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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.

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Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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 cinnamon tarte fines with cinnamon crème anglaise


You'll need

1 375gm pastry sheet (see note) 3 small Granny Smith apples, unpeeled 30 gm raw caster sugar 1 tsp ground cinnamon 20 gm butter For dusting: pure icing sugar   Cinnamon crème anglaise 300 ml pouring cream 100 ml milk 3 cinnamon quills, coarsely broken 3 egg yolks 70 gm raw caster sugar ½ tsp ground cinnamon

Method

  • 01
  • For cinnamon crème anglaise, bring cream, milk and cinnamon quills just to the simmer over low heat. Meanwhile, whisk yolks, sugar and ground cinnamon in a bowl until pale (2-3 minutes), pour cream mixture over and whisk to combine. Return mixture to pan and stir over medium heat until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon thickly (4-5 minutes), strain through a coarse sieve and refrigerate until chilled. Makes about 500ml.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 220C and place an oven tray in oven while it’s heating. Trim pastry to a 23cm x 26cm rectangle, place on a piece of baking paper and prick all over with a fork.
  • 03
  • Thinly slice apples on a mandolin to 2mm thick and arrange over pastry, overlapping slices and leaving a 5mm border. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, scatter half over apples. Dot apples with half the butter, then transfer pastry and baking paper to heated oven tray and bake on top shelf of oven until pastry begins to brown (8-10 minutes). Scatter with remaining cinnamon sugar, dot with remaining butter and bake until apples are tender and browned on edges and pastry is dark golden and crisp (10-15 minutes). Cool slightly on tray (5 minutes), then transfer to a wire rack. Dust edges with icing sugar and serve warm with cinnamon crème anglaise.

Note We use Carême puff pastry, which comes in pre-rolled 375gm sheets. If unavailable, substitute another butter puff pastry.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

A medium sweet cidre bouché from Normandy.

Featured in

Jul 2011

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