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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. 

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Black beer and caraway bread with homemade butter


You'll need

150 gm double cream 150 gm crème fraîche ½ tsp smoked sea salt flakes (see note), or to taste 150 gm rye flour 1 tsp (½ sachet or 3.5gm) dried yeast 100 ml porter (see note) 30 gm blackstrap molasses (see note) 350 gm bread flour For greasing: vegetable oil For scattering: caraway seeds

Method

  • 01
  • Beat cream and crème fraîche in an electric mixer on medium speed until buttermilk separates from butterfat. Drain buttermilk (reserve for another use), add chilled water to butterfat to just cover, and mix with a paddle attachment until milkiness is extracted from butter (1-2 minutes). Drain liquid and repeat washing until all buttermilk is removed and water extracted is clear (1-2 minutes). Add smoked sea salt to taste, then transfer to a double layer of damp muslin and gently squeeze out excess moisture. Transfer to a ceramic container, cover and refrigerate until required. Bring to room temperature before serving. Makes about 200gm. Butter will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for a week.
  • 02
  • Combine rye flour, yeast, porter, molasses, ½ tsp salt and 250ml water in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Set aside in a warm place until foaming (10 minutes), add bread flour and ½ tsp salt and knead until smooth (5 minutes). Transfer to an oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size (2 hours).
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 170C. Knock back dough and knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth, dusting with extra bread flour if necessary. Roll into a smooth ball. Scatter caraway seeds on work surface, then roll dough over seeds so most are on top. Dust top with extra flour, transfer to a lightly floured oven tray, cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size (1 hour). Bake until loaf is deep golden and sounds hollow when tapped (30-40 minutes). Turn out onto a wire rack, cool slightly, then serve warm or at room temperature with butter.
Note Smoked sea salt is available from select delicatessens. Blackstrap molasses is available from select health-food shops. Porter (not to be confused with Port) is available from select bottle shops.

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

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

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