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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Caramelised onion, fennel and potato Cornish pies


A pasty is really just a free-form pie and if you aren't a pie-lover, you'll still love a first-class pasty.

You'll need

165 ml extra-virgin olive oil 4 onions, finely chopped 2 tbsp caster sugar 30 gm butter, coarsely chopped 1½ tbsp fennel seeds 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 tsp finely chopped thyme leaves 700 gm Sebago potato (about 2), cut into 1½ cm dice 180 gm (1½ cups) frozen peas 3 baby fennel, fronds reserved and coarsely chopped 1 egg, lightly beaten, for eggwash 1 lemon, juice only   Pasty dough 5 gm dried yeast 700 gm “00” flour, plus extra for dusting 125 ml (½ cup) extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  • 01
  • Heat 125ml oil in a large wide saucepan over high heat. Add onion, stir occasionally until soft (10 minutes). Add sugar, butter and fennel seeds and stir occasionally until caramelised (25-30 minutes), add garlic and thyme in last 5 minutes of cooking, set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for pasty dough, combine yeast and 400ml warm water in a bowl, stir to dissolve, stand until foamy (5-10 minutes). Place flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, add oil, a large pinch of sea salt and yeast mixture and knead until smooth and elastic (5 minutes). Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap, stand until doubled in size (40 minutes-1 hour).
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 220C. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add potato, cook until tender (8 minutes). Drain, add to onion mixture with peas and reserved fennel fronds, season to taste, set aside to cool.
  • 04
  • Divide dough into 8 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll into a 20cm-diameter circle. Place one-eighth of onion mixture in the centre, brush edges with eggwash and fold pastry over filling to enclose. Twist edges to seal and place on a baking-paper-lined oven tray. Repeat with remaining dough and onion mixture, brush with eggwash, dust with flour and bake, in batches, until golden and heated through (15-20 minutes).
  • 05
  • Meanwhile, thinly slice fennel on a mandolin and place in a bowl of iced water until crisp (5 minutes), then drain well and combine in a bowl with lemon juice and remaining olive oil, season to taste and serve immediately with Cornish pies.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

Jun 2009

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