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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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

Pea and ham soup

Twelve-hour Indian-spiced lamb shoulder with saffron pilaf


As the name indicates, this dish requires planning ahead. That said, the long cooking time is offset by simple preparation, with melt-in-the-mouth textures and deep flavours the pay-offs. Start this recipe two days ahead to marinate and roast the lamb.

You'll need

150 gm Greek-style yoghurt 2 tbsp finely grated ginger 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tbsp garam masala 1 tsp ground coriander 1 tsp ground chilli Juice of 1 lime 1 lamb shoulder, bone in (about 1.7kg) 80 gm ghee 4 onions, thinly sliced Fresh coriander sprigs, mint leaves, thinly sliced long green chilli and lime wedges, to serve   Saffron pilaf 50 ml vegetable oil or ghee 1 onion, thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 300 gm (1½ cups) brown basmati rice 500 ml (2 cups) hot chicken stock ½ tsp saffron, soaked in 50ml warm water for 10 minutes   Mint yoghurt 250 gm thick plain yoghurt 1 cup (firmly packed) mint 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped Juice of 1 lime

Method

  • 01
  • Combine yoghurt, ginger, garlic, spices and lime juice in a bowl and season to taste. Slash lamb at intervals, rub all over with yoghurt mixture and into the incisions, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to marinate.
  • 02
  • Unwrap lamb, place in a roasting pan and bring to room temperature (1-1½ hours). Preheat oven to 120C. Meanwhile, heat ghee in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add onion and fry, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden brown (8-10 minutes). Season to taste, cool briefly, then scatter onion over lamb. Add 500ml water to roasting pan, cover with foil and roast until meat is fall-apart tender (11-12 hours). Pour pan juices into a jug, skim off excess fat and season to taste.
  • 03
  • For saffron pilaf, heat ghee in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic and sauté until tender and translucent (5-6 minutes). Stir in rice to coat, then add stock, saffron and its soaking liquid and 250ml hot water. Season to taste, bring to the boil, cover with a tight-fitting lid, then reduce heat to low and cook without uncovering for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stand without uncovering for 5 minutes, then uncover and fluff up with a fork.
  • 04
  • For mint yoghurt, process ingredients in a food processor and season to taste.
  • 05
  • Pile pilaf onto a platter, top with lamb, scatter with coriander, mint and green chilli, and serve with pan juices, mint yoghurt and lime wedges.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Spicy grenache

Featured in

Aug 2016

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