With new openings and happenings across the island this is going to be one tasty Tassie summer.
As with every Tasmanian journey, you’ll get to meet the driving force behind the local food and drink scene – the chefs, the distillers, and fermenters. They draw inspiration from a pantry of clean waterways, fresh air and seasonal produce – creating delicious gourmet fare to be nibbled with decadent wine, beer, cider and whisky.
For the finer things
Carl Windsor and James Kingston founders of Willing Brothers have opened Ettie’s – a European bistro in Hobart, down a horse-and-cart carriageway in a building with colourful history. The restaurant was the former home of Ethos Eat Drink – and is named after Ettie Rout, who was raised in the building and travelled to Egypt and France in World War I to distribute safe sex kits to the troops. Today, the building’s story evolves as a European eatery gathering local produce to reproduce classic dishes. Expect to see local grass-fed beef and ethically caught fish on the menu.
Ettie’s, Image Courtesy of Ettie’s
Landscape Restaurant & Grill not only tells the story of Tasmania on the plate, but in the wine glass, on the walls and in the building too. Tasmanian-born and European-trained head chef Ollie Mellers serves premium local meat, seafood, produce and wine in the “if-these-walls-could-talk” surrounds of the historic IXL Jam Factory in Hobart (now home to the Henry Jones Art Hotel). The interiors are inspired by, and adorned with, original John Glover paintings. His iconic work captures the youth and promise of colonial Tasmania in the 19th century.
Landscape Restaurant & Grill, Image Credit: Dale Baldwin
Wander into new dining venue, A Tiny Place, and you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve stumbled into your well-travelled aunt’s dining room. A Tiny Place is tucked away in Battery Point and is an intimate dining experience and food journey through Asia and Europe, using the best of locally sourced ingredients. Highly regarded chef Philippe Leban (former head chef at The Source, Mona) shows his flair across a changing menu of seasonal produce. They also serve real Parisian hot chocolate – it’s so smooth and delectably good!
A Tiny Place, Image Courtesy of Alice Hansen, Tailored Tasmania
For the frivolous
The word “˜larder’ evokes images of decadent dairy and melt-in-your-mouth cured meats. At the end of Brooke Street Pier in Hobart, you’ll find Brooke Street Larder. Relax out on the deck looking out to the harbour then hop on a ferry out to Mona. There’s no need to rush, the terminal is in the same building, miss one ferry and there will be another shortly after. Linger over lunch or sip bubbles in the afternoon sun as you pick from tasting plates.
Brooke Street Larder, Image Credit: Peter Topliss
Ex-Masterchef contestant, Con Vailis, has returned to Hobart to open Born in Brunswick, a new café in North Hobart. Light and bright, with a very open kitchen for the chef-nerds to watch over, the cafe serves up highly finessed cafe food, complete with the prettiest of micro-herbs and Insta-perfect crockery.
The Tasmanian Food & Wine Conservatory at Sassafras, is a cafe and providore on the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail, stocking 100 per cent Tassie produce from the best growers and producers across the state, in the divine surrounds of an old music conservatory.
Tasmanian Food & Wine Conservatory, Image Courtesy of Tasmanian Food & Wine Conservatory
The food truck trend has well and truly hit Launceston. Get along to High Street near St Georges Square to grab a bite at Eat Street Launceston. Vibrant food vans are ever changing and offer everything from moorish burgers to crepes and vegan deliciousness. Check out the Facebook page to get the skinny on which trucks are featured and when.
Hobart Cat Café is a Hobart café with cat-titude. Feline lovers can have the purr-fect coffee and cuddle up with a kitty. The concept of furry friends, food, and drinks is proving a hit, with diners leaving happier and more relaxed. Patrons can even look up kitty’s for adoption on the adopt-a-cat terminal. LA doesn’t even have one. That is all. Meow.
Hobart Cat Café, Image Courtesy of Hobart Cat Café
For when the stars come out
Hobart has just added another to the fold. Dier Makr. A bar? Yes. Is there delicious food? Yes. Kind of like a bistro? Yes. Mainlander from Melbourne, Kobi Ruwicka’s food features carefully sourced ingredients like eucalyptus and lamb, alongside cocktails with ingredients like burnt pineapple and douglas fir.
Cinco Passiones libation bar is a curated space that brings life’s finer indulgences to Launceston before and after dinner. Cuban cigars, Tasmanian single malt whiskeys and handmade cocktails both classic and with a twist. Join a cocktail class here that includes the drink you just learnt to make.
There’s fine wine and whisky, Chesterfield lounges and an open fire. And there’s the bones of the heritage Northern Club – a Launceston gentleman’s club dating back 120 years, now revived in the form of Henry’s. The menu is a selection of small plates. If you desire more, add extra plates and make your own degustation as you go.
For the love of the land and sea
Overlooking the water in the small coastal town of St Helens, the Salty Seas Oyster And Wine Bar is open for summer. Running from November until March, try local seafood prepared expertly and matched with Tasmanian wines. Think Blue Eye Trevalla ceviche with chilli sambal, jalapeno and cheddar oysters and a killer lobster chowder.
Street Eats @ Frankco, Image Credit: Kathryn Leahy
Every Friday, Hobart’s Franklin Square plays host to a Tassie food feast. Brainchild of Hobart’s Farm Gate Market, the new night food market, Street Eats @Franko plate up the best produce, artisan foods and craft beverages – and you get to meet the people behind the food. With music, outdoor cinema and projections on to the Treasury Building, it’s not to be missed. The night market runs every Friday night 5pm to 9pm until April 2017.
For good booze and good times
T-Bone Brewing Co, Image Credit: Dale Baldwin
Tasmania is one of the few places still producing hops in Australia. As a result, the locals know a thing or two about creating a great beer. In Scottsdale Little Rivers Brewing Company is run by winemaker turned brewer, Chris Carins. In North Hobart, T-Bone Brewing Co serve up small-batch hand crafted beers in their new brew pub and a converted warehouse is home to Shambles Brewery – chaotic in name only, it’s a slick space of timber and steel. Inspired by the 19th century brewing history of our capital, Hobart Brewing Co will pour you a beer in the “˜big red shed’ amidst Hobart’s historic docks complete with fire pit and food trucks.
Mega-award-winning Glaetzer-Dixon Family Winemakers have transformed a warehouse on the edge of Hobart’s CBD into an urban cellar door and tasting room. It’s dark, moody and smooth, much like winemaker Nick Glaetzer-Dixon’s Rhone Valley-style Shiraz. The cellar door is open on weekends and during the week by appointments.
Redlands Distillery has found a new home at Dysart House, an historic coaching inn built in 1842 in the village of Kempton. You can wander the main residence and enjoy country style fare and antipasto platters from the kitchen – or learn more on one of the daily tasting tours of the property and distillery.