Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Anniversary Baby … Got You On My Mi-Hind!

One year ago today I started writing a few wee thoughts based on countless conversations with friends. We would sit and slurp our wine and grumble over the sad state of affairs in Hobart. Divine dining, we grizzled, what a joke. And it has become a joke of sorts. We are still charged Sydney prices for food that barely makes the grade, on the whole. To rub salt into the wound, Launceston shits on us, still.

This site started as a pissed experiment, mere musings that I thought would never see the light of day. Boy was I wrong. I think being chastised by Daniel Leesong from Tourism Tas was one highlight. Being courted by Tim Cox of ABC Radio was another. What a year it’s been!

Initially there were shouts of wonder from those amazed that someone else was speaking their thoughts aloud. Every now and then some tanties have been thrown (and you know I don’t respond to tanties). More recently some delicious banter has sprung up between regular visitors (nay, contributors) to the site.

But after 12 months we’ve seen few changes. Mostly the same restaurants with the same variations on a theme (the theme is “Windmills of my Mind”, I’m sure). Between us we’ve grumbled and moaned, to no avail. All we manage to stir up is the occasional snipey comments from a few kitchen hands furiously proud of their establishments. Well good on you.

We still bang on, punters united far and wide. We have hungry mouths and sad lonely wallets. But tourist dollars still hold the power. Lucky for those who love a crumbed scallop.

I won’t kid you, I’ve considered shutting down the site many times. And one day I will. But one year is only one baby step. I wonder what the “terrible twos” will be like!

Happy dining, and long live freedom of speech!
GW … with all my love

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Not so Grand

Had a meal at The Cove in the Grand Chancellor recently. Oysters were fresh. Pumpkin ravioli was passable. The place was near enough to empty, but the service was amateurish (being generous, I'm hoping it was work experience night).

When I was a wee slip of a bitch, I had my only experience waiting tables in a taco joint. In this humble establishment I was taught to wait until the customer had finished their entree before advising the kitchen it was ok to commence preparing the main.

I was not taught (even in a taco joint) to ask the customer:
"Have you finished your oysters yet?"
(I hadn't.)
"Because your next course is ready."

Dear me.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Other Foot

It's kinda nice for me to pick up all your comments and try out your suggestions. Having the shoe on the other foot, so to speak. Following the lovely banter that accompanied the bit on NH coffee I decided to try two things:
Coffee at Amulet
Food at Raincheck

Call me perverse.

Coffee at Amulet was very good. Excellent in fact. I took advantage of the late afternoon sun and the fags in my handbag to sip al fresco. Tres nice. Do I think it tops Aroma? Mmmm, no but only because I really like the whole Aroma concept, and that plus good coffee is a good package.

Now. Raincheck.

My meal was absolutely atrocious. And I am really sorry to say that, because I think they are trying hard. Pink Ling should be thick and sweet, not thin and bitter. The night I was there I heard someone at another table complain about the fish, so it's not just me and my unqualified taste buds. And I'm never impressed by fries that look like McCain Crinkle Cut Home Fries. It's a subtle thing, but it speaks volumes.

But, and this is a good but (nothing like a good but), the cocktails at Raincheck are excellent. Try their English Country Garden on a balmy evening. Fucking awesome. Maybe Raincheck should morph into a cocktail bar with a good light meal/snack menu. This would be something they could manage very well. As it stands now, I will certainly go back to Raincheck time and again for the cocktails. As for the food and the coffee ... prove me wrong Raincheck, I'd like to see you succeed.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Coffee in 'The Strip'

I hate the reference to Elizabeth St North Hobart as "Little Lygon St". Having eaten much gelati in Lygon St in my youth, I know it is a very stupid and pointless comparison.

Anyway (big sigh) ...

I've been on a mission to try some coffee on 'the strip' and here's what I've discovered:

Zum - better than the original. A very small enclave for coffee lovers and sweet tooths alike. My tip would be to grab a street-side seat when the sun is shining (late afternoon?). Speaking of Zum, rumours have it that (a) the old site is to be taken over by a restaurant/club (cool concept), and (b) Zum Salamanca will resurface next door in the old photolab space.

Aroma - is it a record shop, is it a cafe? I love it here, and having just discovered the rear courtyard (which catches lovely morning sun), I have redoubled my efforts to visit Aroma. They do great coffee and the food is rather delish too (my favourite is the avocado on toast - so simple, so yum). The real challenge is to escape Aroma without giving in to the temptation to buy some funky CD (so far I'm not winning).

Raincheck Lounge - Heard good stuff about food and coffee when these guys first opened. Coffee is inconsistent (very bitter today). Last time I was there I sat outside with a menu in my hand, eventually realising the staff had forgotten me. The temptation to partake in a cocktail left and so did I.

Would have contemplated giving Amulet a run for their over-confident coffee-making money today, but they were closed (obviously there is a God!).

GW ;-)