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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.

Zabaglione cake with berries


You'll need

1 kg (about 6 punnets) mixed berries, such as strawberries, raspberries and mulberries, to serve For dusting: pure icing sugar   Zabaglione 8 egg yolks 100 gm white sugar 200 ml dry Marsala, plus extra for brushing 2 gelatine sheets (titanium strength), softened in cold water 300 ml thickened cream, whisked to soft peaks, refrigerated   Sponge cake 5 eggs 165 gm (¾ cup) caster sugar 150 gm plain flour 60 gm butter, melted and cooled

Method

  • 01
  • For sponge cake, preheat oven to 180C. Whisk eggs and sugar in an electric mixer until tripled in volume (3-5 minutes). Sift over flour, fold to combine, then fold through butter. Spoon into a buttered and floured 17.5cm x 25cm cake pan and bake until cake springs back lightly when touched and a skewer inserted withdraws clean (15-20 minutes). Cool in pan for 5 minutes on a wire rack, then turn out and cool completely.
  • 02
  • Trim top of sponge flush, then cut horizontally into thirds. From the top slice, cut a round to fit the base of a 1.5 litre plastic wrap-lined flat-based bowl and place in base. Cut another round from sponge to fit top of bowl and set aside. Cut remaining slices vertically into 3cm-wide rectangles and arrange around sides of bowl, leaving a gap between each. Halve remaining sponge rectangles diagonally to form triangles and fit into gaps with pointed ends towards the base. Brush prepared sponge lining with Marsala and set aside.
  • 03
  • For zabaglione, place egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl and whisk until thick and creamy (5-10 minutes). Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, then add the Marsala and whisk until mixture is very thick and holds a ribbon (10-15 minutes). Squeeze excess water from gelatine and whisk into egg mixture until dissolved. Remove from heat and place over ice, whisking occasionally until chilled (10-20 minutes), then gently fold through cream and spoon into cake-lined mould. Trim edges of sponge flush with zabaglione. Place reserved sponge round on top. Brush with Marsala, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set (6 hours-overnight). Serve cake topped with berries and dusted with icing sugar.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

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