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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.

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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

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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

Pineapple-jerked pork neck with crushed pineapple relish and black bean and rice salad


You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

You'll need

2 onions, coarsely chopped 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 3 fresh bay leaves 2 habanero chillies, coarsely chopped, or to taste 1 tbsp thyme 1 tbsp each ground allspice, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg 200 gm pineapple, coarsely chopped 100 ml each malt vinegar and dark rum 800 gm pork neck For barbecueing: vegetable oil   Crushed pineapple relish 2 tsp coriander seeds 125 ml (½ cup) malt vinegar 50 gm raw caster sugar 40 ml dark rum 1 fresh bay leaf 300 gm pineapple, coarsely chopped ½ small Spanish onion, thinly sliced 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced   Black bean and rice salad ½ Spanish onion, thinly sliced 1 garlic clove, finely chopped Juice of 2 limes, or to taste 200 gm dried black beans, soaked in cold water overnight, drained 200 gm (1 cup) long-grain rice 250 gm cherry tomatoes, halved 1 baby cos, leaves coarsely torn 1 cup coarsely chopped coriander 3 spring onions, thinly sliced 70 ml olive oil 2 tbsp Sherry vinegar, or to taste

Method

  • 01
  • For crushed pineapple relish, dry-roast coriander seeds until fragrant (1-2 minutes), crush coarsely in a mortar and pestle then combine in a saucepan with vinegar, sugar, rum, bay leaf and 100ml water. Stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil and remove from heat. Crush pineapple coarsely in a mortar and pestle, add to rum mixture with onion and chilli and refrigerate to pickle (overnight).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, process onion, garlic, bay leaves, chilli, thyme, spices and 1 tbsp sea salt flakes in a food processor to combine, add pineapple and process until smooth. Transfer to a non-reactive container, stir in vinegar and rum, add pork, turn to coat and refrigerate to marinate (overnight).
  • 03
  • For black bean and rice salad, combine onion, garlic and lime juice in a large bowl, season to taste. Add black beans to a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add enough cold water to cover generously. Bring to the boil and cook until beans are tender (35-40 minutes), drain, refresh, drain well and add to onion mixture. Meanwhile, cook rice in a saucepan of boiling salted water over medium-high heat until tender (8-10 minutes), drain, refresh, drain well, add to bean mixture with remaining ingredients, season to taste, toss to combine and refrigerate until required.
  • 04
  • Heat a barbecue or grill to medium-high heat. Drain pork from marinade, drizzle with a little oil, then cook, turning and basting frequently, until cooked to your liking (30-40 minutes), cover with foil and rest (10 minutes). Thickly slice and serve with crushed pineapple relish and black bean and rice salad.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Jan 2012

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