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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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

Bacon and Stilton tart


You'll need

300 gm piece rindless bacon, cut into large lardons 3 onions, thinly sliced 180 gm Stilton, coarsely crumbled ¼ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley 2 tsp thyme 6 egg yolks 4 eggs, plus 1 extra, whisked, for brushing 300 ml pouring cream 200 gm sour cream   Thyme shortcrust pastry 300 gm (2 cups) plain flour 150 gm cold butter, coarsely chopped 3 tsp thyme 2-3 tbsp chilled sparkling mineral water

Method

  • 01
  • For thyme shortcrust pastry, process flour, butter, thyme and 1 tsp salt in a food processor until fine crumbs form, add mineral water and pulse until mixture just comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, knead until mixture just comes together, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick and line a 27cm-diameter, 5cm-deep tart tin, refrigerate to rest (30 minutes), then trim edges. Prick base all over with a fork, then blind bake until light golden (10-12 minutes), remove paper and weights, brush with beaten egg and bake until golden and crisp (6-8 minutes).
  • 03
  • Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat, add bacon and stir occasionally until crisp (3-4 minutes), remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add onion to pan, stir occasionally until very tender (4-5 minutes), season to taste. Spread onion in tart base, top with bacon, scatter with Stilton, parsley and thyme and season to taste.
  • 04
  • Reduce oven to 150C. Whisk yolks, eggs, cream and sour cream in a bowl to combine, season to taste and pour into pastry case. Bake until light golden and just set with a slight wobble in the centre (35-40 minutes), stand for 15 minutes then serve hot.
This recipe is from the June 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Full-bodied, spicy shiraz.

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