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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

Poffertjes with mandarin jam


You'll need

150 gm each plain flour and buckwheat flour (see note) 1¾ tsp dried yeast 2 tsp ground ginger Finely grated rind of 1 lemon 3 eggs 90 gm (¼ cup) golden syrup 375 ml (1½ cups) lukewarm millk 80 gm melted butter For dusting: pure icing sugar To serve: maple syrup (optional)   Mandarin jam 4 mandarins, pith removed 220 gm (1 cup) caster sugar Juice of 1 lemon 2 tsp finely grated ginger 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

Method

  • 01
  • For mandarin jam, halve mandarins horizontally, break into pieces and combine in a saucepan with remaining ingredients. Stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the simmer and stir occasionally until jammy (12-15 minutes), cool and refrigerate until required. Makes about 250ml.
  • 02
  • Combine flours, yeast, ginger, lemon rind and a pinch of salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add eggs, golden syrup and half the milk, mix until smooth, then add remaining milk and beat to combine. Cover and stand in a warm place for 1 hour.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 120C. Heat a poffertjes pan (see note) over medium-high heat. Dab melted butter into each cavity, then, when sizzling, fill three-quarters with batter. Cook until bottoms just set (1-2 minutes), then quickly turn and cook until golden and cooked through (1 minute). Transfer to oven to keep warm. Wipe out pan, repeat with remaining butter and batter. Drizzle poffertjes with remaining melted butter, dust with icing sugar and serve hot with mandarin jam and maple syrup.

Note Buckwheat flour is available from select delicatessens and health-food shops. A poffertjes pan is a cast-iron pan with semi-sphere holes available from select specialist kitchenware shops. If unavailable, dollop batter into small rounds in a frying pan.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Jun 2010

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