Sunday, January 01, 2006

NYE 05/06 - Saddest Forty Bucks Ever Spent

I am sad, sad I am.

I have never spent New Years at the waterfront before; have never spent New Years at Taste before.

And you know I love Taste.

Last year I grizzled about New Year’s at Prosser’s. This year we paid our forty bucks per person for our table at Taste, hoping for something special. In the daytime, to me, Taste is a little slice of heaven. You take yourself down, you find a seat or two, you hunt for food and wine, and you while the hours away.

It was raining, but we were in the right spirit. We arrived at Taste in a party mood. Until we found our $40-ish seats. We had booked outdoor seats. Foolishly we assumed the organisers had followed the same weather reports that I had been reading all week. Sun umbrellas covered tables along the waterfront side of the outdoor “apron”. Nothing protected tables along the wall-side. Guess where our table was.

Empty wet tables and chairs outside, ridiculous over-crowding inside. This was my only bad Taste experience ever, and along with many others I’d paid an entry fee for the privilege. How hard is it to hang up a few Bunnings shade cloths to protect local, interstate, and foreign visitors to Tasmania’s pride of the season? Inside we huddled like frightened little sheep inside that vast great shed, smelling like wet blankets.

Thanks Hobart Summer Festival organisers. Our guests were left bemused about where they hell they’d ended up on New Year’s Eve. I was left fuming at having been let down and embarrassed.

Class act. Good on ya. Learnt my lesson, won’t bother with Taste on New Year’s ever again.



Anonymous said...

2:08am! Thats commitment! Amazed that it costs $40-. I've never really got excited about the Taste of Tasmania. Preparing food in an unfamilair environment with compromised kitchen layout and equipment. I wouldn't expect a quality product. It may work better for the vendors with products which can be transported and not need any onsite prep like cheese and wine, but for $40 ...

Im in the shop doing what seems to have become my NYs tradition - painting, so I should get off the internet and get back to it.

Happy New Year


Zelda said...

Should have come to Gondwana Georgie...$100 for a six course meal, in the warm and dry....

Stephen said...

I agree with Jack.

It seems to me that Taste is nothing more than a cafeteria doing the "here's something I prepared earlier" trick. Little more than over priced fast food.

I reckon the stall holders must be raking in the cash. Nothing wrong with that though.

The worst thing is that I went to Jean Pascal's patisserie in Carlton Rd anticipating a fix of petits fours. I was horrified to see that the display case was almost empty - the waitress told me that they'd diverted their delicious nibbly bits to the Taste.

Stephen said...

Not entirely coincidentally, I also spent new years at Gondwana...

The place was a trifle over warm but that was okay given the miserable night outside. I was tempted to open a window though.

For the main, I had eye fillet that had been (if I recall) marinated in brine. The salt complemented the meat perfectly because it only revealed itself in the 'lower register' of the taste buds (not sure how to explain the effect more clearly). It was quite perfect.

Zelda said...

Georgie - thought you said the the Chef at Franklin Manor was coming to HBA to open a resturant? According to,9142,17623079-38176,00.html he is opening the Absinthe Resturant in Q1 on the Gold Coast. Sorry to break your heart....know you were hanging out for it.

Georgie Weston said...

Hi Zelda,
Last I heard Meyjitte was planning to do both - Q1 and a Hobart restaurant. Don't ask me how that works, but that was the plan last year. I'm still crossing my fingers.

Zelda said...

Sweet, I stand corrected then! Glad I didnt break my fav resturant bitches heart....I may have to sample BOTH and see which is better (advantages to parents who live in Brisbane!)

Anonymous said...

We could not recommend the Fish Cafe in Strahan. First up, we were disappointed by the very limited choice of places to eat in Strahan - it's all sanitised corporate food run by Federal resorts. The Fish Cafe's first surprise for us was replacing our order for an NZ sauvignon blanc (no Tassie choices!) with a mediocre Wolf Blass wine - without telling us!! No sooner had we sorted this out than our seafood platter for two arrived with a barely adequate amount of seafood, a tiny salad, and one sad sliver of lemon. Tartare sauce and extra lemon incurred extra costs.

The next problem occurred when our three year old daughter was served an ice cream cone without our knowledge. She then told us that the lady needed some money for it! Then we discovered it was coffee flavoured, and at 8 pm! When we complained that three year olds should not be served without parental approval, the waitress defended her actions, and as the argument mounted my husband was asked to leave the cafe, until finally another staff member agreed with our point of view.
Not our top experience.
The main street's lack of soulful atmosphere was depressing, and the proudly displayed signs announcing the corporate ownership just rubbed it in.
Craft products available were of poor quality, surely a shame in a State renowned for its craft work.
Gorgeous gateway to wilderness going down the corporate tube.
sydney soulseekers

Little Mr Square Eyes said...

At the risk of skirting the edges of schadenfreude, my New Year’s Eve suddenly seems somewhat less sad. The Taste strikes me as a one trick pony — great if you’re with a group of friends and prepared for an informal, slightly boozy feed (and to work out a strict roster for who guards the chairs) not so terrific otherwise. Might be worthwhile cc’ing a copy of your little adventure to the organisers — sounds like they got some splainin’ to do.

Anonymous said...

Heard a great one about safety at the Taste yesterday.

The strong winds that thrashed Hobart yesterday caused some damage to one of the tents erected at the end of the Taste and it was subsequently closed to the public.
Apparently the tent, hired from a (the) local Hobart party hire company, was improperly erected - only half the bolts holding the anchors to the ground were inserted, when ALL the bolts were actually required in order to meet safety regulations.
And the worst bit - a foolish professional actually inspected the tent and signed off on its safety, effectively stating that all bolts had been deployed as required, when in truth only half were used.

It seems that half-arsed was the theme-de-jour at the Taste this year.

cheers all,

Stephen said...

Well, now that we're all piling on to the Taste, I'd like to add that the Cascade sponsored sun shades were very flimsy 'residential' standard devices that inverted under pressure from anything greater than the merest breeze.

Like who'd imagine that there might be winds down on the derwent???

Maybe the HCC should have looked at the sun shades used on the Saffron end of Hunter Street - they could stand up through a cyclone.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday in the Mercury Letters to the Editor there was an apology ( not really an apology, more of a 'Not my Fault' ) from the organisers of the Taste for wet outside seating.

Anonymous said...

How about an explanation from the Taste organisers, or the Hobart City Council itself, about allowing the public to enter a large tent that was not safely anchored to the ground in a high-wind environment?

Or an explanation of the inspection process, whereby the relevant engineer approved the tent as safe, despite the fact, FACT, that it did not meet safety specifications and was always going to cause safety issues if the wind blew.

Maybe someone could even investigate the tent hire company themselves. I am reliably told that they always, yes always, erect their tents and other temporary structures without using the requisite number of bolts or pins in the plates that anchor these buildings.

And you know, this includes the large tent erected for the big Princess Mary 'do' last year. Yes, truly! Imagine what would have happened had the wind blown that night.

There are some fascinating questions above with large doses of public interest thrown in. It would be nice to see someone with a bit of journalistic grunt pick this up and run with it.

Jason Lovell

Harry said...

Dont worry about Taste Hobartians !
Just go to Festivale next year. Less crowded and far better entertainment