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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. 

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.

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.

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.

Bacon and tomato polenta-crust pie


This pie is wonderful warm or cold, and makes a great addition to a picnic with a crisp green salad.

You'll need

4 heirloom tomatoes (about 1kg), thinly sliced 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp thyme 100 gm feta, thinly sliced 200 ml each milk and thickened cream 3 eggs, lightly beaten 8 rashers streaky bacon (see note)   Polenta pastry 150 gm (1 cup) plain flour 70 gm coarse polenta 120 gm chilled butter, cut into 2cm pieces ½ tsp apple cider vinegar

Method

  • 01
  • For polenta pastry, combine flour, polenta and ½ tsp salt in a large bowl. Turn out onto a work surface, scatter butter on top and cut into flour with a pastry cutter or knife until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs with small lumps of butter still visible. Place vinegar in a jug with 90ml iced water, drizzle onto flour mixture and use a pastry cutter or knife to combine. Bring pastry together with the heel of your hand, pat into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (at least 1 hour).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 150C. Place tomatoes in a single layer on baking trays lined with baking paper, drizzle with oil, scatter with half the thyme, season to taste and roast until almost dried out (50 minutes to 1 hour). Set aside to cool.
  • 03
  • Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 5mm-thick, 35cm-diameter round and line a 23cm shallow pie dish. Trim edges, leaving a 2cm overhang, then gently roll edge of pastry under itself to rest on edge of pie dish to create a double-layered crust and press gently to seal. Pinch pastry edge to form a crimped crust and refrigerate to rest (30 minutes).
  • 04
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Blind-bake pie crust until edges are light golden (10-12 minutes), then remove weights and paper, and bake until base is cooked through (10-12 minutes). Cool briefly, then layer tomatoes and feta in pastry case, seasoning between layers. Whisk milk, cream, eggs, and remaining thyme in a bowl, season to taste, then pour mixture over tomatoes and feta.
  • 05
  • Interlace bacon on a sheet of baking paper to form a lattice pattern, transfer to top of pie (don’t worry if bacon overhangs a bit; it will shrink during cooking), place pie on a baking tray and bake until golden and set (50-55 minutes). Cool slightly before serving.

Note If streaky bacon is unavailable, substitute long middle rashers of bacon and trim to fit.


At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

Nov 2014

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