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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.

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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.

Pea and ham soup

Beer doughnuts with pastry cream


You'll need

7 gm (1 sachet) dried yeast 55 gm (¼ cup) caster sugar, plus extra for dusting 160 ml Belgian lager, warmed 440 gm plain flour 160 ml pouring cream 1 egg For deep-frying: vegetable oil   Pastry cream 6 egg yolks 150 gm caster sugar 50 gm (1/3 cup) plain flour 520 ml milk 120 ml pouring cream 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped

Method

  • 01
  • Combine yeast, sugar and warm beer in a bowl and set aside in a warm place until foamy (20 minutes). Transfer to an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, add flour, cream, egg and a large pinch of salt and knead until a soft dough forms. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size (1 hour).
  • 02
  • Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1cm thick, then cut out rounds with a 5cm-diameter pastry cutter. Place on a lightly floured tray, leaving space between each, then re-roll scraps and repeat. Set aside until slightly risen (10-20 minutes).
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, for pastry cream, whisk yolks and sugar until pale, add flour and whisk to combine. Bring milk, cream and vanilla to the simmer in a saucepan over high heat, add to yolk mixture, whisk to combine, then return to pan and whisk continuously over medium-high heat until bubbling and thick (3-5 minutes). Cover closely with plastic wrap and cool to room temperature, then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 4mm nozzle.
  • 04
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan or deep-fryer to 170C, then deep-fry doughnuts in batches, turning occasionally, until puffed and golden (3-5 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper, insert nozzle of piping bag into one side of each doughnut and fill with pastry cream. Dust with caster sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.

At A Glance

  • Serves 28 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 28 people

Featured in

Oct 2012

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