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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. 

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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.

Pistachio and saffron cake with yoghurt glaze


You'll need

  Cake 220 gm soft butter 250 gm raw caster sugar 3 eggs 1 lemon rind, finely grated ½ tsp saffron threads moistened in 50ml warm milk 265 gm (1 cup) sheeps’ milk or thick natural yoghurt 125 gm pistachios, finely ground 100 gm plain flour 1 tsp baking powder To serve: pistachio slivers   Yoghurt glaze 55 gm sheeps’ milk yoghurt 2 tsp lemon juice 155 gm pure icing sugar

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 160C. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well to combine, then add lemon rind, saffron and milk and beat to combine. Add yoghurt, pistachios, flour and baking powder and fold to combine. Spoon into a buttered and base-lined 28cm fluted tart pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and centre springs back when lightly pressed. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on a wire rack placed over a tray.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile for yoghurt glaze, combine yoghurt and lemon juice in a small bowl and mix until smooth, sieve over icing sugar and mix to combine, adding a little water if necessary to reach a drizzling consistency. Pour over cake while still warm, allowing to drip over sides. Scatter with pistachio slivers and serve warm or at room temperature.

At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

Drink Suggestion

Sweet moscatel.

Featured in

Oct 2007

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