Fresh food without fuss
THIS is the latest venture of Karen Goodwin-Roberts and Michael Roberts from Taste Cafe and Catering in Hobart’s Baha’i Centre. Opened just before Christmas, the cafe provides a small, simple and attractively furnished and sunny alternative to the often over- crowded scene along Salamanca.
But the real attraction is Goodwin- Roberts’ food and her use of fresh, seasonal ingredients cooked well and presented without any fashionable fussiness or gimmickry.
She makes almost everything in house – from breads, pasta and pickled pears to breaking down Berkshire pigs for her hams and sausages.
And what she doesn’t do herself, she sources from some of the best local producers who are duly listed and acknowledged on the menu’s reverse side.
From a breakfast menu of assorted bread, bran, yoghurt and egg dishes, I recently enjoyed her excellent, gluten- free black pudding with smoked tomatoes, asparagus and poached egg as well as a lovely savoury, Spanish- style tomato, capsicum, onion and potato braise topped with baked eggs and a garlic aioli.
The lunch menu consists of a big selection of charcuterie, cheese and salads and seven mains, running from pumpkin and zucchini gnocchi to scallops, confi t turkey livers with walnuts and pickled pears, Ryland lamb with peas and minted yoghurt, a pork burger, beef cheek with black cherry syrup pie and, my choice, a deliciously rich, twice- cooked beef rib with mushrooms and wasabi sour cream. Then there are six luscious sounding desserts. Each dish on the lunch menu, including the desserts, is accompanied by a suggested wine selected by Michael from what is one of the most diverse, interesting and well- priced cafe wine lists in town.
With 17 Tasmanian, mainland, Italian and Spanish wines by the glass at between $ 6.50 and $ 10.50 ( for the 2008 Apsley Gorge Pinot Noir Saignee) and most bottle prices below $ 50, it refl ects Karen’s menus in being pleasingly and intelligently compiled to suit every taste and every pocket.
Prices: Breakfasts $ 3.50 to $ 15; lunch salads etc $ 7 to $ 15; mains $ 16, desserts $ 6.50 and $ 8.50.