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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.

Overnight rye waffles with pâté, Port jelly and cornichons


Steeping the flour in the buttermilk adds depth of flavour and a subtle sourness to the waffles - 12 hours will do the job, but 24 hours is even better. Begin this recipe a day ahead to steep the flour and set the pâté and the jelly.

You'll need

To serve: frisée salad and cornichons   Duck liver pâté 100 gm butter, diced, at room temperature 400 gm duck livers, trimmed of sinew 40 ml Port 1 tbsp olive oil 2 golden shallots, thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tbsp finely chopped thyme 50 gm speck, rind removed, diced 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, or to taste 70 ml pouring cream To garnish: small fresh bay leaves, optional   Port jelly 250 ml Port 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 4 titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water for 5 minutes   Rye waffles 800 ml buttermilk, well shaken 185 gm plain flour 150 gm rye flour ½ tsp baking powder 3 eggs, separated 30 gm melted butter, plus extra for greasing 1 tbsp coarsely chopped thyme

Method

  • 01
  • For rye waffles, mix the buttermilk, flours, baking powder and 1½ tsp sea salt in a bowl just to combine, then scrape down the sides, cover and stand at room temperature (12-24 hours).
  • 02
  • For duck liver pâté, heat 30gm butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add livers and turn occasionally until browned and cooked medium-rare (2-3 minutes). Deglaze the pan with Port, then tip mixture into a food processor, wipe out pan with paper towels and return to heat. Add oil, shallot, garlic, thyme and speck and sauté until onion is tender (4-5 minutes). Add to liver mixture, then add vinegar, season to taste and process until smooth. Add cream and remaining butter and process to combine. Pass through a fine sieve into a container and refrigerate until beginning to firm (1½-2 hours).
  • 03
  • For Port jelly, bring port to the boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, cook for a minute, then remove from heat, add vinegar and season to taste. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, stir into Port mixture until dissolved, then cool. Pour a little jelly on the pâté, place a couple of small bay leaves on top and refrigerate overnight. Pour remaining jelly mixture into a jar and refrigerate until set (overnight).
  • 04
  • Beat egg yolks, butter and thyme into waffle batter to just combine, then whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form (1-2 minutes). Fold into batter and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Heat a waffle iron and brush with extra melted butter. Cook waffle batter in batches, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, until golden brown and crisp (4-5 minutes). Serve hot topped with duck liver pâté, extra Port jelly and frisée salad, with cornichons to taste.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Late-harvest pinot gris.

Featured in

Sep 2014

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