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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.

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.

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.

Duck, orange and beetroot salad


This recipe presents the classic flavours of canard à l'orange in a modern salad. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

You'll need

1 blood orange, segmented 2 golden shallots, thinly sliced 1 red witlof, leaves separated 35 gm (¼ cup) roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped   Duck confit 40 gm sea salt flakes 1 sprig thyme 1 garlic clove, bruised 4 duck Marylands (about 1kg) 750 gm duck fat or goose fat, melted   Roast beetroot 4 each baby beetroot and baby golden beetroot 1 tsp olive oil   Orange vinaigrette 300 ml orange juice 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil Pinch of caster sugar, or to taste

Method

  • 01
  • For duck confit, combine salt, thyme and garlic in a bowl, add duck, turn to coat, then place duck in a non-reactive container to fit snugly and refrigerate to cure (8-10 hours). Preheat oven to 140C. Brush excess salt from duck and place in a baking dish to fit snugly in a single layer, pour over fat to submerge, then bake until duck is very tender (1½-2 hours). Remove duck from fat, transfer to a non-reactive dish, then strain fat over, ensuring duck is completely submerged, cover and refrigerate until required. Confit will keep refrigerated, completely submerged in fat, in an airtight container for 1 month.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for roast beetroot, increase oven to 200C. Place beetroot in a roasting pan, add 60ml water, drizzle with oil, season to taste and roast until tender (30 minutes). Set aside to cool slightly, then peel and halve beetroot and set aside.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, for orange vinaigrette, simmer orange juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to 60ml (12-14 minutes), set aside to cool slightly, then whisk in oil and season to taste with sugar and salt.
  • 04
  • Heat an ovenproof frying pan over high heat, place a piece of baking paper in pan, add duck skin-side down and cook until golden (2-3 minutes). Turn, then transfer to oven and cook until warmed through (5-7 minutes). Coarsely shred meat (discard bone), combine with remaining ingredients and beetroot in a large bowl, drizzle over vinaigrette, toss to combine and serve.

This recipe is from the July 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

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