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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

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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.

Pumpkin soup with ginger milk


You'll need

1 kg butternut pumpkin, cut into 2cm dice 50 ml olive oil 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 white onion, diced 500 ml (2 cups) hot chicken stock 150 gm thickened cream To drizzle: pumpkin-seed oil (see note)   Ginger milk 200 ml chicken stock 60 gm (12cm piece) ginger, finely chopped 500 ml (2 cups) milk

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Place pumpkin on an oven tray, drizzle with half the oil, season to taste, cover with foil and bake until tender (40 minutes).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add onion and garlic, cook until soft but not coloured (3-4 minutes), season to taste and set aside.
  • 03
  • Combine pumpkin, onion mixture and hot stock in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer until pumpkin is starting to fall apart (10-15 minutes). Cool slightly, transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add cream, strain through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan and season to taste. Keep warm.
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, for ginger milk, reduce stock in a saucepan over high heat to 70ml (7-8 minutes), add ginger, cool slightly, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to infuse (20 minutes). Add milk, strain through a fine sieve into a saucepan, bring to the simmer over medium heat and froth with a hand-held blender until very bubbly (2-3 minutes).
  • 05
  • To serve, pour soup into bowls, drizzle with pumpkin-seed oil and spoon ginger milk froth over.

Note Pumpkin-seed oil, made from pressed roasted pumpkin seeds, is available from select delicatessens including Norton St Grocer.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

Creamy, buttery chardonnay, such as the 2008 Giants Steps Tarraford Vineyard Chardonnay.

Featured in

Jun 2012

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