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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.

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Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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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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.

Coconut panna cotta with papaya, lime and vanilla


You'll need

140 gm shredded coconut 600 ml pouring cream 600 ml milk 260 gm caster sugar gelatine leaves (titanium strength), softened in cold water To serve: shaved red papaya   Vanilla-lime syrup 3 limes 440 gm (2 cups) caster sugar Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean (reserve pod for coconut panna cotta)   Papaya granita 1 ripe red papaya (about 650gm), seeds removed, coarsely chopped Juice of 1 lime, or to taste

Method

  • 01
  • For vanilla-lime syrup, zest the rind of the limes and set aside. Peel limes, then remove segments over a measuring jug to catch juices, squeezing trimmings until you have 30ml. Reserve segments and juice separately. Combine sugar, vanilla seeds and 300ml water in a small saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, add lime rind and cook until rind is tender and translucent and mixture is syrupy (6-8 minutes). Strain into a measuring jug (you should have 500ml). Remove rind with a slotted spoon and add to lime segments. Add lime juice to syrup, then pour 180ml syrup over lime segments and rind and refrigerate until required. Reserve remaining vanilla-lime syrup for papaya granita.
  • 02
  • For papaya granita, process papaya, lime juice, reserved vanilla-lime syrup and 125ml iced water in a food processor until smooth, strain through a fine sieve into a shallow metal tray and freeze, scraping every hour to form ice crystals (6 hours-overnight). Makes about 750ml.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Spread coconut evenly on an oven tray and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden (12-15 minutes). Transfer to a saucepan, add cream, milk, sugar and vanilla pod and simmer over medium heat to infuse (8-10 minutes). Remove from heat, cool to room temperature and press through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan (discard solids). Return coconut mixture to medium heat and bring to a simmer. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to coconut mixture and stir over medium heat until gelatine dissolves. Strain into a jug, divide among 8 small dessert bowls or glasses and refrigerate until set (3-4 hours).
  • 04
  • Top panna cotta with shaved papaya, lime segments and rind, drizzle with vanilla-lime syrup, top with papaya granita and serve.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Late-harvest riesling.

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