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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.

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.

Duck broth with peas and Spätzle


Some recipes call for pushing the Spätzle mixture through a colander into boiling water, but piping them in is an easier and cleaner way to do it.

You'll need

1 duck (about 2.2kg) 2 each onions, carrots, celery stalks, coarsely chopped 1 head of garlic, halved 3 fresh bay leaves 300 gm peas, podded 1 tsp thyme leaves ½ tsp ground cinnamon   Spätzle 125 gm plain flour 2 eggs, whisked 20 gm butter, melted To taste: finely grated nutmeg

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 250C. Cut duck through the bone into 16 pieces, place in a single layer in a large roasting pan, roast until golden (12-15 minutes). Remove from pan, pat off excess fat with absorbent paper and combine in a large saucepan with onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaves and 3 litres water. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to low-medium and simmer, skimming occasionally, until meat falls from the bone (1½-2 hours). Remove duck, coarsely shred meat (discard skin and bones) and return to broth. Add peas, thyme and cinnamon and simmer until peas are tender (2-3 minutes).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for Spätzle, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil over high heat. Mix flour, eggs, butter and 60ml water in a bowl until smooth and combined, season to taste with sea salt, black pepper and nutmeg. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 5mm-nozzle and pipe in batches into boiling water, cutting at 2cm-intervals with kitchen scissors. Cook until Spätzle rise to the surface (1-2 minutes), remove with a slotted spoon and add to broth, ladle among small bowls and serve immediately.

At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people

Featured in

Apr 2010

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