Hot new eatery

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - Graeme Phillips

HOW do you like your steak­house done? As­tor Grill? Ball and Chain? Rock­wall? Or Roar­ing Grill, which opened a month ago where Onba used to be, op­po­site the Repub­lic in North Ho­bart?

Owner Tony Kent has added con­sid­er­ably to Onba’s seat­ing ca­pac­ity while re­tain­ing the restau­rant’s mod­ern, clean lines, the open kitchen and bar and the scat­ter­ing of com­fort­able down­stairs and up­stairs lounges for cof­fee, cock­tails and a snack.

There’s also now a first- floor deck which should prove a very at­trac­tive al fresco op­tion in sum­mer.

And, apart from oys­ters, seafood chow­der, three sal­ads and a small choice of veg­eta­bles ac­com­pa­ni­ments, the menu is pro­tein all the way, fea­tur­ing house- made sausages, ribs and wings, the day’s fish, grass- fed and wagyu steaks, glazed pork ribs, lamb cut­lets and slow- cooked Greek- style lamb shoul­der, burg­ers and fl ame- grilled meat skew­ers.

Should a veg­e­tar­ian wan­der in by mis­take, the good news is that the sal­ads are ex­cel­lent.

The bad news is that the limp chips aren’t, al­though they do come to the ta­ble nicely pre­sented in minia­ture deep- fry­ing bas­kets.

How­ever, af­ter Kent phoned later in the week ask­ing for feed­back, I re­ceived an email from chef Bren­don Wal­ter say­ing the prob­lem had been fi xed.

“I’m just writ­ing to let you know we have rec­tifi ed this prob­lem by do­ing triple- cooked chips ( fi rst we steam the chips to bring the starch out, then we fry the chips at a low tem­per­a­ture to set the starch, fi nally we fry the chips at a high tem­per­a­ture to make sure they are crispy).’’

So that’s good. But the chips were the only com­plaint any of we four had on the night.

Much bet­ter were the cumin- fl avoured sausages with confi t onions, the slow- cooked, sweet and sticky glazed pork ribs and the lamb cut­lets with a mint raita, each var­i­ously ac­com­pa­nied by potato puree, a re­fresh­ing ap­ple, pear, wal­nut and ice­berg salad or sea­sonal veg­eta­bles.

The steaks, from Smith­ton in the North West, came per­fectly cooked as or­dered, the eye fil­let with a mixed pep­per­corn sauce on the side, the juicy rib eye on the bone with plen­ti­ful, per­haps too much, English mus­tard and horseradish. They say Thomas Keen ( founder of the pantry- sta­ple Keen’s Mus­tard) made his for­tune from the mus­tard left on the plate. If so, then he cer­tainly made a few ex­tra bob that night.

At the next ta­ble, two ladies were ob­vi­ously en­joy­ing pulling the meat from a shared, fall- apart lamb shoul­der with their forks.

The wine list of­fers good va­ri­ety and some older vin­tages at a wide range of prices, with

eight reds and five whites by the glass, and there are plenty of beers and ciders to choose from plus a well- stocked bar.

So it was all good and is al­ready prov­ing a pop­u­lar ad­di­tion to the bustling, mul­ti­cul­tural North Ho­bart scene.

En­trees $ 14-$ 22; sal­ads $ 9; sausages $ 25; BBQ ribs $ 28; steaks $ 28-$ 44; wagyu $ 44-$ 70; lamb shoul­der ( for two) $ 70; black­board desserts.

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