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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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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.

Korean-style oxtail broth


You'll need

1.5 kg medium oxtail pieces 2 onions, coarsely chopped 1 head of garlic, halved 5 cm piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced To serve: steamed rice   Kimchi daikon ½ daikon (white radish), thinly sliced widthways using a mandolin 1 tsp ground chilli ½ tsp minced ginger 1 clove of garlic, minced   Garlic and chilli seasoning 2 cloves of garlic, minced 2 tbsp sea salt 2 tsp dried chilli flakes 2 green onions, thinly sliced

Method

  • 01
  • For kimchi daikon, combine ingredients and 1 tbsp sea salt in a non-reactive bowl and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and stand at room temperature overnight.
  • 02
  • Place oxtail in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Drain, rinse oxtail and rinse out pan. Return oxtail to pan with onion, garlic and ginger, cover generously with cold water and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, skimming to remove scum and topping up with water as necessary, until broth becomes milky and meat falls from the bone (about 3½ hours). Refrigerate overnight, if desired. Place some rice in each serving bowl. Remove oxtail from broth, coarsely flake meat from bones and place in bowls. Strain liquid, ladle over meat and serve with kimchi daikon and garlic and chilli seasoning.
  • 03
  • Just before serving, for garlic and chilli seasoning, combine ingredients using your fingers. Pass separately for each diner to add to taste.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Fragrant, yeasty, pale ale.

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