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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

O Tama Carey's fried eggs with seeni sambol, coconut and turmeric

"I first cooked a version of this dish - inspired by the excellent deep-fried egg dish at Billy Kwong - while working at a restaurant in Sri Lanka," says O Tama Carey. "The lattice-like eggs are doused in a creamy turmeric curry sauce and topped with seeni sambol, a sweet-spiced caramelised onion relish. This dish is equally perfect for an indulgent breakfast as it is served as part of a larger meal." The recipe for the seeni sambol makes more than you need, but to get the right balance of spices you need to make at least this much. It keeps refrigerated for up to three weeks; use as an onion relish. The curry sauce can be made a day or two ahead.

Greek-style roast lamb, artichokes and potatoes


You'll need

12 artichokes (see note) 1 lemon 2 kg leg of lamb 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced 1 kg bintje potatoes, quartered 5 bay leaves 1-2 tbsp rosemary leaves 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil 4 lemons, juice only 12 spring onions, trimmed and halved

Method

  • 01
  • Trim each artichoke back to its heart, by snapping off all leaves and discarding the hairy choke. Rub the hearts immediately with a lemon, then place into a large bowl of acidulated water until ready to use.
  • 02
  • Cut slits into the top of the lamb and insert the garlic. Place in a roasting tray, then add potatoes and bay leaves. Sprinkle with rosemary, olive oil and season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add 2 cups water and lemon juice. Roast at 180C for 1 hour, tossing potatoes occasionally and basting lamb with the pan juices.
  • 03
  • Add artichokes and spring onions to the pan, combining well with the potatoes, and cook for another 45 minutes, basting occasionally, until the lamb is cooked (see note). Remove from the oven and stand for 20 minutes. Carve and serve with vegetables and salads.

Note If you can't find fresh artichokes, look for the frozen artichoke hearts imported from Egypt, available in select Middle Eastern delicatessens. Don't substitute with the tinned or bottled variety - they don't withstand roasting. If you prefer to cook your lamb for longer, remove the artichokes and spring onions, return lamb to the oven and cook to your liking.

This recipe is from the April 2006 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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