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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. 

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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.

Fratelli Paradiso’s Florentines


You'll need

75 gm caster sugar 50 ml pouring cream 50 gm butter, coarsely chopped 50 gm honey 25 gm liquid glucose 175 gm flaked almonds 100 gm whole almonds 6 red glacé cherries, halved 200 gm couverture dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 170C. Stir sugar, cream, butter, honey and glucose in a deep saucepan until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat and cook until mixture reaches 112C on a sugar thermometer (4-6 minutes). Add flaked almonds and stir to combine. Line 2 oven trays with silicon mats or baking paper and divide mixture into 12 oiled 10cm-diameter tart rings (see note), spreading thinly and evenly. Decorate with whole almonds and cherries and bake in rings until golden brown (10-15 minutes). Remove rings and set aside to cool on trays.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, melt two-thirds of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of hot, not boiling, water (be sure water doesn’t get into chocolate) until chocolate reaches 43C-46C on a sugar thermometer (it’s important not to exceed this temperature). Remove bowl from heat, cool chocolate to 35C-38C, then add remaining chocolate and stir vigorously until melted. Coat bottom of Florentines with chocolate using a flat plastic spatula, allowing them to set slightly while you coat remaining, then coat again with a serrated-edge spatula or fork to produce a decorative pattern. Allow to set (20-30 minutes), then tidy edges with a pair of scissors before serving. Florentines will keep in an airtight container for a week.

Note Tart rings are available from kitchen supply shops.


"I really enjoy a short, sharp mid-week lunch at Sydney's Fratelli Paradiso and almost always finish with a coffee and Florentine," says Wennerbom. "I've tested many recipes for Florentines but none have been as good as theirs."


At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people

Featured in

Dec 2012

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