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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

Citrus-cured kingfish with lemon labne


Begin this recipe a day ahead to cure the kingfish and drain the labne.

You'll need

2 tsp each whole white peppercorns and fennel seeds ½ cup each coarsely chopped coriander and mint 35 gm (¼ cup) sea salt 1 tbsp raw caster sugar Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange 2 250gm pieces of sashimi-grade kingfish fillet, bloodline removed To serve: lavash-style crisp bread, finely diced Lebanese cucumber and Spanish onion, sprouts, extra-virgin olive oil and lemon wedges   Lemon labne 500 gm sheep’s milk yoghurt Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, juice of ½ 1 garlic clove, finely chopped   Herb crust ½ cup each coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley and mint Finely grated rind of 1 lemon and 1 orange

Method

  • 01
  • Dry-roast peppercorns and fennel seeds until fragrant (30 seconds), then coarsely grind in a mortar and pestle. Transfer half the spice mixture to a bowl (reserve remaining), add herbs, salt, sugar rind and juices, and mix well.
  • 02
  • Place a 60cm-long piece of plastic wrap on a work surface and spread a third of the curing mixture in the centre the same size as the fillets. Place a piece of kingfish on top, spread over half the remaining curing mixture and sandwich with remaining kingfish. Spread remaining curing mixture over the top, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Wrap in a second piece of plastic wrap, place in a container and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, for lemon labne, combine yoghurt, rind, juice, garlic, 1½ tsp sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste in a bowl, transfer to a sieve lined with muslin, place over a bowl to catch liquid and refrigerate overnight to drain.
  • 04
  • For herb crust, combine parsley, mint and rinds with reserved spice mixture. Wipe curing mixture off kingfish and pat dry with absorbent paper. Spread lemon labne all over kingfish, then roll in herb mixture to coat evenly (the fish can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge for a couple of days at this point).
  • 05
  • Thinly slice kingfish and serve on lavash spread with lemon labne and topped with cucumber, Spanish onion and sprouts, and drizzled with olive oil. Serve extra lemon labne, lavash and lemon wedges on the side.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Featured in

Dec 2013

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