Hobart goes with the fro- yo
VITA 100 Elizabeth St, Hobart CBD. Open daily 8am to 8pm. 6231 1165
VITA is Ethos Eat Drink’s latest venture – Hobart’s first self- serve, frozen yoghurt place which opened a fortnight ago. Behind the white- tiled wall of the small, bright little walk- in space, four large Italian machines dispense an ever- changing selection of eight Ethos- made frozen yoghurts.
All are gluten free and naturally made with no powders or concentrates – and there are always two, produced from coconut and soy milk, that are dairy free.
On my visit last week, the available flavours were natural, chocolate, vanilla, banana, mixed berries, chai, coconut and honey soy.
Customers help themselves, add their choices from a selection of fruit, nuts, salted caramel, hazelnut crumbs and other toppings, and pay by weight. They can eat at the inside or outside tables or take it to go.
Appropriately named, it is certainly a lively place. In their first five days of trading they sold 450 litres, or about 2000 serves of yoghurt.
And there’s been no let- up since. So much so that the supplier of their un- homogenised milk, Aiden Direen at his Friesian and Jersey dairy near Cygnet, has bought 37 additional cows to keep up with demand. But that’s not all that’s happening at Ethos. The adjoining Tasmanian Map Centre, Tommy Gun Records and Syzygy gift shop have moved, allowing Ethos partners Iain Todd and Chloe Proud to open their streetfront providore at Ethos, offering a wide selection of salads, charcuterie, cold dishes, coffee, cakes and Schwartz sandwiches all day, plus a large retail range of Ethos- made and Tasmanian food products.
Behind the providore is their new Atrium Room, the delightfully refurbished back room of the original Ashbester Chemist, which during the day will serve as seating for the providore and accommodate an extra 30 diners in the restaurant at night.
Downstairs they’re turning the maze of original sandstone rooms into a walk- in select- your- own wine cellar, a temperaturecontrolled cheese room, the cold room where they break down and age their meats and charcuterie cuts and, still to come, an underground Tasmanian whisky/ beer/ wine bar.
Schwartz across the road will become their daytime prep kitchen and production centre for the Tasmanian Juice Press’ retail range of pure, cold- pressed fruit and vegetable
juices before becoming a yakitori and ramen eatery called 3 Japanese with a fully qualified Japanese chef.
At the time of my visit, much of it was still a hive of builders, decorators, hanging wires and tired staff, with chef Rob Brooke running around with big buckets of yoghurt and Ethos chef Vince MacDonald impatiently awaiting the kitchen expansion for his new menu.
Floor manager Alice Chugg, meanwhile, was off with everyone’s best wishes to the final judging of the Young Restaurateur of the Year awards.
It is tiring, but exciting times. And, by the time you’ve read this, most of the new operations should be, or will soon be, up and running.