Chomming Hobart – Tasmanian FoodPosted: July 15, 2012
The Chommery visited Hobart, Tasmania for three days and two nights during the winter of 2012. The plan was to visit the much hyped MONA museum and to eat our way through Hobart. Looking back on my short trip, I believe that both tasks were accomplished and kept to a very good standard. Just to let you know, I am not a museum person by a long shot. To put it in perspective I am the sort of guy who is more excited by the museum cafe than the actual exhibition. Don’t Judge! Nevertheless, MONA was epic and most definitely worth visiting. You will see some crazy sh*t that you have never imagined or seen before.
Now, let us get to the serious business regarding the food scene in Hobart right now. I have to admit sampling the cuisine on offer is always a highlight of travelling for me. The following is a short overview of five places that are Chommery Approved suggestions for visitors and locals to inspect in Hobart.
Jackman & McRoss Bakery - Battery Point
First stop was at Hobart’s famous Jackman & McRoss bakery in Battery Point. Many guide books and online forums regard this as an institution for Hobart, popular for domestic and foreign individuals. Another Jackman can be located in Cross Street, New Town too.
They have an amazing selection of fresh breads and pastries available to take home. If only we had a kitchen during our short visit we would have gone home with several loaves of bread and maybe some croissants – a couple of brioches too. The locals seriously love this place, continually pouring in and out picking up fresh treats and loads of take away coffee.
I had the egg + salmon construction which can be seen in the bottom left hand photo. This dish was pre-made, and usually I would avoid such sort of dishes. When in Hobart it is okay to make an exception. While I certainly prefer my poached eggs, this was a pleasant alternative. Perched on top of the pastry is horseradish if you were curious. The fruit brioche (top right) worked well to fuel our engines. No signs of stingyness on the butter or jam to accompany.
A great bakery run by delightful staff in a great pocket of Hobart. Perfect spot to chill out, read the paper and have a naughty snack at any time of the day. Even if you don’t visit any of the restaurants/cafes in Battery Point, it is worth heading down for a stroll to admire the buildings and the special views of the water.
Address: 57-59 Hampden Road, Battery Point
Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30am-6:00pm. Sat-Sun 7:30am-5:00pm
Environs Cafe - Battery Point
We just could not get enough of Battery Point, so we chose to hit up Environs for a late breakfast the following day. This was yet another laid back cafe in the heart of Hobart, offering an all day breakfast menu with lunch options too. The menu looked very special here, with some awesome sounding choices including french toast with labne, ricotta pancakes and a breakfast wagyu burger. As a self confessed ‘sucker’ for porridge we just could not go past that. Furthermore, we had to try to eat semi-healthily for some meals when you are on an extended eating adventure.
The Beatles once oh so eloquently put it, and now Einstein has confirmed that ‘all you need is love’ . But for breakfast, all I needed was two poached eggs on bruschetta ($9.00) with a side of chutney ($2.00) and home made sausage ($3.50) (bottom left).
A very satisfying coffee both in taste and visuals. A smooth, creamy flat white that was drunk with pleasure. Loving the leafy latte art – always makes me smile. Meanwhile, the porridge with quince, brandied sultanas and maple syrup ($10.00) is featured above. The memorable quote from this fine breakfast was ‘this is one of the best porridges I have ever eaten/slurped’. Big call considering we deem ourselves as almost porridge connoisseurs. Funnily enough, the waitress motioned that it would not taste as good being made with water as it would with milk. Imagine if we ordered with milk!
The Chommery would definitely go back to Environs in a heartbeat, not to mention recommending this spot to others to satisfy the eternal hunger cravings.
Address: 38 Waterloo Crescent, Battery Point
Hours: Mon-Sat 7:30am-5:00pm. Sun 8:00am-4:00pm
Ethos Eat Drink - Hobart
Ethos Eat Drink is located in Hobart’s city and was one of the two strong recommendations we received for dinner choices. The other one, also found in Hobart’s centre, is Garagistes. Naturally, during our day we ventured out to both options, read the menu, poked our heads inside in order to decide where we would dine on our first night. After a series of long winded evaluations, cost analysis and thought patterns we decided on Ethos. A great choice too, if I don’t say so myself.
Fried chickpeas with chilli salt ($5.00). Amazing entree that we hoovered up in the space of minutes while we perused the menu and began important discussions. This was a very different starter, crunchy and totally addictive.
A little warning, if you are on a budget or you are a massive eater like myself, this will be a very pricy meal. Not to say that I thought we were taken for a ride, you are paying top dollar for excellent cuisine using preimum produce, which is all part of Ethos’ ethos. As you will notice on this post, the menu items do not explain what the dish actually is. It will say maybe three or four ingredients that are involved in each menu item, what these ingredients will combine to make is not exactly stated. For us this was good fun, after we ordered the dishes, we had no idea what we were in for. We were overall very pleasantly surprised. If that is not your ideal situation (which I am sure is the case for most), the kind staff are very knowledgable in the changing menu and will gladly explain any item to you.
