Go­ing nuts for Stan­ley

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

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.

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