My sister, Lenore, and I decided to go to Tasmania for a week to have a look at the Museum of New and Old Art in Hobart and then spend a few days exploring other parts of the State.
In Hobart stayed at Lena Hotel just at the end of Salamanca Place. Apart from eating at a couple of places in Salamanca place and the restaurant at the Hotel all good service and food, the main focus was a dinner at Ethos ( www.ethoseatdrink.com ), the restaurant part of a complex of food outlets at 100 Elizabeth Street in Hobart. These include Ash & Besters ( www.ashandbester.com.au ) Providore Food Bar Store ( www.providorehobart.com ) and vita nature + culture ( www.vita.sx ) specialising in yoghurt and cold pressed juice. The oldest part of the building is from 1820, consisting of a carriageway and stableyard, and the whole is a sympathetic renovation reflecting the various uses the building had been home to.
Ethos pride themselves on regionality, house cured, smoked and fermented foods. Their web site has maps showing the name and location of all their Tasmanian suppliers. When making the booking I discussed with them making the wine match from Tasmanian wines where ever this was possible / appropriate and they cheerfully obliged, five of the eight wine matches were from Tasmania. During the meal the staff carefully explained each course and the regional connection and why they had selected the particular wine match.
We sampled the eight course degustation with matched wines:
(consisting of mussels, kimchi and milk curd + during the meal two breads were served, a whole wheat sourdough and a rye sourdough )
quail egg, apple + black garlic, rice + black radish
- 1996 Marc Bredif Vouvray, Loire Valley France
Pastrami, beetroot, fresh curd + cucumber
- 2010 Clarence House Estate Pinot Blanc, Cambridge, Tasmania
house made charcuterie
- 2012 Jacques Puffenay Curvee Sacha, Arbois, France
duck egg, asparagus, onion + flowering kale
- 2014 Domaine Simha Gamay, Huon Valley, Tasmania
(Potatoes roasted in duck fat were served as a ‘side’ dish)
goat, broth, tomato, barley + leek
- 2014 Jauma ‘Seaview’ Cabernet Franc, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
raclette, quince + wild rice
- 2005 572 Richmond Road Gewurztraminer, Cambridge, Tasmania
lemon + kombucha granita
pear, beetroot + lemon
- 2012 Sinapius Riesling, Pipers River, Tasmania
Caramel, strawberry, elderflower + choux pastry
- 2013 Spring Vale dessert Gewurztraminer, Freycinet, Tasmania
(long black coffee with handmade chocolates)
The food was great, full of flavour and in portions / sizes such that I finished the meal feeling comfortably well fed , rather than overfull, the bread was possibly the best I have tasted. The wine food match that worked really well was the ‘pear, beetroot + lemon’ dessert with the 2012 Sinapius Riesling, the combination that had the least best fit was the ‘goat, broth...’ with the 2014 Jauma ‘Seaview’ Cabernet Franc. The wine, which was very good, tended to overwhelm the Bruny Island goat dish which was on the bland side, possibly bland in comparison to what had come before, but we both felt that this dish was underwhelming.
Overall a really great experience, helped by really friendly and professional staff.
The Source is the main restaurant at the Museum of Old and New Art ( MONA ), there are other outlets , cafes and wine bars but I felt that as a day viewing art can easily lead to ‘museum fatigue’, it was best to break up the day with a long lunch, rather than something quick at a cafe or wine bar. The Source is located on the top floor of the buildings on the headland and has a superb view down the Derwent River. Service was great and a relaxing meal included:
- 2008 Moorilla Muse Extra Brut Rosé
- Slow-roasted pork belly, spiced red wine eggplant, apple sherbet, cider jus
- 2010 Moorilla Muse Cabernet Merlot
- Pan-seared scallops, asparagus, lardons, quail egg, red wine sauce
- Lightly poached rhubarb, grapefruit and Campari sorbet, confit zest, rhubarb jelly
Headed off to Strahan on the west coast and a trip on the Gordon River , on the way out of Hobart called into the speciality cake shop, Sweet Envy in Elizabeth Street North Hobart, only purchased a couple of samples, would hate to live close by.... too much temptation.
After Strahan we went to Launceston via Smithton, Stanley, Devonport and the Tamar valley.
Mud Restaurant, on the river in Launceston was a disappointment, food adequate but the service or the lack of same was the total opposite to the great service in restaurants in Hobart. I must admit that someone who had been the previous year had warned that the service was poor but the other main choice was closed due a function - just unfortunate , our last night in Tasmania and the restaurant happened to be a disappointment.