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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.

Popcorn shrimp po’ boys with hot sauce


We've made large sandwiches, but you could also stuff the filling into soft, fluffy white bread rolls.

You'll need

800 gm small uncooked prawns, peeled and cleaned 300 ml buttermilk 150 gm mayonnaise 1 garlic clove, finely chopped Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges, to serve 2 tbsp each thyme leaves and oregano leaves 1 fresh bay leaf 2 tsp each ground chilli and sweet paprika 300 gm (2 cups) plain flour 2 tsp each onion powder and garlic powder 2 eggs 50 ml Mexican-style hot sauce For deep-frying: vegetable oil 1 soft white square loaf of bread, thickly sliced into 4 slices For spreading: softened butter To serve: shredded baby cos

Method

  • 01
  • Stir prawns and buttermilk in a non-reactive bowl to coat prawns well and refrigerate to marinate (1 hour).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise, garlic, lemon rind and juice in a bowl, season to taste and refrigerate for flavours to develop (30 minutes).
  • 03
  • Combine herbs in a frying pan and stir occasionally over low-medium heat until dried (4-5 minutes). Add spices and dry-roast until fragrant (1 minute). Tip into a mortar and pestle, pound to a fine powder, then stir in 2 tsp salt and 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
  • 04
  • Combine flour, onion powder, garlic powder and half the spice mix in a large bowl and set aside. Whisk eggs and hot sauce in a separate bowl to combine and set aside.
  • 05
  • Heat oil in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan to 180C. Drain prawns from buttermilk, add to egg mixture and mix well to coat. Working in batches, drain prawns from egg mixture, toss in seasoned flour to coat well, then shake off excess and deep-fry, stirring occasionally, until golden (1-2 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper and season with a little of the remaining spice mixture.
  • 06
  • To serve, spread bread slices with butter, top half the slices with popcorn shrimp and season to taste with remaining spice mix. Drizzle with spiced mayonnaise, squeeze a little lemon over and top with a little shredded lettuce. Sandwich with remaining bread slices, cut into portions and serve.

Note Oysters would make a handsome - and classic - alternative filling for these beauties.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Drink Suggestion

A tall, cold can of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Featured in

Dec 2013

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