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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

Stir-fried prawns and pipis in spicy sauce with pineapple


The spice paste makes double what you need, but it's easier to make this amount and save half for another meal. The paste will keep for a week in an airtight container.

You'll need

2 tbsp vegetable oil 12 uncooked prawns, peeled, tails intact 12 pipis, soaked 2 red birdseye chillies (optional) 200 gm pineapple, diced 1 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste 1 cup (loosely packed) Thai basil To serve: lime halves (optional) and steamed jasmine rice (optional)   Spice paste 6 long red chillies, coarsely chopped 20 gm peeled ginger, coarsely chopped 4 red shallots, coarsely chopped 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 1 lemongrass stalk (white part only), chopped 2 tbsp grapeseed oil 50 gm light palm sugar, grated 1 tbsp fish sauce

Method

  • 01
  • For spice paste, blend ingredients except palm sugar and fish sauce in a blender with 100ml water until smooth. Transfer to a wok and stir-fry continuously over high heat until water evaporates and sauce starts to stick to the pan (4-6 minutes). Add palm sugar and fish sauce, stir over high heat until paste deepens in colour (2-3 minutes), then set aside and clean wok.
  • 02
  • Heat oil in wok over high heat until smoking, then add prawns, pipis and chilli, and stir-fry until prawns are golden and pipis open (2-4 minutes). Add half the spice paste (reserve remaining paste for another use) and stir to combine, then stir in pineapple, fish sauce and basil. Serve with lime halves and steamed rice.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

Medium-sweet chenin blanc

Featured in

Feb 2016

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