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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.

Spinach, ocean trout and risoni pie


This is a take on coulibiac, a Russian salmon pie of yeasted buttery dough. Be sure to chill the pastry well before assembling the pie because it makes it so much easier to handle.

You'll need

800 gm skinless piece of ocean trout fillet (about two-thirds of a side) 250 ml dry vermouth 5 bunches English spinach (about 750gm), trimmed 2 tbsp olive oil 100 gm round, mild pancetta, finely chopped 1 onion, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 6 anchovy fillets 150 gm risoni 1 butter puff pastry sheet (375gm; see note) ¼ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley 1 egg, lightly beaten, for eggwash

Method

  • 01
  • Fit trout snugly in a non-reactive dish. Add vermouth, refrigerate to marinate (1 hour).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, blanch spinach (1 minute) and refresh. Drain, then squeeze excess water from spinach and process in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Refrigerate until required.
  • 03
  • Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and onion and stir occasionally until soft (8-10 minutes). Add garlic and anchovies, stir occasionally until anchovies break down (1-2 minutes). Drain excess fat and transfer mixture to a bowl. Cool slightly, add spinach, season to taste and refrigerate until required.
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, cook risoni in boiling salted water until al dente (8-10 minutes). Drain, rinse under cold water and set aside.
  • 05
  • Preheat oven to 240C. Roll pastry to a 5mm-thick rectangle the same length as trout, place onto a baking-paper-lined oven tray and refrigerate until chilled (30 minutes).
  • 06
  • Arrange spinach mixture lengthways in an even layer along centre of pastry sheet. Drain trout, pat dry with absorbent paper and place on top of spinach (trim ends, if necessary, to fit). Combine risoni and parsley in a bowl, place in an even layer over trout, refrigerate briefly to chill (20 minutes). Brush one long edge of pastry with eggwash. With longest side facing you, roll pastry over to form a cylinder, joining longest sides together and rolling so seam lies underneath. Refrigerate until chilled (30 minutes). Score top of pastry into portions, brush with remaining eggwash, season with sea salt flakes, bake until golden and just cooked through (20-30 minutes). Serve immediately with a salad, if desired.

Note We prefer to use Carême butter puff pastry. Alternatively, buy a 375gm block of butter puff pastry from your local pâtisserie and roll into a 5mm-thick rectangle.


At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

Jun 2009

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