FOOD RE­VIEW

Mercury (Hobart) - Magazine - - UPFRONT - WITH PHILIP YOUNG

BRUNY IS­LAND CRUISES AND SEAFOOD RESTAU­RANT

Ad­ven­ture Bay Rd, Ad­ven­ture Bay, Bruny Is­land

6293 1465

Open daily, from 9am-5pm, with last or­ders taken at 3pm

It’s not clear why a trip to Bruny Is­land so read­ily works up an ap­petite. Maybe it’s watch­ing mo­torists walk past with a pas­try and take­away cof­fee while wait­ing in the queue for the ferry. Maybe it’s the feel­ing of go­ing on a jour­ney as you suck in the fresh sea air dur­ing the 20-minute trip across the wa­ters of the D’En­tre­casteaux Chan­nel. Per­haps it’s the child­hood mem­ory of ice creams and sausage rolls from the kiosk at the other side.

Bruny has a grow­ing rep­u­ta­tion for fine pro­duce with an im­pres­sive num­ber of out­lets of­fer­ing lo­cally grown fine foods and drinks.

One of the new­est is an eatery at Ad­ven­ture Bay opened by Pen­ni­cott Wilder­ness Jour­neys with the catchy name of Bruny Is­land Cruises and Seafood Restau­rant.

To get there you have to drive past Bruny Is­land House of Whisky, Get Shucked oys­ter farm, Bruny Is­land Cheese Com­pany, Bruny Is­land Honey, Bruny Is­land Choco­late Com­pany, Bruny Berry Farm as well as other of­fer­ings in Ad­ven­ture Bay it­self.

For our party of four, we couldn’t re­sist the chance to sam­ple award-win­ning cheeses at Bruny Is­land Cheese Com­pany, a pleas­ant cafe stop which co­in­cided with morn­ing tea time.

The cafe of­fers cheese plat­ters served with baguettes baked fresh in the on-site pizza oven. The cof­fee was ex­cel­lent, plat­ter gen­er­ous and tasty and the semi-en­closed set­ting sim­ple but com­fort­able. The high­light was the bread, a de­li­cious chewy sour­dough, warm from the oven. Lit­tle won­der the loaves quickly sell out at the com­pany’s Sala­manca Mar­ket stall each week. We bought some to take home.

Our cafe stop kept our hunger at bay and fu­elled our quest for ad­ven­ture so we turned off the main road to Ad­ven­ture Bay and headed to the south­ern­most part of the is­land, Cape Bruny Light­house. It’s one of Bruny’s most spec­tac­u­lar high­lights.

It wasn’t un­til after 2pm we rolled up to the Bruny Is­land Cruises and Seafood Restau­rant, by then hun­gry for lunch. First im­pres­sions didn’t look promis­ing. The large, open din­ing area was packed and buzzing with ex­cited chat­ter from sev­eral dozen guests. We’d ar­rived amid a lunch rush of cruise pas­sen­gers. Wait­ing staff ini­tially turned us away be­fore spy­ing an empty ta­ble near the counter. It was pretty noisy but a win­dow set­ting be­came avail­able and it was no trou­ble for us to move.

The menu is not ex­ten­sive and there’s noth­ing too com­pli­cated. A From the Gar­den sec­tion of­fers soup with crusty roll, fresh salad rolls with salmon, ham or veg­e­tar­ian op­tion, and a tempt­ing roast cauliflower salad with pink­eye pota­toes, pick­led veg­eta­bles, gin­ger yo­ghurt and goats cheese.

The seafood op­tion of the menu caught the eye of our party. We or­dered a Bruny Is­land seafood bas­ket to share be­tween two, a fish and chips and a kids’ fish and chips, or­dered by an adult with less of an ap­petite.

We set­tled in with our drinks and ex­pected a lengthy wait but the ser­vice was sur­pris­ingly quick. It wasn’t long be­fore our meals ar­rived. They were gen­er­ous, hot and fresh.

Rob Pen­ni­cott used to be a fish­er­man and it’s clear he has had a hand in the menu. The fish, blue-eye trevalla, was beau­ti­fully cooked, the crumb crunchy and well-sea­soned with moist and suc­cu­lent flesh be­neath. The chips were crisp on the out­side and fluffy on the in­side. With a big chunk of le­mon and qual­ity tartare. It was a lip-smack­ingly de­li­cious meal.

The seafood bas­ket had a gen­er­ous serve of scal­lops, prawns and squid as well as two de­cent fil­lets of blue-eye. Of­ten the kids’ fish and chips on such menus con­tain a cheap frozen fil­let, but we were im­pressed to see it too was the trevalla, one fil­let with a de­cent serve of chips.

The prices are in the range $9.50 for soup to $16 for a salad and $17 for most seafood meals to $28 for the seafood bas­ket. The kids meal $10. The ser­vice is good and meals served promptly and with­out fuss.

Dessert op­tions in­clude fresh baked muffins and cook­ies, cakes and cheese cake or a cone of Val­halla ice cream. They can be or­dered at the counter with cof­fee and brewed tea.

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