Going nuts for Stanley
CABLE STATION RESTAURANT
435 Green Hills Rd, Stanley. Licensed/ BYO. Lunch and Dinner weekends and public holidays. 03 6458 1312
WHILe tourist numbers are booming, the boom is not being shared evenly around the state and many regional areas are reportedly having a hard time.
Late last year, 22 leading food, beverage, tour companies and accommodation operators in the Central and North West coasts grouped together to promote their products in what they’ve chosen to call the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail.
And as one of the richest and most culinary diverse regions of the state they have more to boast about than most.
Judging by the number of accommodation places, new cafes and eateries and the crowds of tourists milling around Stanley last weekend, it seems to be working.
As one of Stanley’s premium accommodation houses and eateries, The Cable Station was a founding member of the Trail and serves as a valuable promoter of the produce of the other members.
Upon arrival you find a fridge stocked with Red Cow Dairy milk, camembert and brie; Spreyton fresh juice; Blue Hills honey; Mt Gnomon Farm bacon and ham; a couple of Cape Grim steaks; Mathon Goats yoghurt; 41 South hot smoked baby salmon; cheese and butter from Ashgrove Farmhouse; Anvers chocolates; Seven Sheds beer; wines from Lake Barrington, Ghost Rock, Barringwood Park, Blue Penguin; Hellyers Road 10- yearold whisky and Southern Lights Vodka – all included in your tariff.
Enough to see anyone through an indulgent few days cosseted in their luxuriously appointed spa cottage.
And then there’s the stylishly appointed restaurant with well- spaced clothed tables, quality cutlery and glassware, walls decorated with historic black and white photos of the area and a fascinating silent, wall- projected newsreel of the laying of the telecommunications cable from Apollo Bay, in Victoria, to Perkins Bay and the Cable Station, in Stanley, in 1936.
Initiated as an economic stimulus at the end of the Great Depression by Stanley- born prime minister Joseph Lyons, it was, if you like, a forerunner of today’s NBN.
Charlotte Brown purchased the Stanley property 10 years ago and was joined by Don Monk in 2010. Together they have created a multi- faceted business incorporating seasonal producer lunches as well as a mobile kitchen offering their goodies at events like Festivale, Taste of Tasmania, Dark MoFo and smaller local festivals and events.
In the restaurant the small and regularly changing menu is a celebration of both the season and the abundance of local produce.
In addition, there is a small but very well selected list of Tasmanian wines – or you can bring your own at $ 15 corkage.
On our visit there was char- grilled octopus
with basil pesto and balsamic reduction, the octopus caught on the West Coast ( of Tasmania) and processed in Stanley, an unusual but deliciously spiced strawberry gazpacho made from Turners Beach fruit, accompanied by Red Cow Dairy fetta and slow- roasted polenta tomato.
Despite being “fi nished off” in the cold waters down south, a half- dozen Smithton oysters were summertime milky but were nicely partnered with a slice of grilled Mt Gnomon chorizo on each.
Foregoing wood- oven roasted Atlantic salmon or half a local crayfi sh, we opted for a warm salad of char- grilled Black Ridge Farm lamb with rocket, spinach, wood- oven roasted potato, fresh pear, walnut and a gorgonzola dressing and the 23- hour Cape Grim blade of beef.
With the fall- apart tenderness of the beef and accompanying carrot puree and creamed leeks there wasn’t much to get your teeth into.
But that’s the latest fashion and the fl avours were good, particularly the heavily reduced braising liquid.
As well as a group table made from a magnifi cent slab of red gum, a central feature of the restaurant is the brick wood- fi red oven which is put to good use roasting crayfi sh and, in winter, their special one- off pizza and pasta nights for the locals, the pizzas taking only three minutes to cook – as the best pizzas should do.
Perhaps the highlight of their culinary year are their four seasonal producer lunches with invited guest chefs which are booked out well ahead.
The next, in April, will be their 30th since 2006 and will feature a sensational menu by Karen Goodwin- Roberts of Hobart’s Elizabeth Street Food + Wine
Entrée and Main $ 59; with dessert $ 69.