Tuesday, February 22, 2005

By Request: The HRB’s Top 10 of the Moment (it may all change tomorrow)

Feel free to piss and moan about this, because God knows by tomorrow I’ll have changed my mind completely. But, as the request has been made and I am titillated by the concept (and easily baited it would seem), here’s my current Top 10 (in no other order than that dictated by the random firing of synapses in what passes for my brain):

Paesano (Italian - West Hobart, 6234 2111). Good stuff: risotto, calzone, gourmet pizzas, cheap. Not so good stuff: size doesn’t make it an attractive dine-in option, but they do describe themselves as ‘specialising in take away’
Steam Packet (“Modern Australian” - Henry Jones Art Hotel, Hunter St, 6210 7700). Good stuff: the food, the service, the wine list. Not so good stuff: a couple of teething issues, but getting there on the whole.
Novaro’s (Italian – Launceston, 6334 5589). Good stuff: it’s all good baby. Not so good stuff: nah, still can’t think of anything
T42 (“Modern Australian” - Elizabeth St Pier, 6224 7742). Good stuff: view, staff, food, coffee, wine list. Not so good stuff: mostly just the evening bar clientele (T42 is a bit of a “scene”)
Sen’s (Asian/Yum Cha - North Hobart, 6236 9345). Good stuff: duck, wonton soup, yum cha, steamed bok choy, custard tarts, cheap. Not so good stuff: take away (unless ordered from the a la carte menu), wine list could be better.
Stillwater River Café (“Modern Australian” – Launceston, 6331 4153). Good stuff: don’t get me started, I’m dribbling already. Not so good stuff: Price, but it doesn’t have to be expensive (unless I’m there, then it’s Family Violence Act time for my wallet)
Siren’s (Vegetarian – Victoria St, Hobart, 6234 2634). Good stuff: vegetarian with imagination. Not so good stuff: Vegetarian Nazism (check the “rules” on the menu)
Satis (Bistro-style Café, not open for dinner – Sandy Bay Rd, Sandy Bay, 6224 0551). Good stuff: the tea, the coffee, the teapots, the cakes and bickies, the bruschetta. Not so good stuff: it’s for sale.
“The Local”, Peppermint Bay (“Modern Australian” – Peppermint Bay, Woodbridge, 6267 4088). Good stuff: great day trip destination, view, venue, food’s good and not expensive, excellent wine list. Not so good stuff: tourists with loud voices/mobiles. (I can’t comment on the main restaurant at PB.)
Mai Ake (Thai - North Hobart, 6231 5557). Good stuff: prawn cakes, bbq octopus, stuffed chicken wings, prawn choo chee, larp gai, basically cheap but good Thai. Not so good stuff: Has lost something since the move to bigger premises, but always a great meal.

If you’re on the list, don’t get cocky. By naming you guys up, you now risk being shot down in flames by a gaggle of people who think you suck. But I like you. Don’t stuff it up.

Kafe Kara (Bistro/Café, Hobart). Now open for dinner Fridays. Has always been good for lunch
onetwelve (‘occasional venue’). Hobart’s legal answer to a speak-easy. Cheap drinks, good music, good community events. Watch out for gigs by The John Wayne Instruction Manual (classic funk) and the occasional jazz gig. But you need to be in the know. Go to http://www.onetwelve.blogspot.com/ to get yourself on the mailing list.
Bush Inn (Counter Meals, New Norfolk). Nice view, typical pub fare. Australia’s oldest or longest running or some other bloody “old” status pub. Nellie Melba stayed and performed there. I reckon it’s haunted.
Magic Curries (Indian, Battery Point). Good curries, bad name.

Missing in Action:
These are places that I don’t feel qualified to comment on (yet), despite excellent reputations, because I’ve never been or I haven’t been for ages or I was so incredibly pissed when I did go. But keep your eyes and ears (and taste buds) peeled: Lickerish (Modern Australian, North Hobart), Red Velvet Lounge (Café - Cygnet), Mitsuno (Japanese - Sandy Bay), Franklin Manor (“Modern Australian”? - Strahan), Calstock (French - Deloraine), Criterion Café (Criterion St, Hobart).

And that’s your blooming lot (now you know what happened to Peter Cundall after the fall).

Happy dining!
GW ;-)


Anonymous said...

That was quick (and pretty comprehensive). Many thanks. Look forward to trying the list next vist to Tas..

Ms Creosote said...

Hey Georgie, I've been reading your site for a while and it seems you like to play it safe. My eating adventures are hampered by a 10 month old accompaniment but I'd suggest you give these a whirl..

Every good gourmand knows LEBRINA is a very special spot. The food's complex and can linger the next day but it's always remarkable. Remember to take your credit card (you'll want more from their wine list) and don't wear too many layers in winter, it gets toasty.

LICKERISH is cosy and the food is delish but I think the FOH service is even more noteworthy than the kitchen's endeavours. This is how it should be done. Just one small nit to pick, the tables are too close together and I always get the sense of being overheard.

Possibly the best breakfast in (Hobart) town comes from MACHINE's kitchenette - the coffee's quick, the eggs aren't rushed and there's always something or someone to observe. Getting a table can be competitive, esp. on Saturday.

THE LEFT BANK at Swansea has the world's best lemon tart. It's well worth the drive.

And while you're up that way pop into EDGE OF THE BAY at Coles Bay. Local goodies, soothing view and beds nearby if you overindulge.

Anyway, lists always invite more lists so how about your Tail 10 - those we should avoid for whatever reason?

Ms Creosote said...

PS: My occasional side order practically lives at Criterion St Cafe which is a strong vote of confidence. Try the Blokey sandwich if you're REALLY hungry.

Like a Tiger said...

Peppermint Bay? Oh come on, there's better pub food at any number of places... How about the venison at Republic, for starters? It's a less-than-spectacular venue in less-than-spectacular spot. It's already the Mures of pub food: its reputation will ensure it continues at this level of mediocrity for decades.

Mud is doing super food in Launceston. The Flinders Island lamb with (from memory - you know how it is) pistachio and mint pesto is stunning. And it's far more attractive a venue and setting than Peppermint Bay. And no, I'm not fom Launnnie.

As for Paesano? Paelease. Go directly to Maldini, don't bother with the hideous olives and bread (lift, boys, lift!) and order the marinara. It's a tomato-free wonder and yes, you can (now) ask for bread for the rest of those juices... Bugger Atkins.

Miss Creosote is right: Criterion rocks and the coffee at atmosphere would place it highly in any Australian metropolis.

Mike Hobart said...

Most recent places I've eaten are Cafe 73 in Moonah (love their chicken caesar salad) and the new Ceylon restaurant in Lenah Valley (near corner of Augusta Road and Giblin Street) -- tried them yet?

Anonymous said...

I can vouch for the lamb at Mud! It's fantastic.

I had a great meal (as always) at Hallam's in Launceston last weekend. Can highly recommend the spicy seafood soup, scallop gratin, and of course the crayfish. It's definitely worth a visit if you're into seafood.

Does anyone here know of any other good seafood restaurants in the Launceston area?

Georgie Weston said...

I agree that Mud is indeed excellent. Delicious and respectful treatment of seafood can also be found at Navaro's.

Anonymous said...

i think georgie needs to start going out how in gods name did she come up with her top 10 list its no wonder the hobart restaurant scene is so crap