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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

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.

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.

Leeks vinaigrette with quail eggs and brioche crumbs


This simple dish makes a hero of its main ingredient: young leeks. Look out for leeks about as thick as your finger - they'll be tender and subtly sweet. Soak them in cold water for about 20 minutes before cooking to remove any dirt and grit stored in their many layers.

You'll need

12 quail eggs, at room temperature 30 gm butter, coarsely chopped 70 ml olive oil 50 gm coarse crustless brioche crumbs Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, juice of ½ 12 young leeks, trimmed, halved and soaked 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp Champagne vinegar 30 gm salted baby capers, rinsed well 30 gm cornichons, finely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • Boil quail eggs until cooked to your liking (2-3 minutes for soft yolks), drain, refresh under cold running water, then peel, halve and set aside.
  • 02
  • Heat butter and 30ml oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add brioche crumbs and stir occasionally until golden brown and crisp (1-2 minutes), stir in lemon rind, season to taste and set aside.
  • 03
  • Cook leeks in a wide saucepan of simmering salted water until bright green and just tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife (10-12 minutes). Drain and refresh under cold water, drain well again, pat dry with absorbent paper, then arrange on a serving platter.
  • 04
  • Combine mustard, vinegar, lemon juice and remaining oil in a screw-top jar and shake until emulsified, then season to taste and add capers and cornichons.
  • 05
  • Spoon dressing over leeks, top with quail eggs, scatter with brioche crumbs, and serve.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Featured in

Oct 2013

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