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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. 

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.

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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

Apple and suet puddings


Suet is the fat that encases beef kidneys. It can be obtained from butchers but they will usually need a few days' notice.

You'll need

80 ml Calvados 40 gm (¼ cup) currants 500 gm (about 3) Granny Smith apples 110 gm (½ cup) brown sugar Finely grated rind of 1 lemon 1 tsp mixed spice   Suet pastry 340 gm plain flour 140 gm caster sugar 100 gm cleaned suet, coarsely grated 1 tsp baking powder   Caramel custard 100 gm caster sugar 225 ml pouring cream 180 ml milk 3 egg yolks 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped

Method

  • 01
  • For suet pastry, rub ingredients and a pinch of fine sea salt in a bowl with your fingertips until fine crumbs form, add 160ml cold water and knead on a floured surface until a smooth dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (1 hour).
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Bring Calvados to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, add currants and set aside until cool (10-15 minutes). Core apples and cut into thin slices. Place into a large bowl, add sugar, lemon rind, spice and currant mixture, stir to combine and set aside.
  • 03
  • For caramel custard, stir sugar and 60ml water in a saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves (3-4 minutes), increase heat to high and cook until dark caramel (8-10 minutes), remove from heat, add cream and milk (be careful as hot caramel will spit) and stir to combine. Whisk yolks in a bowl, then pour cream mixture over yolk mixture, whisking to combine. Return to pan with vanilla bean and seeds and stir continuously over low heat until mixture coats the back of a spoon thickly (8-10 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve, cover closely and set aside to cool (30-40 minutes).
  • 04
  • Roll out pastry to 5mm thick and cut out six 15cm rounds and six 8cm rounds. Press large pastry rounds into six buttered and floured 200ml ovenproof moulds, fill with apple mixture, top with a small pastry round and press edges to seal. Bake until golden (25-30 minutes), turn out onto plates and serve hot with caramel custard.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Jun 2011

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