Thursday, 26 February 2009

37 comments:

Sir Grumpy said...

Wow, yippee, thanks Rita.
It's a hobby horse of mine I used to air on Steve Cumper's website....why can't Kingston be home to lovely places I see in other suburbs, such as Smith St etc etc.
Citrus Moon is okay but limited for me and the beachfront places, apart from Juice, ain't my cup of tea either.
Is it just that we are a slightly detached suburb, is it demographics, lack of knowledge of the area by the great Hobart populace, ot bloody well hard luck?
When I look down Beach Road I have a vision of cafes, wine bars, restaurants, specialty food stores and lots of open-air seating to enjoy the grub.
The beginnings of a Glenelg, adelaide even.
The area has 30,000-plus people and has been boom city for years, yet we are rather limited in the range of eateies on offer. We need a Red Velvet Lounge, Lotus Eaters etc, etc.
What do you think?

Rita said...

I agree Sir G - but what can one do about it?
Yes, out of all municipalities, Kingborough is growing the fastest, so by rights, there should be a fast-growing choice of eateries. But when I think of going out for food, the last place I would head for is to Kingston.
I would have thought that area would support a variety of choices, and already the fast food industry is there but what about the rest?
The Beach is there at Blackmans Bay, and I suppose that's your lot as regards any finer dining than pub or fast food.
Where's Kingston's Fish Frenzy? Yes, Mures is there, but not sited on the water.
Maybe the locals are generally of the age that they are more focussed on family than eating out at different places? Maybe it's because the city is so relatively close that there is no Marque IV equivalent?
I'm not really sure Sir G.
Anyone want to add to the mix?

sir grumpy said...

We need a pier, too Rita. So boats can tie up and we could get a (good) fish punt. That would help.

hrv said...

The problem is, as I see it Sir G, that these places would not be patronised all that well. There are a lot of families paying the 'way too big' mortagage, young people with disposable income going into the more fasionable Hobart dining precincts and a fairly large population of older folk who just want tea and a scone, so Banjos et al will suffice. People like Lee Christmas give it a red hot go, but who is supporting him? Graham Philips once said that we don't respect or support our ethnic eateries by getting them to dumb down their food. Maybe Kingston doesn't support its eateries full stop and prospective hospitality people know this. I would love to get hold of the sailing club building as a casual bistro or trattoria, but alas, I know it would be uphill to keep a business like that in Kingston profitable.

P.S. Rita you are very very brave to open this up.

Anonymous said...

As I understand it, Citrus Moon is closing its doors. The bloke who owns the Lisbon has bought the building and is opening up a wine bar bistro something. So there you go. Juice is changing its name and direction, and there is a better pizza joint called pep, and the pub is being pulled down to make way for a new joint. The chip shops are still pretty shonky. And loads of people have tried with the yacht club, but its a very "we like things the way they are"

Rita said...

Interesting thoughts to ponder. HRV - thanks for your contribution. I agree that seems to be the prevailing attitude in the area, but if we left the status quo as it is, we'd be left with the original shacks along the beachfront, and one ice cream shop, to cater for a huge population of retail addicts!
Anon - great to get the heads-up with the Citrus Moon info, plus the rest. Thanks for your contribution.
Sir G - yep - another logical suggestion about the pier.

hrv said...

Kumar is a good operator. I'm sure he will do well with Citrus Moon. I know I will be supporting him in that venture.

sir grumpy said...

What did Lee Christmas have in the area, HRV?

Rita said...

Lee Christmas had (and still has) Farm Gate Cafe at Kettering.
He is open Thursdays to Sundays in the day, and Friday and Saturday evenings as well. When his new pizza oven is installed he will look at additional opening times.

Anonymous said...

hrv, people support businesses that they like not just because someone is having a red hot go and if the produce & service aren't what people want they just dont go there. Many of you hospitality people need to stop being so precious, stop moaning about the general public & just cook something that we want to eat & maybe we'll come, simple as that.
There I've said my peace!

sir grumpy said...

Sorry, HRV, I meant in Kingston, not Kingborough. The Channel and the Huon are well up there.
It is the desert of Kingston Central and Beach I am hoping will flourish. I was a bit bemused at you saying Lee Christmas had a red-hot go in my area...I am sure I would have noticed!

hrv said...

Fair enough Anon. I wasn't having a 'hospitality whinge', just a Kingston resident whinge. I took my Chef's torque off for that comment.

How about coming up with some dishes / menu items you would like to see and what food / style you would want to eat in Hobart?

