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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

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.

Pan-fried whiting with lemon and caper crumbs


You'll need

90 ml olive oil 3 golden shallots, thinly sliced into rings 1 lemon, juice only 8 (about 80gm each) sand whiting fillets For dusting: seasoned flour 20 gm butter, coarsely chopped To serve: green salad   Lemon and caper crumbs 80 gm crustless day-old sourdough bread, coarsely torn 80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped 30 gm salted capers, rinsed and squeezed 2 lemons, finely grated rind only 2 tbsp thyme leaves

Method

  • 01
  • For crumbs, process bread in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Set aside. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add garlic and capers and cook, stirring, until capers are crisp (about 3 minutes). Add crumbs to pan and cook, stirring, until crisp (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir through lemon rind and thyme and set aside.
  • 02
  • Wipe out pan with absorbent paper. Return to heat, add 30ml oil and shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softening (about 5 minutes). Add lemon juice and cook until evaporated (about 2 minutes), season to taste, transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
  • 03
  • Lightly dust fish in seasoned flour, shaking off excess. Wipe out pan again, add 30ml olive oil and half the butter, and heat until butter foams. Add half the fish to pan, skin-side down, and cook until golden (about 2 minutes). Turn and cook for another minute, then transfer to a plate and keep warm. Repeat with remaining butter, oil and fish. Serve with shallots scattered with the crumbs, and a green salad to the side.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Apr 2008

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