Complimentary house made bread with salt and butter. Naturally, the first plate was demolished within seconds. The kind staff were more than obliging to keep fuelling my carbohydrate demands. Butternut squash, crisps and blue cheese ($19.00) (bottom left). Pork and onion cevapi ($19.00) (bottom right).
Smoked ox tongue, pickled shallots and horseradish ($15.00) (top left). Potentially my first experience with tongue. The conclusion, salty and oniony. Quails egg, anchovy and celery salt ($5.00 each) (top right). Each one of these were flavor explosions as the yolk dripped out of crust. Pork fillet dumplings with black beans ($5.00) (bottom left). Goat’s haloumi with lemon ($19.00) (bottom right). Not the cheapest haloumi that I have met in my chomming. Nevertheless, it was grilled perfectly on the outside and the inside was warm and just delightful.
Venison leg, beetroots and horseradish ($27.00). A memorable ending to an awesome feast with this scrumptious dish of soft meat. The dish above is certainly not just delicious but a work of art from the brilliant people in the kitchen at Ethos.
We accompanied our meal with a bottle of Mother’s Milk shiraz – worked magnificently.
Our original plan was in need of slight revision after our memorable meal at Ethos. We were going to be heading to Hobart’s other famous gastronomic restaurant Garagistes for what we imagined to be another blow your mind, degustation-esque meal. We just could not get our act together in terms of appetite and finances for a consecutive meal the next evening. With that in mind, we decided to go to a local favourite called Da Angelo to get a basic pizza/pasta fix. We did this exactly, one pizza, one pasta and two very happy and not-as-poor campers.
Address: 100 Elizabeth Street, Hobart
Hours: Tue-Fri 10:00am-Late. Sat 9:00am-Late. Sun 9:00am-3:00pm
Ecru Coffee - Hobart
How special did we feel visiting this ‘hole in the wall’ cafe on their opening day? – very. Although, we were very surprised that this was their first day of trading. With no exaggerating on my part, there was a continual line of people for the entire time we were around. So much so that I had to ask extremely politely to a small bunch to allow me to take this quick snap. We found out that Ecru is the newly born small little brother of the very popular cafe Villino. Villino is said to be a long time Hobart favourite, popular for a mean esspresso and a variety of bagel options. Due to appetite and time restrictions we did not get a chance to visit though.
For the Melbourne people, you will really appreciate Ecru if you are a fan of Brother Baba Budan and Patricia Coffee Brewers. As I feel this has been done in a similar small and intimate way. The cofee heads will appreciate a changing single origin bean as well as a cold drip option. We found Ecru Coffee as a great spot for a caffeine injection (I had 4 coffees because I sampled them all), and not to mention an excellent information booth. The two characters here knew the Hobart food scene in and out and sent us on our way in good chomming directions.
Address: 18 Criterion Street, Hobart
Hours: Mon-Fri 7:00am-3:00pm
Pigeon Hole – West Hobart
After recommendations from the blokes at Ecru Coffee, Ethos staff and fellow trusted blogger Poppet’s Window, heading to Pigeon Hole was a certainty on our final day in Hobart. We had time to kill and our stomachs were rumbling (what’s new?), and we were confident that a trip to this compact cafe would cure our fixable problems. After the visit we were cured.
How lovely to be confronted with the coffee know how as soon as you walk into the hole. It is clear the birds behind this project know a thing or two about coffee with my favourite combination of Mazzer grinder and La Marzocco coffee machine. The proof is in the pudding, or in this case the mug of flat white pictured above. Excellent coffee found here folks.
A nice breakfast+lunch menu serving a limited variety of options all made on premises. Pictured to the right is the eggs with jamon, onion, spinach and grana ($11.70). Truthfully, an interesting choice and one that I have not had anywhere before. It could be described as a baked egg options with ham mixed through with strong white cheese to cover. A memorable choice. How brilliant do those cakes look?
The love affair with porridge never seems to cease with The Chommery. Porridge with organic kindred oats, cream and roasted walnuts ($9.50). This was on the sweeter side of regular porridge as it was pre-sugared/spiced when it arrived. No problems here, as the famous saying goes ‘the more sugar the merrier’. A beautiful porridge that was served at the optimal warmth with excellent consistency. We rated it 7.5 oats out of ten.
Address: 89 Goulbourn Street, Hobart
Although, I would admit this cafe is slightly larger than an actual pigeon hole it is probably not by much. As such the name is very befitting for the size of this little gem. Serving a very substantial menu for this size of premises is really quite an achievement. The Chommery felt a real underlying Melbourne vibe when dining here, something to do with the compactedness or even the fashionably isolated location. Either way, this is a top notch cafe that is really warm and welcoming to people of all types. Be it breakfast, lunch or espresso, Pigeon Hole does not mind if you chill out like a bird for the day. The staff are very friendly and accomodating and this is a real asset to Hobart. Three thumbs up.
Hours: Tues-Sat 8:00am-4:30pm
Hobart is truly a lovely city, which is just as enjoyable if you are not into your food. I will finish up here with the awesome photo of a snow capped mountain taken during a daily stroll. Take the time to visit Tasmania.