CHEF’S CON­CERTO

AT­MOS­PHERE BY FROGMORE CREEK MAC01 Com­plex, 18 Hunter St, Ho­bart Open Fri­days and Satur­days from 6pm, or by ap­point­ment. 6274 5844

Mercury (Hobart) - Magazine - - Indulge -

At­mos­phere, a ven­ture by the Frogmore Creek team, is a new ad­di­tion to the Ho­bart res­tau­rant scene. It shares digs on Hunter St with its sis­ter es­tab­lish­ment, The Lounge, a more ca­sual space for all-day din­ing, cock­tails and wine.

At­mos­phere does not of­fer an a la carte menu but, in­stead, three de­gus­ta­tion ex­pe­ri­ences: Stealth ($300 per per­son), which on my visit in­cluded 16 cour­ses with matched wines; Gold ($160), a clipped ver­sion with­out wine; and Bronze ($125), a “teaser“of some fea­tured dishes. On Sun­days only, “The deck ses­sions” — a weekly-chang­ing pro­gres­sion of dishes — is $85 per per­son.

De­gus­ta­tion — a pro­gres­sion of dishes cu­rated for the diner by the kitchen team — is din­ing as per­for­mance art, where one sub­mits to the ex­pres­sion of a team fo­cused on chal­leng­ing, ca­jol­ing and, above all, en­ter­tain­ing the diner with its skills, hos­pi­tal­ity and, at times, whimsy.

The chef, Ruben Koop­man, is re­spon­si­ble for ce­ment­ing Frogmore Creek’s rep­u­ta­tion as a lead­ing ru­ral eatery. The new res­tau­rant af­fords him a venue to fully ex­er­cise his con­sid­er­able ex­per­tise to a broader au­di­ence.

Our party of three launches into the Stealth menu with sev­eral snacks and Frogmore Creek Sparkling Cu­vee.

We then have the carpac­cio, which is served on an in­cred­i­ble liq­uid-filled glass plate, and con­sists of scal­lop sashimi with miso crum­ble, 42 De­grees sparkling par­fait, pick­led cu­cum­ber, yuzu gel, brick pas­try and a sprin­kling of fu­rikake. The in­ter­play of pick­led vege, yield­ing scal­lop flesh and salty miso crum­ble is in­tensely flavour­some and man­ages to hit that sweet spot where salty, sweet and sour col­lude to make a det­o­na­tion of flavour.

We’re then served The Lol­ly­pop Stand, Urchin, with Frogmore Creek chardon­nay, and Oys­ters & Pearls, which is matched with Frogmore Creek ries­ling.

Next is The Pi­rates Bay, con­sist­ing of braised oc­to­pus, cau­li­flower mousse, Mojo Pi­con, chorizo and lemon­grass dress­ing. An ed­i­ble gold “dubloon” is the high­light of this dish, which is vis­ually ar­rest­ing, pre­cisely as­sem­bled and de­li­cious. Ten­der pieces of oc­to­pus are lay­ered with crisped chorizo served over a mo­saic of salsa dots that has us won­der­ing how the kitchen get its form so pre­cise. My dish of the night.

The next dishes are pure theatre: Frog More or Less, a mush­room tea, which when poured into a cup dis­solves a Kombu jel­lied frog; Slip­pery Bob, paired with Sin­gle Block Ga­may; Tacos on a Log; and Legs and Breasts, served with Frogmore Creek pinot noir. Our fi­nal main course is Pork on the Fork, served with Sin­gle Block caber­net sau­vi­gnon, be­fore we ex­pe­ri­ence the Ex­plo­sion, an essence of beet­root in a wob­bly, gelled sphere.

Desserts com­mence with peaches and cream and the “ed­i­ble frame” dessert of a lemon panna cotta, rose­mary par­fait with Amarena cherry gel and gin­ger­bread crumb.

Next is the whim­si­cal Magic Mush­room paired with Frogmore Creek iced ries­ling/ruby pinot. The red and white toad­stool ar­rives on a board made from pis­ta­chio and Amaretto semi freddo with whey elas­tic, pas­sion­fruit, creme fraiche and a bed of Earl Grey and co­coa “soil”. It’s im­pres­sive and de­li­cious.

For the fi­nal dessert course, we are es­corted to the kitchen to en­joy the Mo­jito X3, pre­pared in front of us by the chefs.

I leave At­mos­phere as­ton­ished at how much work goes into stag­ing each night’s ser­vice.

If you are seek­ing a food, bev­er­age and ser­vice ex­pe­ri­ence with­out peer in Tas­ma­nia, At­mos­phere should be on your bucket list.

At­mos­phere brings the ex­trav­a­gant tal­ent of Frogmore Creek chef Ruben Koop­man to a wider au­di­ence.

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