Punks, there’s a lot of food in Hobart. A lot of delicious food. A lot of good food.
Might I quote my Dad, who loves not only a salmon rissole, but apparently also an organic steak from the Huon Valley “I just love Tasmania – the menus are always so different!”. And guess what guys, in my Dad’s eyes, different is good.
May this blog be your guide to a cheaper mortgage as well as good food in Hobart. I’m an extremely experienced eater. You’re in super safe, chubby hands.
I’m going to start with my three fave Hobart CBD eats.
Punks, this place. I once went there three times in one weekend. You know why? This is the restaurant you can take anyone to (well, anyone who has good table manners, okay?) – the carnivore will love it, so will the vegan, the glutard, the alcoholic. It really is for everyone.
Photo: Frank Restaurant and Bar Facebook
It’s influenced by Argentinian cuisine, and it’s suggested that you order a bunch of plates and share. The meat tastes like it was killed in a field of daisies earlier that afternoon, fresh and tender. The vegetables are the type that give you ideas for how to spice up your own cooking (I’m obsessed with their charred sweet potato, goats curd, muddled almonds and coriander). They can make any cocktail you dream of. The staff are fresh faced Tasmanians who couldn’t be sweeter – and they’re trained to find you hilarious. Seriously, you won’t have a better night.
Photo: Frank Restaurant and Bar Facebook
Budget wise, if you’re getting stuck into meat and cocktails, it’s not going to be a hugely pretty outcome, but my pal and I went the other night, stuck to vegetables and cocktails and it was $45 each. And, we didn’t eat half of it, so I had meals for a day too!
You need to know someone who loves Me Wah to discover it. There’s a Me Wah in Hobart and in Launceston – and both of them are in very dull, suburban shopping strips. Which is a shame, as it’s such a special experience and one I’m sure enough tourists don’t enjoy.
‘Me Wah’ means ‘Exquisite Setting’ and the name couldn’t be more apt. This is fancy moneybags Chinese food, without a Lazy Susan (or number 37) in sight. The food is delicate, fresh and incredibly imaginative.
I was introduced to this restaurant by some beloved foodie friends who were visiting from Sydney, they’d read about the desserts. More about the desserts in a tick.
It’s almost silver service with the wait staff dressed like they’re off for a day in an office, and they’re polite and unobtrusive.
On the weekends, they have Yum Cha that is incredible, but the really special thing about Me Wah is the dessert.
Punks, I’ve been eating Chinese food by the bucketload since I was a kid, and dessert by the truckload, and I must confess I’ve never been all that interested in desserts at Chinese restaurants. The musical AVENUE Q says ‘Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist’, well punks, until Me Wah, my palette was a little bit racist towards Chinese desserts.
Word on the street is that a mainland chef was brought in to work with the chefs on their incredible fusion desserts. The jewel in the crown is this one:
Photo: Me Wah facebook
It’s the peanut parfait, and yep, that’s warm caramel being poured through a chocolate disk. There’s so much crunch and sugar and even those delicious bubbles you get in bubble teas. It’s superb.
They also do something magnificent with mango, but I’ll let you discover that for yourself.
Hot tip: only eat entrees if you want dessert. The last few times I’ve been to Me Wah I haven’t had space for dessert, and that’s unacceptable.
Apparently, the wine list is terrific too.
The New Sydney is an old school stinky pub. Proper stinky. You know the smell – stale beer and urinals. Throughout the New Sydney, that’s what you’ll be breathing in.
They have live bands, actual barflies and Irish memorabilia all over the place. The bar staff are so friendly and occasionally super handsome and you know this is the kind of place that if you hung out there long enough you’d end up singing with a band or going home with a drummer.
The food though, ah, the food.
It’s a terrific twist on your normal pub fare. They’ve got your normal steaks, fish & chips etc, it’s actually what they do with their veggies that I love. Broccolini with nuts and yoghurt, curried cauliflower etc.
Photo: New Sydney Hotel Facebook
Look at this meal. It’s a fried chicken and broccoli salad – and without having tasted this, I can tell you it would all be deliciously fresh and tasty and light.
Stay away from their 5 or 6 course gastronomic experience. I went one night with a group of about ten and it was too slow and not at all filling. Stick with the regular meals, they’re delicious.