Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Chilling at Alley Cat

Sick of the usual, trendy, upmarket, slick, stainless, polished concrete pub you usually hang round in? Take a walk on the wild side and spend an evening people-watching at Alley Cat and see how the other half live!

I felt like David Attenborough last night discovering a lost world at Alley Cat. What a zany venue. Totally unclassifiable and not able to be slotted into any category.

It’s tatty. It’s grungy. It contains an eclectic assortment of dĂ©cor and clientele. It’s the oddest pub I’ve ever been in (apart from a funny little pub in St Davids, West Wales) but do you know what? It wasn’t bad.

I had been told by three or four people that the food at Alley Cat was great and that I should get along there and eat – so I did, last night.

I ordered the Sesame and ginger crusted ocean trout with pickled cucumber, green beans and steamed rice $18. The trout was fine. I myself would have preferred more ginger with the trout, as it just had a few token strands over the top, but it was cooked beautifully, and was what I felt like. The rice was a bit on the gluggy side, and the pickled cucumber which I had pictured in my mind when I ordered this dish, turned out to be brownish and lank when it come out on the plate. I had envisaged more of a pickled Japanese-style cucumber accompaniment, which obviously wouldn’t be brown.

My friend had the Four cheese baked polenta soufflĂ© with tomato and rosemary, rocket green apple salad $14.50 – which I tasted and was beautiful. Fine, delicate flavours, and cooked to perfection.

The menu contained many vegetarian options, which is the opposite of the usual pub fare – another difference with this pub.

We did order a chocolate pie dessert to share. My friend had had it there before, but she said last nights wasn’t as good as it usually is. I had a taste just to try it, but hadn’t felt like a dessert anyway, so it didn’t surprise me that I found it ordinary. I’m sorry I can’t remember the price.

All in all, an interesting experience, and I’m glad I got to go there. I had been told previously that Scott Butler was the chef there but when I enquired as to the name of the chef, waitperson Sarah (excellent customer service, by the way) said it was Nick, who’d been there since it had been Alley Cat. Check it out for yourself.
Posted on by Rita


Maggie said...

Hi Rita,

I've found from experience that the general Alley Cat menu is usually superb. The Wednesday/ Sunday cheap nights can be little hit and miss. I haven't graced Sunday night pizza night for a few months, and was disappointed in the "improvements." Less topping, almost no cheese, and chewy dry pizza base.

Not to say that Alley isn't my favorite pub in Hobart. It reminds me of my favorite pubs in Melbourne.

See Rita, I do name and shame!

Rita said...

Hey Maggie - thanks for that, and way to go! I went there as I had been told the food really was good. It was fine but a few things marred my experience. Maybe it was just how it went on the night but somehow it didn't quite stack up as much as I was promised.