Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lucky Me

When I was a little girl in Launceston, "Lucks Corner" was the little butcher in town just up the street from the umbrella shop. I loved the umbrella shop, it seemed old fashioned and mysterious. Then one day the man who sold umbrellas died. The story was he dropped dead behind the counter, with a thin stream of smoke rising from his still-lit cigarette. That's the legend anyway.

Lucks Butchers was a typical small town butcher. Plastic grass, plastic sheep and cows. Big burly butcher blokes behind the counter. But not anymore.

Lucks has been transformed into a classy restaurant. The type that Launceston is becoming famous for. The service is exemplary. Make sure you take the opportunity to seek recommendations for wines matched to your meal.

There was recent chatter on this sight about jamon ... I'm a fan. Lucks does it beautifully.

It's not cheap, by Launceston standards. Pricewise it's on a par with Marque IV or [boo hoo] Choux Shop. The decor is just gorgeous. Imported wallpaper in blue and gold gives an elegant air, with the stunning vintage French 'Lido' billboard hogging the attention from behind the bar. There is a private dining room / wine cellar ... which I am just dying to find an excuse to get a truckload of friends to Launceston for.

Check out their website (which doesn't do the place full justice) - www.lucks.com.au. Unfortunately the online menu is a bit out of date, but it gives you the general idea. And wait til you see the 36 page interactive wine list!

Lucks is worth the drive to Launceston. Make a weekend of it. They do breakfast and lunch too. Maybe if you take a sleeping bag they'll let you camp in the wine cellar all weekend. My idea of heaven!

GW

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lucks sounds great!! Will add it to my Lonnie list. Even better to have you back.
Kzee

Anonymous said...

Do it fast, as I have heard from a very good source, that LUCK's is about to go under. I am sorry to have to say this as I wanted to support this place.

Anonymous said...

Where have you been?

Dont you care about your readers/involvement/ whatever?

Aren't you interested in the scene anymore?

Anonymous said...

i'm not surprised that it is going under, offering any bottle of wine under $60 by the glass!! i counted 19 bottles on my visit with one glass poured from each!

it's a great concept,but would struggle in new york city let alone launceston. the decors great, but the food and ambience needs more work, especially when the massive glass windows get drunk hens night participants gawking in mid main course!

i think they would succeed with a better priced menu and blinds on the windows.

let's hope they survive to evolve and grow on what had been started.

Alistair said...

I'm not surprised it's going under. My partner and I had a terrible meal there. I don't mind paying for good food, but it was just ordinary. Think a dry, overcooked leg of duck, overcooked rubbery crayfish and mussels, a smoked trout entree so riddled with tiny bones it was inedible.

Granted, this was not long after it first opened (~10 months ago) and maybe these were teething problems, but needless to say, we never went back.

larousse said...

Tried the new Shanghai Bund (set up by ex Sens bbq chef) last week;

Waited 15 mins for drinks order (scrappy wine list with only 2 or 3 token Tas wines).

Tiny menu with only half the dishes actually available that night; no pickled cabbage, no minced pork dumplings (only gritty and gristly prawn and pork dumplings), no cod fillets...

Expensive also, $24 for soggy corn-starch deep-fried bland fish chunks with bright green rawish broccoli. Duck was only redeeming feature.

Restaurant was maybe 1/3 full and waited almost an hour for food.

Yet another dismal Hobart dining experience. Why can't these ‘restaurateurs’ even attempt at being slightly professional? Maybe they should visit Gouger St. in Adelaide or Victoria St. in Melbourne and get a reality check on service, quality and value. Consistency would be a bonus too.

We wait patiently for Me Wah Hobart.

Georgie Weston said...

Dear Larousse,
You reflect my sentiments exactly. I will be writing about the Bund shortly.
GW

Stephen said...

We tried Shanghai Bund a couple of weeks ago. We had the Peking Duck for two. The first course was far too plain for my taste, but the second course rice dish was beautiful - I'm salivating from the memory. Certainly intend to return.

Damon Wecker said...

Dear anonymous,

It is because a faceless people such as yourself making statements to the effect of "I heard it from very good source" that restaurants do go under.

We will not be opening the door for you should you ever show yopur face in Launceston

Anonymous said...

ON lucks stuff
A very talented chef with a proven track record is workn the kitchen at lucks.
he comes from Melbournes European and on sampleing the food myself its a shift that lucks needs.
I would describe his food as clean and comforting not something that Lucks HAS EVER TRIED BEFORE.
See what lucks dont Get its that you can supply all the name brand products in the world but if your chef cant cook them there is no point and this boy he can cook i reckon he could turn mutton into lamb.
Good lucks to him

Anonymous said...

ahhh Mr wecker
when will you understand that restaurants go under because of bad management not faceless customers
a lack of flexibility and a belief that you know better than your customers.......well you dont

Anonymous said...

Intersting read in the public notices of the examiner yesterday for Lucks!!

like a tiger said...

Dinner at Luck's on Father's Day: stunning. Service, food and wine were all top notch and I cannot, for the life of me, work out why Luck's isn't already on Launceston's 'must eat' list.

stickyfingers said...

We ate at Lucks in August. We flew from Melbourne to eat there. The food was the best in its league that we had eaten in many years, and as galavanting gastronauts Mr Stickyfingers and I have many food miles under our belts.

The key for us was the superlative local produce, which was simply matched in inspired combinations and the technical execution of each dish was faultless.

Many places recommended to us in Tasmania lent to overly fussy combinations and excessively ambitious executions. I have more respect for those who do as Luck's do, allowing the produce to speak for itself than venues who tend to trick things up.

I commend Damon Wecker for his boldness and only wish that he had chosen to open in Melbourne where the food lovers would welcome a restaurant like Lucks.

J.R said...

Having travelled from Melbourne for a food+wine weekend we arrived in Launceston with all the intentions of eating at the great restaurants in Launceston. Oddly Luck's did not rate with the locals, all that we heard about was the same couple of restaurants. We booked at at Lucks on Thursday evening. What can I say, a small room, superb well balanced menu,service staff that any Melbourne restaurant would die for and the wine list!! It has been a very long time since we enjoyed a restaurant like Lucks.

Anonymous said...

Ah Mr wecker has done it again..... sent the place broke twice in 2 & 1/2 years. Suppliers and staff still unpaid. Maybe its time for tele marketing for him. But you need personality for that