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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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Duck liver pâté with pickled cranberries


This duck liver pâté packs a boozy, festive punch.

You'll need

250 gm softened butter 150 gm bacon, finely chopped 3 golden shallots, thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 4 thyme sprigs 1 fresh bay leaf 1 kg duck livers, trimmed 60 ml brandy Finely grated rind of ½ orange 4 pimento berries, finely ground in a mortar and pestle 80 ml (1/3 cup) pouring cream To serve: sliced crusty white bread   Pickled cranberries 160 gm frozen cranberries, defrosted 150 gm caster sugar 60 ml (¼ cup) red wine vinegar   Tokay jelly 500 ml tokay (see note) 55 gm (¼ cup) caster sugar, or to taste (see note) 3 titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water for 5 minutes

Method

  • 01
  • Heat 50gm butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add bacon, shallot, garlic and herbs and sauté until tender (5-6 minutes), season to taste and transfer to a food processor (discard thyme and bay). Heat another 100gm butter in pan, add livers and cook without colouring, turning occasionally, until cooked medium (5-6 minutes). Remove livers from pan and transfer to food processor with brandy, orange rind, pimento and remaining butter and process until smooth, then add cream and process to combine. Season to taste, then pass through a fine sieve. Transfer to four 250ml moulds and refrigerate until set (2-3 hours).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for pickled cranberries, combine cranberries, sugar and vinegar in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, then set aside to cool.
  • 03
  • For tokay jelly, bring wine and sugar to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Squeeze water from gelatine and add gelatine to pan, stirring to dissolve. Set aside to cool, then spoon over pâté, season with pepper and refrigerate until set (2 hours). Serve with pickled cranberries and crusty white bread.

Note Tokay is a semi-sweet dessert wine. The sweetness of the wine varies, so taste as you gradually add the sugar to prevent the jelly from being too sweet.


At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

Dec 2010

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