Friday, 12 December 2008

Launceston news, and Mud food

Firstly let's get the news happening....some great news for Stillwater fans. Mel and Don Cameron are opening up a new restaurant called the Black Cow in January, on the site of where Luxe was. That will be really interesting, and I hope all goes well for them with this new venture.

I popped in to meet (in person) the famous Ut si, and look at her new cafe in Perth on my way up the highway to Launceston on Wednesday. Ut si is delightful, and her converted church looks full of promise. I liked the look of the menu, and can't wait for when they're properly open and trading, so I can eat something there. She had her chef son Julian (ex Fee & Me) working there, along with another chef, ex-Zeps. I happened to pop in just before they were inundated with their first customers for a soft opening, so didn't linger long. Looks like it will be one of those trendy places to go though!

I went to check out Tant pour Tant, in Charles St - a newish patisserie started up by an ex-Drysdale teacher. There are only 2 tiny tables inside, but maybe 5 outside. Not too much chance for customers to sit down, but everyone who loves food seems to swear by this little patisserie, which seems like the northern equivalent of a Jean-Pascals. Pictured above is one of the little delights they excel in at Tant pour Tant.

I would have liked to have checked out another new-ish place called Fresh also in Charles St, which is a vegetarian restaurant, with apparently fabulous, tasty food, but ran out of time. They say that the food there is so fabulous that your biggest carnivore doesn't even notice they're actually eating meatless food. Locals claim it's nearly impossible to get a seat there most meal times, and that it has taken off like crazy. Also they do great coffee, so I'm told by the coffee guru, Annie Roberts. It started off as an alternative venue for the dreadlocked population, but now has evolved into hosting a totally different demographic, with a fascinating cross-section of Launceston's society.

Lunch at Mud was alright. I can't really rave about it, as I felt that the restaurant itself is looking a bit tired and neglected. It looks like your auntie - sort of nice, and a little bit 'today' but also a little bit outdated as well. It looks like it's at the stage before 'shabby'.

My meal, Slow cooked duck leg, braised red cabbage, hazelnuts and duck jus, was beautiful. Priced at $25.90 it was maybe a tad overpriced, because there was absolutely nothing on the plate other than the one (beautiful) duck leg, sitting majestically on a tablespoon of red cabbage mix, surrounded by a moat of duck jus with a handful of hazelnuts tossed in the moat for good measure. For me, it was perfect, as I knew I had my much-anticipated dinner at Fee & Me in the evening, and the amount of food on the plate was exactly what I wanted. However, someone else dining there might have thought it wasn't such great value. The others had the fish and chips. To be pedantic, they weren't chips, but cubes, but it doesn't quite have the same 'ring' does it? Fish and chips, or fish and cubes? Nah - let's settle for fish and chips!

Anyway - they said the F&C were OK but not great. They were priced at $22.90. The coffee (pictured above) was perfect - a long macchiato, in its 3 separate layers. Exactly the way it is meant to be.

The service however was good, so Mud, as far as I'm concerned, you're drifting along there, but if you were mine, I'd have to take a deep breath and decide exactly what my intentions were for you. Other lunchtime venues were flat out (it being 2 weeks to Christmas) but Mud was only half full. I think that should tell you a lot.
Posted on by Rita
1 comment


Christina said...

Can't wait to hear your view of Fee and Mee Rita.
Phil and I stayed at Peppers last weekend for Phil"s work Christmas do. This year we were bussed to Georgetown for dinner so dined at York Cove. Bloody good night.
Any way to cut a long story short, thought we might splurge on brekky but after eyeing all the menus on the port,including Mud, headed instead to Evandale.
Breakfasted at the bakery. While at the best part of $50 for the two of us including coffee I found it expensive at the time, in hindsight it wasn't bad value.
Fresh, thick toast, field mushrooms, grilled tomato, poached eggs, bacon, chippolattas and poached eggs. We ate at around 11.30 and had nothing else all day until soup for dinner.
And I must add that the toast was beautifully buttered. A very satisfying meal indeed. The best toast I've ever had. I was as full as a fat girls sock and still had to finish my toast!
Hope you enjoyed Fee and Mee. I'm waiting with baited breath to hear all about it.