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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. 

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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

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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.

Chicken brodo with mushroom and mascarpone tortellini


You'll need

2 chicken carcasses 1 each onion, carrot and celery stalk, coarsely chopped 1 garlic head, halved horizontally 10 gm dried porcini mushrooms 6 thyme sprigs 8 small Swiss brown mushrooms, thinly sliced 1 bunch spinach, trimmed To serve: shaved parmesan   Mushroom and mascarpone tortellini 175 gm field mushrooms, coarsely chopped 4 golden shallots, coarsely chopped 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 2 tbsp olive oil 150 gm mascarpone 2 tbsp each finely chopped thyme and flat-leaf parsley Finely grated rind of 1 lemon 1 quantity egg-yolk pasta dough For brushing: eggwash

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Combine chicken carcasses, onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a large roasting pan and roast, turning occasionally, until browned (50 minutes-1 hour). Transfer to a stockpot, add porcini, thyme and 2 litres cold water, bring to the boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium, simmer until well-flavoured (1½-2 hours). Strain into a saucepan, season to taste and keep warm.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for mushroom and mascarpone tortellini, process mushrooms, shallot and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add mushroom mixture, sauté until fragrant (4-5 minutes), transfer to a bowl and cool. Stir in mascarpone, herbs and lemon rind, season to taste and refrigerate until required. Cut pasta into thirty-two 8.5cm-diameter rounds, keep covered. Place a tablespoon of mushroom mixture in centre of each round, brush edges lightly with eggwash, fold in half, pressing edges firmly to seal. Brush corners with eggwash, bring together and press to seal. Cook, in batches, in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (2-3 minutes), remove with a slotted spoon, divide among hot bowls.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, add mushrooms to chicken broth, simmer until tender (1-2 minutes), add spinach, then ladle over tortellini. Serve hot, scattered with parmesan.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

May 2010

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