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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.

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.

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.

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.

Marinated whole snapper baked on potatoes and peppers (Dorada al fondo con patatas)


You'll need

150 ml extra-virgin olive oil 2 each red and green capsicum, thinly sliced onions, thinly sliced 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 6 fresh bay leaves 3 ripe vine-ripened tomatoes 3 whole baby snapper (about 500gm each) 3 lemons, thinly sliced 4 waxy potatoes, such as Nicola, sliced into 5mm-thick rounds 100 ml dry white wine   Ajo y perejil 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil ½ cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley 2 large garlic cloves

Method

  • 01
  • Heat 75ml oil in a large pan over low-medium heat, add capsicum, onion, half the garlic and half the bay leaves and stir occasionally until onion is tender (15-20 minutes). Season to taste and set aside.
  • 02
  • Blanch tomatoes until skins split (30 seconds-1 minute), refresh and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, peel, remove seeds (discard), finely chop and set aside.
  • 03
  • For ajo y perejil, process ingredients in a blender to a fine purée, season to taste and set aside.
  • 04
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Remove fins and spines from snapper with kitchen scissors (discard), rinse under cold running water, pat dry with absorbent paper and place in a large bowl with remaining garlic and several pinches of sea salt and rub into fish well. Season the cavity of each fish with salt and in each place a reserved bay leaf and several lemon slices (reserve some lemon slices to garnish).
  • 05
  • Drizzle a little oil in the base of a roasting pan large enough to fit fish in a single layer. Spread one-quarter of the capsicum mixture in base, layer potato over and season to taste. Spread remaining capsicum mixture over, season to taste and scatter with tomato. Top with fish, pour wine over, drizzle with remaining oil, spoon ajo y perejil over, scatter with remaining lemon and roast until fish is just cooked through (30-35 minutes). Transfer fish to a large warmed platter, cover and keep warm. Cover pan with foil, return to oven and cook until potato is tender (50-60 minutes; if snapper is too cool, return to oven for the last 10 minutes). Serve hot with snapper.

"A whole fish is a great way to celebrate - people can all join in at the table and have a good go at it," says Camorra. "This is one of my favourite dishes, and the best part of it for me are the potatoes - they've been sitting under that fish, taking on all that flavour of the peppers and the onions. I like to take the fish out of the oven once it's cooked and let the potatoes bake a little longer, just so they get a little crisp and take on another dimension of flavour."


At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

Dec 2012

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