I would be very interested. Very little is said except that we are criticised, and sometimes rightly so, about feeding our egos and not getting it right for the diner (with the possible exception of Sir Grumpy).

Anonymous said...

Interesting Kingston topic.
As best as I can tell there are only about 12 shops in the Beach road area.
From memory, Two chip shops two cafes, two accountants two beauty salons, two clothes shops one pub, a health massage shop,dentist, and a pizza joint.
Six places to eat, one to fix your teeth, two to tell you, you spend too much, two to make you still look good after all the grease you ate and beer you drank, and two to fit you with the outsize clothes you need to get.
You want more eating joints, more quality food. Well what etheral untangible thing are you referring to.
Seems most people want some sort of Donna Hey better homes and garden thing going on. Can't you be specific?
Like hrv says, tell these hospitality people egoists what exactly it is you want, or don't you know?

kingstonqueen said...

Kingston has including blackmans bay I think 34 eateries. Recent additions include Breadd, sushi, chachoal chicken, souvelaki and a patiserie. more are planned.
I have moved here from Canada, although I have only two favourites, it seems to me that there are enough. Only two stand out from the pack, the rest seem to be formulaic.

Anonymous said...

Rita, I can't think what point or issue I would like to raise. Suppose I would say that given Hobarts population, we are what we are. And in that note I guess we should stop trying to be like everybody else and try and stand out more, but would that work.
I take some of the points that are being aired, but its hard to second guess whats on peoples minds. Like HRV, I too would love to hear the specifics of what it is people want. After all, I have learn't that that is where it is best to be.
Kingston I believe is a whole different post and subject altogether. Might be interesting to get Sir G or hrv (as they are resident)to give us all a blow by blow account of the eateries there.

Only one thing gets my goat at the moment and that is packaging. By that I mean that what stuff we buy in you have to knife, stab, tear grip and generally manhandle to even try to open. I mean for christs sake, how shitly designed and un-user friendly can a tub of bloody creme fraiche be?

Cartouche

Anonymous said...

Firstly: Kingston:
What needs to happen for kingston and eastern shore eateries to survive, is a ferry/city cat service much like the one in brisbane, where the water way is used to its full potential via a public service, (this will invariably have an impact on road traffic too.) by creating such a service people will find that they can go to a pub on the eastern shore have dinner in kingston and a nightcap back in hobart (whatever order you prefer) without having to drive/catch cabs for great distances... however this leads me to my second point

Rural mentality:
does everybody know that hobart is a capital city? all tasmanians scream and shout tassie tassie tassie when it comes to a discussion about fresh produce and which state has the best...but they soon order that chicken parmigiana and compliment the chef when they are done paying the $21 for that caged chicken thigh battered and crumbed in melbourne! (just an example). but its this mentality that prevents people investing in opening up great restaurants/bars in outer suburbs, or even hobart for that matter! We recently went to Das Zimmer for dinner and there was only one other couple in there at the time! when we had left we had completed 9 dishes (3 courses of 3 dishes) had an excellent bottle of spanish red 2 delicious cocktails and a night cap, with excellent service from the two guys who run it and we left with a bill of just over $100 each! we had our own private booth, comfy sofas and an experience no one can match in hobart...but yet they were empty! for all of the articles graeme phillips writes about wine, and food...i am yet to see one for that place, because those guys need it as i am sick of finding a great new restaurant/bar only to go there a few months later and they have changed the concept or something. but they have been open 4 months and they have not shut early once not even the kitchen which operates with a full menu until 3 am!

so there are a few of my gripes believe me i havent even started! come on hobart lets start developing our palates, be open minded and for gods sake stop looking at the price before you order! if anything complain about the chicken parma if it costs more than $5!

earmuffs said...

Simple logic & planning is required before opening a venture. What about the market, the population & the available discretionary dollar?
Many of you egoccentric wannabe restaurateurs & uber chefs seem too intent on enforcing your brand of good food & service on the public & then complain that no one is patronizing your places?
Why is this our fault? Why does this automatically mean that there is something wrong with the residents of Kingston, Hobart or Tasmania for that matter, just because your concept isn't taking off? Perhaps you should do your homework before you overcommit to a plan that might not stack up to a good hard reality check?
I know this sounds harsh but compered to the idiocy of a suggestion by the last anon to 'get a ferry service happening to the eastern Shore', for goodness sake, who would fund & operate such a venture on the slim premise that it 'might be convenient' for someone to pop over for a beer & a meal.
I see that there are some extremely small minded & little picture views aired about hospitallity on this site that mostly concern the interests of a small but vocal minority of hand wringing moaners.
Asisde from this, I enjoy reading so keep it up Rita!

