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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.

Coconut snow cones with young coconut and pineapple-ginger syrup


You'll need

6 young coconuts, liquid drained, liquid and flesh reserved separately in refrigerator (see below) 8 lychees, peeled, seeds removed   Pineapple-ginger syrup 1 pineapple, coarsely chopped 200 gm caster sugar 15 gm (3cm piece) ginger, coarsely chopped 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn

Method

  • 01
  • Combine coconut liquid with 250ml water, transfer to a shallow tray and freeze until frozen (6 hours or overnight). Scrape with a fork or churn through an ice shaver and freeze until required.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for pineapple-ginger syrup, process pineapple in a food processor until smooth, strain through a coarse sieve (discard solids), then combine in a saucepan with sugar, ginger and kaffir lime leaves and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and set aside to cool, then strain into a bowl, skim scum from surface and refrigerate until chilled (1-2 hours
  • 03
  • Half-fill chilled serving glasses with coconut flesh and lychees, top with shaved coconut ice, drizzle with pineapple-ginger syrup to taste and serve immediately.

Note Young coconuts have soft flesh and are filled with liquid suitable for drinking. They are usually sold with the outer green shell removed and the white fibrous husk partly cut away; they are available from Asian grocers and some supermarkets. To open a young coconut, place it flat-side down on a surface and carefully cut off the dome-shaped lid with the heel of a large knife. You'll need to use a bit of force. Pour out the liquid (or drink it with a straw) and remove the flesh with a spoon.


This dessert is perfectly refreshing on a hot summer's day. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

Fresh and sherbety moscato.

Featured in

Jan 2011

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