A move­able feast

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

CRYS­TAL- BALLERS pre­dicted 2013 to be a year of big changes. And as far as the Ho­bart restau­rant scene is con­cerned, their pre­dic­tions are prov­ing to be spot on.

As pre­vi­ously re­ported, All Thai has opened a sec­ond venue, Room 333, where So­licit used to be in North Ho­bart; Writ­ten on Tea has done the same at 127 Bathurst St, Mai Ake Thai has changed hands with the pre­vi­ous owner turn­ing Blue Skies into Mai Ake Asian Cui­sine; and Pic­colo is due shortly to re­open in a new guise.

And, af­ter be­ing va­cant for a long time, Nabe Hashi, spe­cial­is­ing in Ja­panese hot pots, has opened where Fran­cisco’s used to be in Ham­p­den Rd, Bat­tery Point.

In ad­di­tion, North Ho­bart and pizza pi­o­neer, Marti Zucco, has sold Se­greto and is look­ing for­ward ei­ther to a life in Fed­eral Par­lia­ment or re­tire­ment, and in Sala­manca, Jan and Tom Otte have sold ZUM to the own­ers of The Quarry next door, in the process thank­ing their staff and cus­tomers who have so loy­ally sup­ported them over their 21 years of trad­ing.

Stu­art Ad­di­son, who is fast be­com­ing known as the “blow torch chef”, has taken over Chado- The Way of Tea in El­iz­a­beth St to open as a ham­burger/ wine bar while, build­ing on their phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess at Crumb Street Kitchen, Sian King and Zac Shearer have set up a sec­ond out­let in Devon­port and, in the New Year, will open an­other up­stairs at 37a El­iz­a­beth St in the Mall.

Castray Es­planade Cafe is for sale, as is Garag­istes. That gap at the top of the mar­ket, how­ever, could be more than ad­e­quately filled should Peppermint Bay head chef David Moyle ever de­cide to re­turn to town.

And I say “more than ad­e­quately”, for an ex­cel­lent re­cent lunch at The Stack­ings in­cluded what for me, if not for my wife, was one of the most creative and en­joy­able dishes of the year – a sea urchin salad com­ple­mented by a de­li­ciously savoury egg and dashi cus­tard of a style known in Ja­pan as chawan­mushi, which trans­lates as “steamed in a tea bowl”.

But in­stead of a tea bowl, Moyle, in this case, had steamed the cus­tard in the shell of the urchin so that it cupped the salad of won­der­fully fat, golden urchin roes and as­sorted sea greens in­side.

Clev­erly con­ceived, per­fectly com­posed and ex­e­cuted, it was a dish of ul­tra del­i­cacy and refi ne­ment, fore­go­ing su­per­flu­ous tizz for a sub­tle play of tex­tures and flavours, with ev­ery­thing on the plate con­tribut­ing beau­ti­fully to the whole.

It was no doubt dishes like this that last week won The Stack­ings the award as

Gourmet Trav­eller’s Re­gional Restau­rant of the Year.

So, while still over­see­ing things at Peppermint Bay, Moyle’s move to the city would be very wel­comed.

And, th­ese days, when ev­ery­one is a blog­ging/ tweet­ing food and wine critic, from Eng­land comes a cau­tion­ary tale.

As re­ported by the Bri­tish press, Os­car’s,

in Brix­ham, Devon, first ap­peared on the TripAd­vi­sor web­site last May.

Af­ter glow­ing re­views for its “mind- blow­ing”, “sim­ply di­vine”, “per­fect” and “amaz­ing” culi­nary cre­ations, by late July it had climbed above 37 other es­tab­lish­ments in TripAd­vi­sor’s rank­ings. Only trou­ble was, Os­car’s never ex­isted. The restau­rant and “re­views” were faked. This is an ex­am­ple of why anony­mous re­views of es­tab­lish­ments, both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive, are caus­ing wor­ry­ing dis­quiet for quite a few restau­rants here.

TOP SHELF: David Moyle is head chef at The Stack­ings in Peppermint Bay, which re­cently took out the cov­eted Gourmet Trav­eller’s Re­gional Restau­rant of the Year award. Pic­ture: SAM ROSE­WARNE

YUM: The co­conut mus­sel soup at Mai Ake Thai restau­rant. Pic­ture: MATT THOMP­SON CHANG­ING TIMES: Marti Zucco ( front left) with the new own­ers of Se­greto, from left, Aaron Brazen­dale, Ken Chong and Fabio Di Tommaso. Pic­ture: MIKKI DAVIS- JONES

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.