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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. 

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.

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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

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2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

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.

Torta Pasqualina


You'll need

6 quail eggs 30 ml extra-virgin olive oil ½ onion, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 350 gm mixed greens, such as silverbeet, cavolo nero and chicory, trimmed 1 cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley 1 egg, beaten 250 gm firm ricotta, drained 30 gm finely grated parmesan Finely grated rind of 1 lemon 1 roasted globe artichoke, finely chopped (see note)   Olive oil pastry 500 gm (3⅓ cups) plain flour 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  • 01
  • For olive oil pastry, combine flour and 1 tsp salt in a bowl, make a well in the centre, add oil and 80ml lukewarm water and stir to combine. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth, then divide into 6 pieces, knead each into a ball, cover and rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, place quail eggs in freezer for 20 minutes to chill. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic, stir occasionally until tender (4-5 minutes), remove from heat and transfer to a food processor.
  • 03
  • Blanch greens and parsley until bright green and just wilted (1 minute), drain, refresh, drain well again, squeezing out excess water, and add to onion mixture. Add beaten egg, ricotta, parmesan and lemon rind, season to taste, process to a smooth purée, then stir in artichoke.
  • 04
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Roll out each piece of pastry on a lightly floured surface to 2mm thick and line 6 lightly oiled 250ml dariole moulds, allowing excess pastry to overhang. Fill each mould to two-thirds full with ricotta mixture and make a small indent in the centre with a teaspoon. Crack a quail egg into each indent, then top with remaining ricotta mixture. Brush edges of pastry with oil then fold up over ricotta mixture, pleating as you go, to enclose. Brush tops of pies lightly with oil, season to taste, place on an oven tray and bake until golden (15-20 minutes). Stand for 10 minutes, turn out of moulds and serve warm or at room temperature.
Note Roasted or char-grilled artichokes are available from select delicatessens.

This recipe is from the April 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

This traditional Easter dish is usually made as a large pie - we've opted for individual pies, ideal to serve as a starter. Chilling the quail eggs in the freezer stops them overcooking. Serve the pies with a bitter leaf salad dressed with red wine vinaigrette.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Good sparkling Prosecco.

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