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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.

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.

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.

Lemon dream

"This cake is the new religion at Flour and Stone, and never fails to send those worshipping it into a dream of billowy clouds," says Ingram. "It has come to many parties, including one where its name was changed to reflect the euphoric place it transports you to."

Blueberry crostata with hazelnut ice-cream


You'll need

600 gm blueberries 55 gm (¼ cup) caster sugar, plus extra for dusting 2 tbsp plain flour Finely grated rind of ½ lemon Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean For brushing: eggwash   Hazelnut ice-cream 750 ml (3 cups) milk 250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream 10 egg yolks 190 gm raw caster sugar 180 gm roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped   Shortcrust pastry 270 gm softened butter 60 gm pure icing sugar, sieved 3 egg yolks 370 gm plain flour Scraped seeds from ½ vanilla bean

Method

  • 01
  • For hazelnut ice-cream, bring milk and cream to the boil in a large saucepan. Whisk yolks and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (2-4 minutes), then gradually pour in hot milk mixture, stirring to combine. Return mixture to pan and stir continuously over medium heat until mixture thickly coats the back of a spoon (10-15 minutes). Transfer to a heatproof bowl placed over ice, stir occasionally until chilled (30-40 minutes), then fold in hazelnut and freeze in an ice-cream machine. Makes 1.5 litres.
  • 02
  • For shortcrust pastry, beat butter in an electric mixer until pale, add icing sugar and yolks and beat to combine, then add flour and vanilla seeds and stir to combine. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (30 minutes).
  • 03
  • Roll out two-thirds of pastry to 5mm thick on a lightly floured surface, line a 24cm tart ring, trim edges, then refrigerate to rest (30 minutes). Roll out remaining pastry to 5mm thick and cut into 3cm strips with a serrated cutter. Refrigerate until required.
  • 04
  • Preheat oven to 170C. Combine blueberries, sugar, flour, lemon rind and vanilla seeds in a bowl, toss to combine and place in tart base, then arrange strips of remaining pastry to create a lattice pattern on top. Brush with eggwash, scatter with extra sugar and bake until golden and bubbling (1-1¼ hours). Serve warm or at room temperature with hazelnut ice-cream.

Tarts can be made ahead, which makes entertaining much easier. But the real beauty of this crostata is that the blueberry filling is the star, making it a great way to show off those wonderful summery flavours.


At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

Drink Suggestion

Young Rutherglen topaque.

Featured in

Dec 2012

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