Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Home away from home

Lunch today was at an old favourite – Home Hill at Ranelagh. Rita was providing some further education for two of her daughters in the finer foods of the Huon.

We absolutely loved the following:
Taste plate selection of fresh local and Tasmanian produce $19
Minimum thirty days grain fed Cressy farm lamb rack on a creamy truffle oil mash potato with a rosemary jus $29.50 (pictured above; we ate outside hence shadows)
Duck breast marinated with cardamom and vanilla served on garlic mash with muscatel jus $32.50

Bec had the lamb, Jackie had the platter, and I had the duck. I couldn’t fault any of the food put down in front of us today. Craig, chef extraordinaire, is still totally on track with his cooking, I’m pleased to report. I have found that often after some time, chefs tend to become a tad ‘ho hum’ in their approach to their cooking, with the original passion on the wane. That’s a natural phenomenon with anyone who does the same job for a long time.

With chefs, it is evident in their food but Craig’s meals today proved that some of Rita’s theories are full of holes!

The girls were impressed with the building, the food, the service, the wine and Rosey’s friendliness and bonhomie.

Once again, as it has proved in the past, Home Hill was a total winner for us. My most sincere thanks to all staff there, and Rosey.
Posted on by Rita


Susannah said...

Hi Rita

I noted from today's Mercury that your fame (notoriety?) is spreading!

I lunched at Maldini's the other day, and noted that it wasn't listed on your website. Any particular reason? My meal was rather nice - duck breast on a poached pear and walnut salad with blue cheese dressing. The pear was nice - poached to a very attractive pinkness - although the blue cheese in the dressing was probably a bit too subtle for my taste. The duck breast was cooked to a nice level of pinkness. My fellow diner had kangaroo, which he also enjoyed. My gripe about Maldini's is that they could do a better job on the bread. Far too soft and quite bland - a chewier and more flavoursome bread is pretty easy to find in Hobart these days, even if they don't want to do their own baking.

I also had tiramisu for dessert, an uncharacteristic indulgence for me at lunchtime, but as the reason for lunch was recognition of birthdays for both me and my companion (some two days appart), I felt that I could justify it. It was worth it!



Tassiegal said...

Nice photo in the Mercury Rita.

rockoyster said...

Craig's chops look pretty good!

As Sam says, "You don't need to be rich to be happy, you just need a chop . . . and a cold one".

Anon2 said...

Good photo, Rita of the twinkling eyes. I was going to say "you old media tart" but I got picked up on that when I said it of Mon's photo during the Taste and someone else said "not as bad as her son!".
Anyway, well done, some good publicity for your very worthwhile endeavours.

Christina said...

Well done Rita, very "Wilson".
Great piece for you and Steve.
Read Tassie gals comment and had my Dad rush the paper over.

sir grumpy said...

I never read the paper, Rita, so didn't see it. What was it?!

Rita said...

Sir G - aren't you the wily one? Don't play the innocent with me! Surely you couldn't miss the fact that todays Mercury saw fit to prioritise (and quite rightly so) their news of the day, having an article on food bloggers on Page 3, then their news about Obama making history on Page 5. (They included a pic of Rita with the article.)
Thanks Christina - glad you saw it.
Anon2 - you may call me the media tart - you wouldn't be the first today!
RO - thank god someone mentioned HH!
TG - thanks. You may well notice some increased traffic too.
Susannah - great to hear from you again. No particular reason why I haven't been to Maldinis yet. I'll add it to the list though, as I like it, and haven't been there for years (obviously, or it'd have been reviewed). Belated happy birthday too BTW.

sir grumpy said...

Oh, that piece, Rita...yes, well it may have whizzed past my gaze...yes, I think I do recall it now.
Now I know it was you I saw at RVL standing at the counter..you haven't changed your hairstyle since then.
Well done. (Just like my steak).

Tassiegal said...

Yeah - I noticed that - made me giggle. Mind you trying to explain to my parents WHY my blog was in the paper was an interesting experience - as I am sure you know, Chemo brain is dangerous, and Dad is getting over a bad bout of it - so me on a mobile in Oomph, talking to him, trying to do 3 things at once was interesting.

Anonymous said...

I too like the food at Home Hill. I like the fact that our wineries are producing some excellent wines and it can only help the Tassie economy in the long run that this is backed up with fine produce from commited people. The more people who walk away from these places with a good impression the better for us all in the long run.

