It’s brunch time

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

IT’S in­ter­est­ing how some food busi­nesses open their doors and hit their stride from day one while oth­ers slowly evolve, mak­ing sub­tle changes as the di­ver­sity of their mar­ket is re­vealed to them. The Aproneers is one of the lat­ter. While their un­der­ly­ing real, sus­tain­able food ethos re­mains un­changed, they’re now as much a cafe/ eatery as a gro­cer/ provi­dore.

Some of the big ware­house crates of veg­eta­bles and fruit have been moved to the foot­path, the long com­mu­nal ta­ble has been re­placed with a scat­ter­ing of smaller ta­bles in­side, plus a few out­side – with plans for more – and there are ex­panded a la carte break­fast and lunchtime hours and menus, as well as monthly wine­maker de­gus­ta­tion din­ners.

Apart from the orig­i­nal con­cept, one of the own­ers’ best moves was to ap­point the tal­ented and pas­sion­ate Kurstin Ber­ri­man ( ex Syn­ergy in Launceston, Edge of the Bay at Coles Bay, and Pier­mont in Or­ford) as chef.

She’s re­cently been joined by man­ager John Botha, from South Africa, who brought with him chef and restau­rant man­age­ment ex­pe­ri­ence from Eng­land, Cyprus and the Caribbean.

With Michael Chung still do­ing the provi­dore sourc­ing and buy­ing, they make a great team.

The busy, com­mit­ted and suc­cess­ful team caters to an amaz­ingly di­verse cus­tomer base do­ing its shop­ping, snack­ing, lunch­ing and cof­fee- ing, and serves up to 100 cov­ers for brunch on Satur­days and Sun­days.

From an ex­ten­sive break­fast menu, which ranges from eggs ev­ery which way to their own baked beans and cro­quet mon­sieur, Ber­ri­man said the most pop­u­lar dish was her huevos rancheros – or “ranch­ers’ eggs”, the menu’s lit­eral trans­la­tion.

And it’s not sur­pris­ing. For of the many, newly fash­ion­able, Mex­i­can- in­flu­enced dishes around town, this, for me, is the best.

With her mild but au­then­tic- tast­ing tomato salsa top­ping a thin tor­tilla, in turn topped with two soft- poached eggs and cheese, ac­com­pa­nied by lit­tle bowls of chilli- dusted sour cream, sliced and peeled av­o­cado, a sliver of chilli and wedges of lime, it makes for a won­der­fully flavour­some start or savoury pick- up to any­one’s day.

From the small black­board menu we also en­joyed our first- of- the- sea­son as­para­gus with eggs and shaved parme­san, and a beau­ti­fully dressed salad of twice- cooked duck and duck liv­ers, ac­com­pa­nied re­spec­tively by de­li­ciously fresh wa­ter­cress and miner’s let­tuce grown above the snow line in the hills be­hind Snug.

And, of course, sup­ple­ment­ing the daily menus is a wide se­lec­tion of lighter lun­cheons and ready- to- go dishes that, on the day of our visit, in­cluded a very tempt­ing quiche of El­gaar quark, olive tape­nade and toma­toes, and an un­usual black­ened and baked, cous cous-stuffed whole pump­kin.

The ar­ray of cakes and cook­ies are baked by Ber­ri­man’s chef hus­band, Al­lan, the crois­sants and dan­ishes are sen­si­bly bought in from Daci and Daci, the bread from Pi­geon Hole, while the cof­fee beans are freshly roasted by the ex­cel­lent Villino.

In ad­di­tion to Ber­ri­man’s tal­ent, it is the ap­proach to sourc­ing the very best of what they don’t do them­selves that makes eat­ing there such a plea­sure.

At the ta­ble you can en­joy your choice of lo­cal wines at shelf prices plus $ 5 cork­age.

Sal­ads from $ 5.50; quiche $ 6.50; menu dishes $ 15 to $ 25; desserts about $ 6.50.

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