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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

Cuttlefish and beans in red wine with chilli and aïoli


The key to this dish is to use fresh Australian cuttlefish; the frozen imported variety doesn't have the same flavour. A salad of shaved fennel tossed in olive oil and lemon juice makes the perfect accompaniment. Start this recipe a day ahead to soak the beans.

You'll need

60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 250 gm dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in cold water 250 ml red wine 100 gm peeled canned Italian tomatoes, crushed 100 ml chicken stock 2 fresh bay leaves 2 rosemary sprigs 1.5 kg cuttlefish, cleaned, tentacles reserved, cut into rough 2cm strips To serve: extra-virgin olive oil and dried chilli flakes   Aïoli 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 egg yolk 200 ml olive oil 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil 2 tsp lemon juice

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 150C. Heat olive oil in a shallow casserole over medium heat, add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until onion is very tender (15-20 minutes). Add drained beans, red wine, tomato, chicken stock and herbs, and bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and braise in oven until beans are just tender (2 hours). Add cuttlefish and braise until cuttlefish and beans are very tender (25-30 minutes).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for aïoli, pound garlic and a pinch of salt to a smooth purée using a large mortar and pestle. Add yolk and stir vigorously with the pestle until creamy, gradually add oils and continue stirring until incorporated and mixture is thick and emulsified. Add lemon juice, season to taste and stir to combine.
  • 03
  • Drizzle braised cuttlefish and beans with olive oil, scatter with chilli flakes, and serve with aïoli and fennel salad.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

A round, generous nero d’Avola.

Featured in

Apr 2014

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