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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.

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.

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.

Ginger and coconut crab


Mud crab needs to be cleaned well before you cook it. Ask your fishmonger to do it if you don't feel confident doing it yourself.

You'll need

2 mud crab (900gm each), cleaned 2 tbsp peanut oil 80 gm freshly grated coconut 40 gm young ginger, grated 4 long red chillies, coarsely chopped 1 tbsp sambal pecel (see note) 1 tsp ground chilli ½ tsp fenugreek seeds ½ tsp ground turmeric 400 ml coconut milk 1 tbsp dark palm sugar, or to taste To taste: lime juice To serve: coriander

Method

  • 01
  • Kill crab humanely. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add crab one at a time, cover, bring back to the boil and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
  • 02
  • When crab is cool enough to handle, remove top shell, discard gills and clean. Quarter crab and crack large claws, leaving them attached. Refrigerate until required.
  • 03
  • Heat peanut oil in a large wok over high heat, add coconut and stir-fry until starting to toast (1-2 minutes). Add ginger and stir-fry until just golden (1-2 minute), then add chilli and stir to combine. Add sambal pecel and spices, stir to roast slightly (30 seconds), then add crab and coconut milk, and stir until crab is coated in sauce and warmed through (2-4 minutes). Season to taste with palm sugar and lime juice, top with coriander and serve hot.
Note Sambal pecel, a peanut-based sambal, is available from Asian grocers. If it's unavailable, substitute with another hot sambal.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

Off-dry riesling.

Featured in

May 2014

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