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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.

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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

Chocolate gâteaux with grapefruit sorbet


You'll need

Rind of 1 pink grapefruit, thinly sliced 100 gm caster sugar   Chocolate gâteaux 160 gm butter, coarsely chopped 140 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped 5 eggs, separated, plus 3 egg yolks 145 gm caster sugar 55 gm Dutch-process cocoa, sifted 55 gm thickened cream, whisked to soft peaks   Grapefruit sorbet 180 gm caster sugar 1 tbsp liquid glucose 600 ml pink grapefruit juice   Chocolate ganache 300 gm dark chocolate (64% cocoa solids) 250 ml pouring cream

Method

  • 01
  • For grapefruit sorbet, stir sugar, glucose and 180ml water in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves (3-5 minutes). Transfer to a bowl, add grapefruit juice, refrigerate to chill, freeze in an ice-cream machine, then freeze until required. Makes about 1 litre.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, cover grapefruit rind with cold water and bring to the boil in a saucepan over high heat. Drain, then repeat twice. Stir sugar and 40ml water in a saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the simmer, add rind and cook until candied and translucent (5-10 minutes). Drain (discard syrup) and set aside to cool on a piece of baking paper.
  • 03
  • For chocolate gâteaux, preheat oven to 150C. Combine butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over simmering water, stir occasionally until melted (3-5 minutes), set aside. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and half the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until thick and pale (3-5 minutes), then fold in chocolate mixture and set aside. Whisk eggwhites in the bowl of an electric mixer until frothy, then, with motor running, gradually add remaining sugar and whisk until soft peaks form (3-5 minutes). Fold cocoa into chocolate mixture, fold in whisked cream, fold in whisked eggwhite and pour into eight 10cm-diameter springform tins buttered and lined with baking paper and placed on two oven trays. Bake, swapping trays halfway through cooking, until set (25-30 minutes). Set aside to cool in tin (30 minutes), then release sides and cool completely.
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, for chocolate ganache, place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring cream to the boil in a saucepan over high heat, pour over chocolate, set aside until melted, then stir until smooth and glossy. Set aside until slightly cooled and spreadable.
  • 05
  • Remove gâteaux from tins, spread half with ganache and carefully sandwich with remaining gâteaux. Serve topped with grapefruit sorbet and candied rind.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Jul 2011

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