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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.

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.

Quince pastelitos


When quince is in season, you could make your own quince paste, but we've taken a shortcut and bought ours. While we love this homemade flaky pastry, a good butter-puff pastry would also work well here. Soaking in syrup makes these pastries stickily delicious, but if you prefer a slightly less sweet result, dust them with icing sugar instead.

You'll need

120 gm quince paste or guava paste Vegetable or grapeseed oil, for deep-frying Icing sugar, to serve   Flaky pastry 175 gm butter, diced and chilled, plus extra, melted for brushing 335 gm (2¼ cups) plain flour 1 egg yolk 2 tsp lemon juice   Vanilla-cinnamon syrup 330 gm (1½ cups) caster sugar 3 cinnamon quills 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped Juice of ½ lemon

Method

  • 01
  • For flaky pastry, melt 50gm butter in a saucepan over low heat and set aside. Pulse 300gm flour, remaining diced butter and ½ tsp salt in a food processor until pea-sized lumps of butter remain, add yolk and lemon juice, and pulse to just combine. Add 125ml iced water and pulse to just combine, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest and chill. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 40cm square, brush evenly with melted butter, then dust lightly with a little of the remaining flour to soak up the butter. Fold dough in half from the top down to form a 20cm x 40cm rectangle, then brush with butter and dust with flour once again. Fold short sides in toward the centre, overlapping (you’ll now have a 20cm square), then brush with butter and dust with flour. Fold top half of the dough again (you’ll have a 10cm x 20cm rectangle), brush with butter and dust with flour, then fold short sides in as before to form a 10cm square. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest for 30 minutes.
  • 02
  • For vanilla-cinnamon syrup, stir sugar and 250ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, add cinnamon and vanilla bean and seeds, bring to the boil and cook until a light syrup forms (4-5 minutes). Add lemon juice, stir to combine and set aside.
  • 03
  • Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 45cm square, trim uneven edges and cut into 16 squares (we’ve used a fluted pastry wheel for fancy edges). Place a teaspoonful of quince paste in the centre of half the squares and brush edges lightly with water. Place remaining pastry squares on top offsetting them to form eight-point stars and press around filling to seal. Pinch to form a flower shape and place on a lightly floured tray.
  • 04
  • Heat oil in a deep saucepan to 180C. Deep-fry pastries in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown (2-3 minutes). Drain on paper towels, then serve hot drizzled with vanillacinnamon syrup and dusted with icing sugar.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

Jul 2016

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