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Mar 23, 2011 04:39 AM

some Hobart reviews

Garagistes: I recently read an article about Garagistes in Hobart in the Gourment Traveller Australia magazine (I think ?) --I had a trip planned to Tasmania so was excited to give it a try. Great space, lots of ambiance and way cooler than the CBD area around it. Great local wines, and great concept. I was solo but tried a few dishes (they are meant for sharing so there are smaller plates to larger main size dishes). Started with Bruny Island Oysters that were fresh and had that wonderful taste of the sea, then moved on to salt fish fritters with a lemon aioli-these were quite tasty, very similiar to Portugese salt cod fritters, cooked perfectly. Next up a Kingfish dish (I forget the details of the complements) the fish was thinly sliced, and had some great garnishes of refreshing fruits and veg. it was a good dish overall, felt like it could have used a "kick" of something, but good. The one thing that I didn't really like was the dessert, I tried an apple crumble with goat cheese icecream, the apple crumble part was okay-ish, but the ice cream was a let down, it just didn't taste right-and not like goat cheese at all-. (Had a great dessert wine though!) I would definitely give this place another try if in Hobart again.

Fish Frenzy: This place is very popular, I enjoyed it. Both myself and my dining companion had the 'Fish Frenzy"- fish, chips and other fried seafood-calamari and scallops. The fish and chips were the best part, so I would just stick with that if I went again. The calamari and scallops were okay-just not stand out. We also had a greek salad (a little weird I know, but they looked really good going by.) Just the traditional salad but it was done well. They did cool combos of fried or grilled seafood on top of salads, and this seemed like a very virtuous choice!

Overall, I had really great food and wine throughout my trip to Tasmania, even in some very unexpected little small towns. Local strawberries were in season, and it was fun trying different Pinot Noir's along the way.

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  1. I'll add those tot he list, thanks. Where is Fish Frenzy?

    7 Replies
    1. re: mr_gimlet

      It is at the end of Elizabeth St, down on the water, on the pier.

      We are still in Hobart, for the most part. I like the coffee at Dr. Coffee in Salamanca, I like the Sunday market on Elizabeth St, I love the produce, the apples and apple juice are amazing. We are going to try Peppermint Bay for the Pinot Noir dinner. I love Preachers for sitting outside and drinking beer, and I like the food at the New Sydney pub, sort of gastropub food. I love the new pink eye potatoes. I love the blackberries and raspberries from the farmers mkt.

      We've been to Garagistes a couple of times - I think the dessert to have in the ricotta fritters. I like their wine list, and that you can order a taste size of wine. Their house red though was awful. I like the creativity of the food. We tried Annapurna in Salamanca and it was ok, we tried Ball and Chain for steak, and I don't need to go back. I tried Mezzes in Salamanca also do not need to go back. Tried sushi under Mures at the Japanese restaurant - eh - it wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. I want to go back to Monty's. Still need to try Lebrina. We went to Taste of Huon, and wasn't too excited by it.

      1. re: debbieann

        Do try Yellow Bernard for coffees -- it's little and takeaway, owned by/barista'ed by a couple of dear friends. It's on Collins St. between Banjo's and Harris Scarfe

        The produce in Tas is just amazing, but the restaurant scene has some catching up to do, IMO.

        1. re: LauraGrace

          I just wanted to add in a recommendation for Monty's on Montpelier ( When visiting I had an absolutely fantastic meal here with my partner. The service was amazing. The hostess was attentive and exceptionally knowledgeable. The food was delicious, and the environment was cosy and warm. I can't say enough good things about this place it was a fantastic evening. Will definitely be going back there.

          1. re: heeler

            yay, I love Monty's. the kitchen is turning out great food and the cheese list is fantastic - and- they really understand cheese and bring it to room temp before serving. also love the mussels, spring bay, but then they do something fantastic to cook them in.

            Also, Piccalilly closed, and turned into a steakhouse and the people from Piccalilly opened a place in the CBD called Ethos doing small plates and it is good. Nice to have a place in the CBD to go after a movie.

            Jackman McRoss in Battery Point is a great bakery.

            I still want to try Lebrina and Le Provencal.

            I was not impressed w Wrest Point revolving restaurant dining.