Nice piece in the Mercury today, should be interesting to see the longterm effects. At least more people will be made aware of the site. Some interesting points from you and Steve.


Anonymous said...

Sir G, why go the through pretence of missing Ritas 'moment in the sun'in the Merc yesterday? Can't you simply compliment her on her success without resorting to getting her to qualify it for you. How small minded & mean spirited.
Give her her due, its not always about you.

Susannah said...

Hi Rita
I went out for lunch today (second Thursday in a row), and this time went to Plum. I remembered that you had said nice things about it, so when my friend suggested it, I was keen to try it out.
I had grilled lamb fillets. Really nice. The presentation was good – an oblong plate with sliced lamb fillets, topped with a minted yoghurt dressing, at one end, a central bowl of cous-cous with preserved lemon, and a modest serving of Greek salad at the other end. The lamb fillets were excellent – very tender, and nicely pink. The yoghurt dressing complemented the lamb very well, and the cous-cous and salad were quite satisfactory. (hard to go wrong, really, but somehow some restaurants manage to do this!). The presentation made the meal look smaller than it really was (it was actually quite filling), but a good lunch time choice. The wine list includes some nice choices, and today I had a Ninth Island Pinot Grigio.
We noted that the menu wasn’t large, but both agreed that we preferred restaurants with less choice, but where all the dishes are done well, as opposed to places that offer many selections, without doing justice to any of them.
Another feature we both commented on was the ‘all day breakfast’ notion, and we were both tempted to order from the breakfast menu. After we had finished our lunch, we watched the diners at the table next to us receive their meals – and two of them had selected from the breakfast menu. Their choices looked great, and I think I may be tempted in that direction next time.
It is interesting that there has been quite a turnover of businesses on this site – does it have bad feng shui or something? If the food and atmosphere today were anything to go by, I hope that Plum will be around for a while.

sir grumpy said...

Oh anonymous, I was gently chiding and did say well done. You are a pedant.
It's definitely not about me, and you are bereft of insight. I feel a piss-off coming on. Forgive me Rita for a sweary phrase.
How small minded and mean of anonymous for not saying well done Rita, instead concentrating on their imagined dislike of a fictional character. It's not about your mean campaigns, anon.

Rita said...

Hi TG and Cartouche - thanks for the comments. I wish the article had gone more along the lines as were originally proposed - with it being a joint interview with Steve and I, at RVL, with the pic being of both of us, and equal opinions being aired. As someone else pointed out ages ago in their comparison between Steve and I, we are a Tassie version of Maggie and Simon. I found that complimentary initially, then when I thought about it, decided it was reasonably accurate if you only look at some aspects of the relationship. But - Steve has given me so much over the years, and it is he I have to thank for the fact that this blogsite is still in existance, and that I am the person I am today.

Many times in the past, I have been wounded, or teary or upset about various comments on our blogs. He has always verbally shaken me; spoken caringly, kindly and charitably to me. Encouraged me to continue. Backed me up. Always made himself available for me whenever I called him, which has been frequently, especially over the past year.

I owe this guy a hell of a lot, and feel he has so much to contribute to the food world in Tassie, on many levels. He has become a trusted and reliable friend, from my first (professional) brush with him when he proved himself to be the total arsehole of his reputation at that time!

I have since laughed with him at that initial meeting (which I think he can't remember - but I vividly can!!).

There is much more to Steve than the hearsay reputation of that original bloke who came to Tassie as Exec Chef for Peppermint Bay. He has 'come of age' here, and is still blossoming into a fine human.

People who had brushes with him in the those old days, and are closed-minded about these things in life, will still justify their opinions, but my motto has always been to take someone as you find them. People DO change, and Steve, to me, is a shining example of this.

I wish the article had been able to spend more time capturing some other benefits of our blogging - but time and space dictate these things, and it was good we got the exposure we did.

Susannah - when the new site is running, I'll cut and paste your Plum comments to the Plum site. Glad you enjoyed it. Please go there again for the brekky.
Anon 9.18 - thanks for your comment, and thanks for sticking up for me.
Sir G - respectfully, again - you actually aren't a fictional character! You are here most nights, and I just know with certainty that you so AREN'T a figment of my very vivid imagination! It's just your name that is fictional! And maybe (if your good wife would care to comment publicly here?) you actually are also grumpy? As I'm not sure as to your lineage, I won't go into the 'Sir' aspect.

