Okay this posts title is a bit average but let me assure you that a visit to Hobart is not. It was a few weeks ago now that we visited Hobart, but I’m still thinking about some of the excellent food and wine experiences we had. The visit was again centred around MONA, but we also had plans to venture a bit further a-field this time. If you haven’t heard of MONA, I wrote about it adoringly in a post last year. It’s the Museum of Old and New Art and it not only houses an incredible collection of art, it’s an architectural wonder and has the most gorgeous grounds and wine bar. The Moorilla winery and Moo Brewery are all co-located making it a must if you are visiting Hobart.
After checking out the gallery space we ventured out to the lawns for a bottle of Morilla Pinot Gris. I’m not sure what it is about these grapes, but this Pinot Gris has a smokey depth of flavour I really like, it reminds a little of Holly’s Garden.
We had an excellent Five Senses coffee and a BLT at Tricycle Cafe, located in Salamanca Place. I loved this cafe last time, it’s a shame it’s not open on Sundays. The BLT was particularly pleasing due to the beautiful homemade mayo and heirloom tomatoes.
We had dinner at Garagistes, it was one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. I left my camera in my jacket pocket, therefore I don’t have any photo’s of the night. One of our favourite dishes consisted of two variety’s of heirloom beetroot, which I think really exemplifies the style of food in this restaurant. The produce really does shine, lots of fresh and heirloom herbs, with interesting and effective use of wild native edible foliage. We mainly chose from that night’s specials and had an incredibly fresh sashima tuna with housemade XO sauce. The lamb sweetbreads were a particular highlight as was the overall presentation of each dish. I had seen purslane at the Farmers Market, but now that I’ve eaten it I’ll be trying to work out how to use it at home. It’s a native succulent that to me has a peppery flavour similar to rocket. I could write a page on it’s own about Garagistes, I highly recommend it. I also recommend Sidecar a newly opened little brother to Garagistes. A small dimly lit room centred around a single bar. You can use this as your waiting space if Garagistes is busy or simply have a few glasses of wine and bar snacks.
If you’re a fan of the SBS series Gourmet Farmer, farmer Matthew has a small and perfectly formed shop within the warren of shops at Salamanca Place, just near Tricycle Cafe. I was particularly pleased to see flour from Callington Mill. What beautiful packaging, protein content a little high for pastry making but excellent organic grains for making bread.
One of my favourite places in all of Hobart is Sweet Envy. I first read about this place in Gourmet Traveller and had marvelled at the recipe for pecan sticky buns. I finally had the opportunity to taste one, they possibly only make them on Saturday’s (but I might have made that up.) Whatever, get there and get one, THIS is the BEST (double capital lettering required) pastry I’ve ever eaten. The caramel is lush and the bun itself buttery and flaky, heaven. If you live in Melbourne Nat at Beatrix makes something similar or you could try to re-create them, the recipe is on-line at Gourmet Traveller.
We spent our last day venturing further afield to Port Arthur which is incredible. How had I never been there before? It was a cold wet day which just added to the atmosphere. I could have easily spent an entire day there, but unfortunately we didn’t have loads of time. I recommend planning ahead and allowing for the entire day here, it’s worth it.
If Tricycle Cafe is not open, I can recommend The Jam Jar, up in Battery Point behind Salamanca Place. A twee cafe with open fires that does excellent free range eggs and Five Senses coffee.
To top off an incredible weekend we drove back from Port Arthur to the airport and had the best cone of hot chips ever. The Doo-Lishus Cafe was a cafe on wheels and did itself proud with those excellent chips in a cone. Yes, I was taken with the novelty cone, can you tell?
For accommodation I’d recommend the Henry Jones Art Hotel, a great location (on the harbour within walking distance of Salamanca Place) and set in the old IXL Jam Factory it’s an amazing space, think exposed beams and sand blasted brick walls.