaining figs and syrup to the side.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Nov 2007

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