Healthy Eating

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Sugarcane chicken with pineapple and coconut salad


Gai yang is one of our favourite barbecued chicken dishes, especially when cooked over coals in the traditional way. If you can't get sugar cane (available at select Asian grocers), you can skewer the chicken on thick bamboo skewers or chopsticks instead. We've opted for the tang of slightly underripe pineapple in the accompanying salad, but the traditional som dtum is a beauty too. Begin recipe a day ahead to marinate the chicken.

You'll need

1 tbsp white peppercorns 8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 50 gm fresh turmeric, coarsely chopped 6 coriander roots, scraped and soaked to remove grit 3 lemongrass stalks (white parts only), thinly sliced 60 ml (¼ cup) fish sauce 1 tbsp finely crushed light palm sugar Juice of 1 lime, plus extra halves, to serve 1 chicken (about 1.8kg), butterflied, skin slashed twice on each halfv   Tamarind sauce 2 red shallots, unpeeled 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled 2 tbsp tamarind purée 30 gm finely grated palm sugar 120 ml fish sauce 2 tbsp lime juice 1 tsp roasted chilli flakes   Pineapple and young coconut salad 1 birdseye chilli, coarsely chopped 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped 1 tbsp finely grated palm sugar 1½ tbsp each lime juice, fish sauce and rice vinegar ½ slightly underripe pineapple, thinly sliced Flesh of 1 young coconut ½ cup each (loosely packed) mint and coriander 1 red shallot, thinly sliced

Method

  • 01
  • Pound peppercorns with a large mortar and pestle, then transfer to a large bowl. Pound garlic, turmeric, coriander and lemongrass in batches to a medium paste, add to peppercorns along with fish sauce, palm sugar and lime juice, mix well, then add chicken and rub all over to coat, rubbing well into the incisions. Cover and refrigerate overnight to marinate.
  • 02
  • For tamarind sauce, char shallots and garlic over an open flame, turning occasionally, until tender (4-5 minutes for shallots, 2-3 minutes for garlic; or you can put them under a hot grill). Coarsely chop, then pound with a mortar and pestle to a smooth paste. Stir in remaining ingredients, adjust to taste with extra lime juice, fish sauce or sugar and refrigerate until required. Dressing can be made a day or two ahead.
  • 03
  • Heat a coal barbecue to high. Remove chicken from marinade and thread a piece of sugar cane or a thick bamboo skewer through each side (this helps keep it flat and makes it easier to turn during cooking). Barbecue chicken, skin-side down, until golden and slightly charred on the edges (8-10 minutes), then turn and cook until cooked through and juices run clear when chicken is pierced (10-12 minutes).
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, for pineapple and coconut salad, pound chilli, garlic and sugar with a mortar and pestle, then stir in lime juice, fish sauce and vinegar and adjust to taste (it should taste salty, sour, sweet and spicy). Combine pineapple, coconut flesh, mint, coriander and shallot in a large bowl, drizzle with dressing to taste, toss to combine and serve with chicken, tamarind sauce and lime wedges.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

Full-bodied perfumed white, such as Alsace pinot gris.

Featured in

Jan 2015

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