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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.

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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.

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.

Baccalà mantecato alla Veneziana


You'll need

1.1 kg salt cod fillets (baccalà), skin on 325 ml extra-virgin olive oil 150 ml milk 150 ml pouring cream 3 cloves garlic 1 fresh bay leaf 3 sprigs thyme For serving: Ligurian olives and grilled sourdough bread

Method

  • 01
  • Soak the salt cod, covered, in the fridge for 24-36 hours, changing the water every few hours when possible (but at least 3 times).
  • 02
  • Drain the cod and place it in a large saucepan of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until cooked through. Remove the cod from the water and, when cool enough to handle, break the flesh into small pieces, discarding any skin, bones and dark bits.
  • 03
  • Place the oil in a small saucepan and heat it to about 70C; the oil should be hot but not sizzling. Cover with a lid and set aside to keep warm.
  • 04
  • Combine the milk, cream, garlic, bay leaf and thyme in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Discard the bay leaf and thyme. Remove the garlic, then cover the pan to keep warm. Place the garlic in a mortar and pound with a pestle to form a paste.
  • 05
  • Place the cod and the garlic paste in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk. While beating on medium-high speed, slowly and carefully add a little of the hot milk mixture, then a little hot oil, alternating until all the milk mixture and oil have been added and regularly scraping down the sides of the bowl. Beat for a further minute or two on high speed, until it sounds like the paste is slapping against the sides of the bowl.
  • 06
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and serve warm with olives and grilled bread.

Note This recipe was published in the Sydney Seafood School Cookbook ($49.99, hbk, Penguin Lantern) by Roberta Muir and has been reproduced with minor GT style changes.


This classic Venetian dish is one of the most delicious ways to prepare baccalà, salted cod imported from Europe. When he was head chef at Otto, James Kidman demonstrated this recipe at Gusto, the Italian festival held at the Seafood School each year, and we lived off the delicious leftovers for the next week. It is very moreish - slightly salty, uffy and great to share from a big bowl with pre-dinner drinks. Baccalà is available from some delis and fishmongers (don't buy stockfish, which has been air-dried and is much harder). If you buy salt cod on the bone, you'll need about 1.5kg. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead: it's important to soak the cod well to extract most of the salt.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Jan 2013

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