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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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

Pea and ham soup

Fennel bomboloni with orange jam


These bite-sized beauties are equally good whether served in the morning or at any other time of day. Be warned - they're incredibly moreish. Serve them piping hot. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

You'll need

450 gm (3 cups) plain flour 8 gm dried yeast (about 1 sachet) 60 gm (2 tbsp) honey 2 oranges, finely grated rind only 30 ml milk 6 egg yolks 70 gm raw caster sugar 45 gm butter, softened For deep-frying: vegetable oil To serve: mascarpone   Orange jam 3 oranges, peeled, pith removed, flesh coarsely chopped 220 gm (1 cup) caster sugar 1 lemon, juice only 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped   Fennel and orange sugar 1 tbsp fennel seeds 110 gm (½ cup) raw caster sugar ½ orange, finely grated rind only

Method

  • 01
  • Combine 100gm flour, yeast, honey, orange rind and 130ml lukewarm water in the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk until smooth, cover and stand in a warm place until foamy (45 minutes-1 hour). Change attachment to a dough hook. Add milk, egg yolks, sugar, 1 tsp sea salt and remaining flour. Mix on low speed to combine, add butter and mix until dough is silky and sticky (4-5 minutes). Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for orange jam, combine ingredients in a small saucepan, stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and stir occasionally until jammy (25-30 minutes). Cool completely. Makes about 400ml. Jam will keep refrigerated in a sterilised jar for up to 1 month.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, for fennel and orange sugar, dry-roast fennel seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat (1-2 minutes), then coarsely grind in a mortar and pestle. Cool, combine in a shallow tray with sugar and orange rind and set aside.
  • 04
  • Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large deep-sided saucepan to 180C. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1cm thick, cut out rounds with a 3cm-diameter cutter (discard scraps). Deep-fry, turning once, in four batches, until puffed and golden (2-3 minutes), drain on absorbent paper, roll in fennel and orange sugar and serve immediately with orange jam and mascarpone.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

May 2009

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