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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.

Tomato and pancetta roast chicken with green olives


You'll need

6 chicken Marylands, jointed ¾ tsp dried chilli flakes 100 ml olive oil 1 Spanish onion, cut into thin wedges 4 oxheart tomatoes, thickly sliced 450 gm mixed cherry tomatoes ¼ cup (firmly packed) each basil and oregano, plus extra to serve 2 tbsp thyme leaves 125 ml dry white wine 1 head of garlic, halved horizontally 6 medium slices round pancetta 120 gm large green olives

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Combine chicken in a bowl with chilli flakes, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp sea salt and ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper and stir to combine well, then set aside.
  • 02
  • Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat in a shallow casserole large enough to hold chicken pieces in a single layer, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat, add half the oxheart tomatoes and half the cherry tomatoes, spreading over onion, then place chicken pieces on top. Scatter with remaining tomatoes, basil, oregano and thyme and season to taste. Drizzle with wine and remaining olive oil, tuck in garlic, season to taste and roast uncovered until chicken browns and tomato is pulpy (1¼-1½ hours).
  • 03
  • Place pancetta on top of chicken and roast until crisp (2-3 minutes), then coarsely crumble pancetta and stir into chicken mixture along with olives. Serve hot or at room temperature, scattered with extra herbs.
This recipe is from the March 2013 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Snappy, savoury young sangiovese.

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