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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. 

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.

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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

Pea and ham soup

Focaccia col formaggio


You'll need

300 gm (2 cups) plain flour 2 tsp kosher salt 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 300 gm stracchino

Method

  • 01
  • Combine flour and salt with ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp warm water and 3 tbsp oil in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment on low speed. Increase speed to medium and knead until a dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl (about 10 minutes). Add more flour if the dough is too sticky (up to 3 tbsp).
  • 02
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, coat your hands with flour and knead until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 225C. Halve the dough and roll out each half as thinly as possible into 30cm x 45cm rectangles (it should be translucent). Place a rectangle carefully onto a lightly oiled baking tray large enough to fit it without folding in edges. Tear stracchino into cherry-sized pieces and arrange over the dough at regular intervals, leaving 2cm around the edge. Carefully place the other rectangle of dough on top and press down lightly, ensuring the edges are flat, not crimped. With a pinching motion, tear a dozen small steam holes into the top sheet of dough at regular intervals between the cheese pieces.
  • 04
  • Drizzle remaining olive oil over the top, season with salt, then bake in the middle of the oven until the edges are golden (20-25 minutes). Cut into squares and serve hot.

At A Glance

  • Serves 2 - 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 2 - 4 people

Featured in

Mar 2014

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