          2. re: LauraGrace

            that is so funny - just this week I heard about them on Beanhunter and told Charles to check it out and he went three times in one day and brought all his work mates. They are great. I was there today, had a Nicaraguan single origin and hung out. they have tasty little treats too and newspapers and the espresso is great. How cool that they are your friends - congrats to them for making a great cup. They are next to Zuba, not Banjo's I think. really nice people.

            1. re: debbieann

              Tell Dave and Gwyd I say hello next time you're in there! :)

        2. Yellow Bernard is doing some fantastic cold drip coffee. Usually I only like espresso, but cold drip is fantastic, I could see drinking more of it in the summer.

          Had a recent dinner at Piccolo. Photos are here:

          It is right up there with Monty's as one of my favorite places in Hobart. I liked the creativity of the kitchen - I loved my venison carpaccio, loved the pig trotters and tail, loved my root vegetable rotolo. The place was filled and maybe a little noisy and not as intimate as Monty's. The food is exceptional, I might wait a bit for the menu to change, but then I hope to go back.

          1 Reply
          1. new fantastic coffee in Hobart at Pilgrim Coffee. Will is a great barrista. some tasty treats from Sweet Envy as well. Check it out - on Argyle near Liverpool. Nice tables too, closed on wkends.

            1. Da Angelo's pizza in Hobart seems to be loved by many, but after DOC in Melbourne, I'm not going back to Da Angelos. We also tried Le Provencal, which was not worth going to - the menu is old and the whole experience is lacking.

              Sweet Envy has a sticky pecan bun that is my current favorite pastry in all of Hobart - from a Thomas Keller recipe! I'm hoping that eventually I'll be able to have the sticky pecan bun at pilgrim coffee on a Saturday.

              Lots of places have been closed so that people can take a break, but they should be opening up soon. I was surprised that restaurants close for a month.

              The fresh scallops w roe have been excellent - I've been buying them at Mako. The fresh chicken eggs from Rare foods and the pork fennel sausage from Rare foods have also been great.

              1. rr2035 or any winos! We are planning a trip to TAsmania in March 2012. We would love to know more about the wines regions and wines and wineries that were your favorites in each region. We travel the world for wine!

                3 Replies
                1. re: zinfanatic

                  zinfanatic, unfortunately I didn't travel in the wine region or visit any wineries in Tasmania, just sampled the local wines along the way, so I don't have any good tips. I'm sure you could contact the local tourist office (if you haven't already) and they could help if you don't get any other response here.

                  1. re: rr2035

                    Just back from 5 days in Hobart. From a wine perspective there's plenty in the Coal River Valley (within 30 minutes of Hobart) to keep you entertained. There are also a couple of places by the Derwent. If you fancy a trip up the East Coast towards Freycinet, then that would be rewarding/entertaining too.

                    As for the dining scene in Hobart we visited the following:

                    Smolt: Friday night so service was a bit chaotic. Over a half hour wait for mains to arrive. Was expecting to see more fish/shellfish on the menu given the name and the website. However, my trio of appetizers (tempura oyster, chicken liver parfait, beetroot carpaccio) was very good as was the Monkfish/Harpuka fish special to follow. Definitely worth a visit.

                    Monty's: Sunday night, pretty quiet, very attentive service. Pork belly & black pudding appetizer delivered great taste, if not much variety in texture. Perhaps this is more my problem for anticipating crackling with the pork belly. Rack and shoulder of lamb main was next, the shoulder being the stand out (along with the pommes mousseline).

                    We followed this up with 6 selections from their outstanding cheeseboard. They obviously make a big effort to source quality cheese both locally and internationally. Their passion for food in general is very clear. Highly recommended.

                    Ball & Chain Grill: blaming the mrs for this one as she fancied steak and very few places were open. Had their website mentioned that the all you can eat salad bar is a major part of their offering, we'd never have set foot inside. If you use Chowhound for reference and research, DO NOT GO THERE.

                  2. re: zinfanatic

                    As others have said try the tourist office first, all Australian wine region tourist offices produce very comprehensive guides. Best region will depend on personal taste I like the Hobart area best rather than Launceston as I liked the Pinot down there better. That said the bigger estates are near Launceston and these are geared for tourism.