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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.

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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.

Cold roast beef fillet with tonnato sauce


Cold roast beef is great for a picnic - either slice it before you head out, or, to keep the beef optimally moist, take a board and slice it when you reach your destination.

You'll need

1 beef fillet (about 1.6kg), trimmed of sinew 1 tbsp olive oil To serve: watercress sprigs   Tonnato sauce 2 eggs, at room temperature 185 gm canned Italian tuna in oil, drained well 225 gm (¾ cup) whole-egg mayonnaise 50 gm (¼ cup) capers in vinegar, rinsed and finely chopped, plus extra to serve 2 golden shallots, finely chopped 2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped Juice of ½ a lemon, or to taste

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 250C fan-forced. Place a heavy oven tray in oven to heat. Tie beef fillet at intervals with kitchen string to hold shape, then rub with olive oil and season to taste. Remove tray from oven and place beef fillet on tray, then roast, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked medium-rare (20-25 minutes). Remove from oven, cover with foil and cool to room temperature (30-40 minutes). Wrap tightly in plastic wrap to form a cylinder, then refrigerate until chilled (2-4 hours).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for tonnato sauce, cook eggs in boiling water until hard-boiled (10 minutes). Refresh, then peel, halve, remove egg yolks (discard whites) and place in a bowl. Add tuna and mash with a fork, then add remaining ingredients, mix well to combine and season to taste with lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper. Sauce will keep refrigerated for 3 days. Serve with sliced beef fillet, watercress and extra capers.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Light, herbal cabernet franc.

Featured in

Jan 2010

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