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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Prawn, slaw and pico de gallo tacos


In Mexico, queso fresco, fresh cheese, is commonly crumbled over dishes like this. It's difficult to find in Australia, but feta makes a good substitute.

You'll need

½ cabbage, shredded 2 tbsp good-quality mayonnaise 36 medium uncooked prawns, cleaned, tails intact 2 tbsp olive oil To serve: soft feta, crumbled   White corn tortillas 250 gm (1¾ cups) white masa flour (see note)   Pico de gallo 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced 1 small white onion, diced ½ cup coarsely chopped coriander Juice of 4 small limes 4 jalapeño chillies, finely chopped 1 small garlic clove, crushed

Method

  • 01
  • For white corn tortillas, combine flour, 340ml hot water and a large pinch of salt in a bowl and mix with your hands until a soft dough forms. Cover closely with plastic wrap and set aside to rest (15 minutes). Divide dough into 12 pieces and roll into balls. Line a tortilla press (see note) with two squares of baking paper, then, working with one ball at a time, press gently but firmly in press to form a thin disc. Set aside on baking paper and cover with a tea towel. Heat a char-grill pan or cast-iron frying pan over medium-high heat, then char-grill tortillas in batches, turning once, until bubbles appear on the surface and base browns (30-45 seconds each side). Wrap in a cloth napkin to steam, soften and keep warm.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for pico de gallo, combine all ingredients and 2 tbsp water in a bowl and set aside for flavours to develop (5 minutes).
  • 03
  • Combine cabbage and mayonnaise in a bowl, season to taste and set aside.
  • 04
  • Preheat a char-grill pan over high heat. Brush prawns with oil, season to taste and cook, turning occasionally, until just cooked through (2 minutes).
  • 05
  • Top tortillas with prawns, cabbage mixture, pico de gallo and feta, roll to enclose, wrap in paper, tie with kitchen string and serve.

Note White masa flour (also known as masa harina or harina de maíz) is a white nixtamalised corn flour. If you don't have a tortilla press, you can use a rolling pin to flatten the tortillas. White masa flour and tortilla presses are available from Mexican food shops including Monterey Mexican Foods.


At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people

Drink Suggestion

Bone-dry, sea-spray-fresh fino Sherry.

Featured in

Nov 2012

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