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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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

Chorizo recipes

Where would Spanish cuisine be without the chorizo? This versatile smallgood lends its big flavours to South American stews, soups, and salads, not to mention the ultimate hot dog. Let the sizzling begin.

Armando Percuoco: Linguine Napoletana


You'll need

10 Roma tomatoes 280 gm linguine 80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil 2 tsp finely chopped garlic 4 basil leaves, chopped To serve: finely grated parmesan

Method

  • 01
  • Blanch tomatoes in boiling water, refresh in iced water, peel and cut into 1cm pieces.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain.
  • 03
  • Combine oil and garlic in a large saucepan and sauté over high heat until garlic is golden, add tomatoes and basil and cook for 4 minutes. Add pasta and stir to combine, season to taste, scatter with parmesan and serve immediately.

"A lot has been said and written about Napoletana sauce," says Sydney's Armando Percuoco of the sauté of tomatoes that forms the basis of many Italian recipes. "There will never be one agreed recipe for all of Italy. But from discussions with countless chefs in Naples and from my lifetime of experience, this is the recipe I use. I know many chefs will say it needs ingredients like onions, carrots or celery. But this gets us away from what Napoletana sauce really is - the most important thing is the tomatoes. Equally important is the method of cooking - this is not a slow-cooked ragù, it is a sauce made quickly at the last moment, it should not be cooked for a long time."

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

May 2007

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