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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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Pea and smoked trout vol-au-vents with salmon roe


You'll need

375 gm butter puff pastry sheet (see note) For brushing: eggwash 70 ml chicken or vegetable stock 30 ml dry white wine 250 gm frozen peas, defrosted 150 gm ricotta 60 gm sour cream ½ cup (firmly packed) mint 2 tbsp finely chopped chives Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon, or to taste 50 gm smoked trout, coarsely flaked 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil To serve: salmon roe

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Cut out 5.5cm-diameter rounds from puff pastry with a pastry cutter, and place on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Cut part-way through centre of each round with a 4.5cm-diameter cutter and brush with eggwash. Prick inside border with a fork, refrigerate to rest (30 minutes), then bake until risen and golden (10-12 minutes). Remove centres of pastry cases with a sharp knife, return to oven and bake until dark golden and crisp (3-4 minutes). Cool completely and store in an airtight container until required. Pastry cases are best eaten on day of making.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, bring stock and wine to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add peas, remove from heat and strain (discard liquid). Transfer 150gm peas to a food processor. Add ricotta, sour cream, mint, chives and lemon rind, process to a smooth purée, season to taste and refrigerate until required.
  • 03
  • To serve, combine reserved peas with smoked trout, olive oil and lemon juice, season to taste. Fill pastry cases with pea and ricotta purée, top with trout mixture and salmon roe and serve.

Note This recipe makes 16-18 vol-au-vents. We prefer to use Carême puff pastry, which comes in pre-rolled 375gm sheets. If unavailable, substitute another good-quality butter puff pastry, rolled to 4mm thick.


At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Peachy, nutty chardonnay.

Featured in

Nov 2010

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