Anonymous said...

'Mean campaigns?' sir g, you sure are getting paranoid! Just pointing out that you dont like agreeing with the accolades dished out to people only for the sake of being contrary to the popular opinion. If you call that 'gently chiding' little wonder you are questioned, it just sounded like you being as parsimonious with your praise as you are with your wallet. Dont get too personal old chum, just my humble observations.

same anon who dared put my view across

sir grumpy said...

how do you know I'm parsimonious with my purse, anonymous?
Give me a break!

noglassofred said...

I felt like I knew someone famous today when I saw yesterdays paper(im a bit slow of the mark!!) well done to "both" of you for the article I liked it!!

Rita said...

Same Anon/Sir G - boys will be boys!
Noglassofred (what happened to Niceglassofred?) - glad you got to keep up with current events!

sir grumpy said...

I just thought I'd say that a Tassie version of maggie and Simon is not all that flattering an allusion to all, Rita.
They get on my nerves, even though I watch it for the produce side.
I think you two are more like Maeve O'Mara and Huge Fearnery Whittlesome (or whatever).
And that is a great compliment. (See anonymouse.)

steve said...

Hi Rita, firstly, what very kind words, thank you & the sentiment is mutual, your blog is a daily read for me as it is for many & a truer pulse of Tassies food state of play could not come close. Please, for all of us, keep it up & keep us honest.
Please remember little old us though, when you go stellar & are supping Vahlrona hot-chocs & advising Gwyneth to 'sex-up' her food section on her 'style' website 'Goop', whilst getting a Brazillian together in LA! LOL!

Anonymous said...

If your trying to put me off me food then the thought of a Brazillian mate is doing it right now, especially if it in any way involves you Steve. Its bad enough in an almost all female working environment listening to the waxing, plumbing, and all manner of stuff, but Rita & Gwyneth talking about deforrestation of Tassie, dunno could work, but then, theres the whole issue of old growth forrest.

A very tongue in cheek cartouche.

Rita said...

Sir G - is it me that's the Maeve equivalent? If so, you'd better polish up those specs! That woman (who I watch with huge envy, and admiration) is the stick insect extraordinaire! I'd love her job too! If you're claiming that I am the Hugh-equivalent, well, maybe a bit, but not too much, mind you, having watched him for the past few weeks (and previously never having seen or heard him) I have to admit to being nearly converted to total vegetarianism! I'm the biggest realist in Australia but seeing the animals and fish being butchered in front of my eyes has been awful, and my last couple of weeks shopping has excluded meat/fish. God I miss my meat and fish but just can't get rid of those mental images from his show! Even the beautiful bacon I got from Lee is still pristine in my fridge.
When I see anyone eating fast food I get quite cross, but maybe that's a symptom of old age!
Steve - I only speak the truth as I see it.
Cartouche - perish the mental thought of Rita/Gwyneth, old growth forests and Brazilians! Never would Rita do the Brazilian act voluntarily! When it was done in the old childbirth days (as was the custom then) regrowth was the most painful thing ever, but thank god that relatively minor inconvenience was overcome by the more joyous experiences of post-natal depression, healing stitches, breast-feeding, lack of sleep etc, and my Brazilians subsided right into the background! Husband/post-coital glow? What was that? Nah! Call me old-fashioned, but if you've got it, you've got it, (or if you want it, you want it) and no amount of shaving or mowing or growing will add to or take away from that!

Anonymous said...

Tut! Tut! you naughty old thing. What a string of images to put before someone trying to eat his lunch.

Whitey said...

Sir Grumpy - parsimonious with your purse.

Something to aim for.

I like your style.

Anonymous said...

What are plum's opening hours?

Sol T, said...

Let your fingers do the walking - 6224 8889.

Anonymous said...

I've tried to call a couple of time but always get an answering machine and they never call back. So does anyone know the opening times?

Rita said...

Hi Anon - sorry, I've been away for the past few days hence not answering your question about Plum's opening hours. I'm sorry I don't know their specific opening hours and day. I think they open daily at 9.30 am, but will try and get the info for you and pop it on the Plum entry here, so check in again with me in about a week and it should be there then.