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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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

Silver dollar burgers


You can make the buns and relish the day before - just refresh the buns in a hot oven before serving.

You'll need

400 gm each minced veal and pork 1 small onion, grated 1 egg ½ tbsp chopped thyme ¼ tsp dried oregano 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil 240 gm aged cheddar, grated 6 mini Roma tomatoes, sliced 1 baby gem lettuce, shredded   Tomato relish 5 vine-ripened tomatoes, scored 80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 red capsicum, finely diced 3 small red chillies, finely chopped 1 tsp each ground coriander and ground cumin ¼ tsp ground turmeric 125 ml (½ cup) white wine vinegar 110 gm (½ cup) raw caster sugar   Buns 7 gm (1 sachet) dried yeast 400 gm bread flour For brushing: eggwash

Method

  • 01
  • For tomato relish, blanch tomatoes (10-20 seconds), then refresh. Peel, finely chop, set aside. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onion and garlic, sauté until light golden and very soft (15 minutes). Add capsicum, chilli and spices, cook for 5 minutes, then add tomato, vinegar and sugar and season well to taste. Stir occasionally until very thick (25-30 minutes), then set aside to cool. Makes about 2 cups. Tomato relish will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for one week.
  • 02
  • For buns, preheat oven to 250C. Combine yeast and 250ml lukewarm water in a large bowl and stand until foamy (5 minutes). Add flour and ½ tsp salt, mix until dough comes together, turn onto a lightly floured work surface, knead until smooth and elastic (5-10 minutes). Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, set aside until doubled in size (30 minutes). Knock dough back, divide into 24 even pieces, roll each into a ball and place on two trays lined with baking paper. Cover with a tea towel, stand until doubled in size (15 minutes). Brush with eggwash and place first tray in oven, spray oven with a mist of water, cook until buns are golden (10 minutes). Repeat with remaining tray. Cool slightly, cut in half and place bases back on tray.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, combine minces, onion, egg and herbs in a bowl, season liberally to taste. Roll 24 golf-ball-sized patties, make an indent in the top of each, set aside on a tray. Heat half the oil in a frying pan, add half the patties, turn occasionally until golden and almost cooked through (5-7 minutes). Transfer patties, indent-side up, to bread bases, then repeat with remaining patties. Fill indent-side of patties with cheese and bake until melted and patties are just cooked through (3-5 minutes). Top each with a tomato slice, lettuce and tomato relish, sandwich with bun tops, secure with a toothpick and serve hot.

At A Glance

  • Serves 24 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 24 people

Featured in

Nov 2009

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