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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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

Pea and ham soup

Sussex pond puddings with mandarin English cream


This is our take on an English classic. You'll need about five lemons for this recipe.

You'll need

300 gm butter 50 gm each caster and brown sugar 2 eggs 50 ml double cream 120 ml lemon juice and finely grated rind of 3 lemons, plus 1 extra lemon, coarsely chopped 1½ tbsp brown sugar mixed with juice of 1 lemon, to serve   Suet pastry 250 gm self-raising flour 140 gm (1 cup) finely processed cleaned suet 50 gm fine soft white breadcrumbs Pinch baking powder 120-160 ml milk   Mandarin English cream 500 ml (2 cups) milk 6 egg yolks 120 gm caster sugar Finely grated rind and juice of 1 mandarin

Method

  • 01
  • Combine butter and sugar in a saucepan, stir over medium heat until butter melts (3-5 minutes). Set aside to cool, whisk in remaining ingredients, refrigerate until thick (1 hour).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for suet pastry, combine all ingredients in a bowl (except milk), gradually add enough milk to bring pastry together, turn onto a work surface, knead gently to combine. Divide into 8 pieces, roll each into a 15cm round. Line 8 buttered 175ml metal dariole moulds with pastry. Fill three-quarters full with lemon sauce, fold excess pastry to meet in the middle, press to seal. Cover each with baking paper and foil, secure tightly with string. Place in a saucepan, pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up sides of moulds, cover with a lid and cook over medium heat until cooked through (1½ hours; top up with more boiling water if necessary).
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, for mandarin English cream, bring milk to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale. Add milk mixture, whisk to combine, return to pan and stir continuously over low heat until mixture thickly coats the back of a spoon (5-10 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl placed over ice, stir occasionally until cool. Add mandarin juice and rind, refrigerate until chilled (1 hour). Just before serving, blend with a hand-held blender to add air, then spoon over hot puddings and drizzle with brown sugar mixture to taste.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

Aug 2010

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