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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.

Leek, crème fraîche and aged chèvre tart


You can use any aged goat's cheese for this tart. It just needs to be firm enough to slice thinly without crumbling. Serve with a salad of blanched green beans and crisp leaves dressed with a simple vinaigrette for the perfect weekend lunch.

You'll need

50 gm butter, coarsely chopped 2 leeks, thinly sliced 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 185 ml dry white wine 400 gm crème fraîche 3 eggs ¼ cup each (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, thyme, chervil and tarragon 250 gm aged goat’s cheese, such as Le Chevrot   Pâte brisée 300 gm (2 cups) plain flour 200 gm cold butter, coarsely chopped 60 ml carbonated mineral water To serve: salad of beans and greens

Method

  • 01
  • For pâte brisée, process flour, butter and 1 tsp sea salt in a food processor until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add enough mineral water to just bring dough together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, knead lightly until smooth, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours to rest. Preheat oven to 180C. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick, line a 28cm-diameter 3cm-deep tart tin and refrigerate for 45 minutes to rest. Trim edges, blind bake until light golden (10-12 minutes), remove paper and weights and bake until dry and golden (8-10 minutes), then set aside.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, heat butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add leek and garlic and stir occasionally until golden and tender (8-10 minutes). Add wine, season to taste, simmer until completely evaporated (2-3 minutes), cool completely. Process in a food processor until puréed, season to taste. Add crème fraîche, eggs and herbs, process to combine then pour into pastry case. Thinly slice goat’s cheese into rounds with a sharp knife, arrange over tart and bake until golden and set (20-25 minutes). Stand in tin for 10 minutes then serve with a vinaigrette-dressed salad of beans and greens.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Chablis.

Featured in

Jul 2009

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