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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.

Red lentil dhal


Dhal is classic comfort food, served in various iterations across the subcontinent. We'd happily eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's even better the next day, so make a double batch to enjoy later.

You'll need

250 gm (1¼ cups) red lentils, rinsed, drained 50 gm finely grated ginger 1 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp Sri Lankan curry powder 1 cinnamon quill 500 ml (2 cups) coconut milk 8 fresh curry leaves, plus extra, fried, to serve 3 onions, thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, crushed 2 long green chillies, thinly sliced 60 gm coconut oil 2 tsp brown mustard seeds 60 ml (¼ cup) coconut cream Juice of 1 lime, plus extra wedges, to serve Steamed basmati rice, coriander and warmed roti (optional), to serve

Method

  • 01
  • Combine lentils, ginger, turmeric, curry powder, cinnamon quill, coconut milk, curry leaves, a third of the onion, half the garlic and 1 green chilli in a saucepan. Add 350ml water, bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, until lentils are breaking down (20-25 minutes).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, melt coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add mustard seeds, remaining onion, garlic and chilli and fry, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender and browned (5-6 minutes; be careful, mustard seeds and oil will spit). Remove from the heat and stir into lentils when they are ready. Add coconut cream and lime juice and season generously to taste with sea salt. Serve hot with rice, fried curry leaves, coriander and roti. 

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Crisp cold lager.

Featured in

May 2016

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