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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.

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.

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.

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.

Quince tart


Quince don't always need to be cooked to a deep, dark burgundy. Here they're cooked just until they have a beautiful blush, giving them a lighter taste.

You'll need

130 gm pure icing sugar, sifted 130 gm almond meal 30 gm plain flour, sifted 130 gm butter, softened, plus extra for greasing 2 eggs 25 ml brandy For drizzling: thickened or pouring cream   Poached quince 3 quince, quartered, peel reserved 600 gm white sugar 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped 1 cinnamon quill   Shortcrust pastry 300 gm plain flour 220 gm cold butter, coarsely chopped 2 egg yolks

Method

  • 01
  • For poached quince, combine ingredients and 1½ litres water in a saucepan (make sure quince are covered). Bring to a simmer, stir to dissolve sugar, then cook over low heat until blush (4 hours). Cool, refrigerate until chilled (1-2 hours), then strain liquid into a saucepan. Cut quince into wedges and refrigerate until required. Cook liquid over medium-high heat until syrupy (1 hour). Makes 350ml. Syrup will keep for 1 week.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for shortcrust pastry, process flour, butter and a pinch of salt in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add egg yolks and process until mixture comes together. Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface and form into a smooth log. Wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate for 45 minutes to rest.
  • 03
  • Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 20cm x 40cm rectangle then line a buttered 13cm x 35cm fluted tart tin. Trim edges and refrigerate until chilled (1-2 hours).
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Combine icing sugar, almond meal and flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Add butter and mix until just incorporated. Gradually add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated, then stir through brandy. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest.
  • 05
  • Blind bake tart (15-20 minutes), remove paper and weights and bake until golden and crisp (3-5 minutes). Cool in tart tin on a wire rack.
  • 06
  • Spoon almond mixture into prepared case, level with a moistened spatula and bake until golden and puffed (10-15 minutes). Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with sliced quince and drizzled with quince syrup and cream.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

Jul 2009

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