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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.

Grilled lobster and vine leaves with confit garlic and tomato


Lobster meat stands up really well to robust flavours such as this confit garlic and tomato.

You'll need

5 small live green lobsters (about 800gm each) 3 lemons, halved 6 vine leaves in brine, drained   Confit garlic and tomato 600 ml olive oil 20 garlic cloves 750 gm vine-ripened truss cherry tomatoes, separated 6 thyme sprigs 6 pieces of lemon rind, removed with a peeler

Method

  • 01
  • For confit garlic and tomato, combine oil and garlic in a saucepan over low heat. Cook until garlic is tender but not coloured (20-30 minutes). Add tomatoes, thyme and rind, cook until tomatoes are tender and garlic is light golden (20-30 minutes). Set aside, keep warm.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, place lobsters in freezer for 30 minutes to render them insensible. Heat a char-grill or barbecue to high heat. Remove lobsters from freezer, spike them in the base of the head and split them in half with a heavy knife. Separate heads and legs from tail and reserve (see note). Brush tail meat with some confit oil, season to taste and grill, cut-side down, until golden (3-5 minutes), then turn and cook until just cooked through (3-5 minutes). Meanwhile, grill lemons, cut-side down, until golden (2-4 minutes). Transfer lobsters and lemons to a platter, spoon over warm confit garlic and tomato and drizzle with confit oil (see note).
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, brush vine leaves with a little confit oil and grill until charred and crisp (1-2 minutes on each side). Scatter vine leaves over lobsters and serve warm.

Note Lobster shells can be frozen for future use in sauces, soups and stocks. Remaining confit oil can be refrigerated for use in pastas, salads and other dishes.


At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

Featured in

Dec 2009

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