Rita said...

I'm finding reading this post's comments hugely entertaining and enlightening! Keep it up everyone. It's great to hear what everyone thinks. I reckon I'll do this more often - just have a post whereby anyone can raise any issue, either good or bad, in the general hospitality arena, and the rest of us have the chance the comment.

I suppose the Anon who asked the question, following hot on HRV's heels, about what the Kingston locals want, is basically right when he/she asks if they want a 'Donna Hay, Better Homes & Gardens' type of restaurant/s. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I take that to mean a more upmarket cafe or restaurant than the one in Channel Court, or the Juiced one at Kingston Beach, or Citrus Moon?

Not an unreasonable request, I would have thought. Those places seem to do reasonably OK, while not making the owners millions. But one has to be more practical when one is setting up and planning a new venue, and that's where Earmuffs' points kick in. We all have ideals. But if you haven't done your research and homework thoroughly, you've done your dough. You can't foist what you think the area needs on the populace just because YOU firmly believe they should need it!

In Tasmania, it just doesn't work that way. Unless you've got enough money to support your vision through the initial startup period (which could be up to two years), and if the populace doesn't initially take to your new concept, you're dead in the water, owing money right, left and centre - which also blows your credibility down the track in a small place like Hobart.

So it WOULD be nice for Kingston locals to have a varied amount of dining options. It's a beautiful place. It's middle class. It offers many lifestyle choices. It's close to many things. It has the fastest growing population of any muncipality in Australia. The opportunity is there.

But, the ferry thing has been trialled quite a few times - even as recently as a few years ago, with the South Arm service, which was a great idea, but eventually failed due, once again, to lack of patronage. Us Hobartians are great at expressing what we want, ecstatic when we get it, and then not using it when we have it! And maybe that's how we go about living life? You work hard to buy something, then buy it, then probably use it once or twice and forget it! That tent you bought for camping 10 years ago, used once, now stashed in the garage?

Anyway, for what it's worth, I think Kingston CAN support more eateries. I believe there are heaps of diners there that would love a local restaurant of a higher calibre than what currently exists. That one in the cottage in the road to the beach (can't remember the name of either the restaurant, or the road leading to the beach!) that used to operate round 10 years ago was a good example of that. Their food was at times excellent, at other times average, but at least it was a reliable restaurant. I attended a wedding reception there as well as dining at the restaurant on different occasions, and it was extremely well done, in a delightful environment.

In fact I had my eye on it myself before they closed down for a restaurant business of my own, and would still love to do it...

Anonymous said...

From the comments I have read, this is what Kingston seems to need:
• Total clean out of the ultra conservative Lutheran presence, they hate conspicuous consumption!
• Kingborough Council to bite the bullet, ignore the salary cap & import Ferran Adria to take up residence at the Beachside Hotel, the demand for his distilled-native-hen essence will be huge!
• Invite refugees from all over the world to live in Kingston but ONLY if they open an ethnic eatery of some kind with a price cap that tops at $15(thanks for that one Sir G!)
• Commission INCAT to create a fleet of passenger ferries that churn up the seaways between South Arm, the Eastern Shore & Kingston with their frequent beer & pizza runs
• Once a week, everyone in Kingston is forced to go out en masse to a nominated restaurant or café, this week, Das Zimmer.
• Chicken Parmigiana or its derivatives be outlawed from every menu in the State
• Crème Fraiche is to be sold in self-opening, biodegradable, self disposable sheltered workshop made, non-plastic receptacle.
• Kumar to launch his White Castle franchise to the Citrus Moon site.
• The esplanade cleared of all houses & replaced with specialty food shops with outdoor seating

Rita said...

Last Anon - I love you (too). You have succinctly summed it up beautifully! When the Esplanade is the Esplanade Food Mall, I'll be there daily!
Want to take over this blog? You have all the credentials!

Anonymous said...

At last, a pub with great tucker and service to boot, bout bloody time. Keep up the good work horseshoe inn dudes.

Rita said...

I have heard recently that the Horseshoe Inn at Cambridge has great food. I find that extremely hard to believe but am happy to be proven wrong.
If I can get over my meal at Ocean Child last night, I might be able to get out there one day. I'm adding it to my list of 'to go to's' anyway. Thanks Anon.

Anonymous said...

well earmuffs, might i point out that the ferry/"city cat" idea was not just to cart around punters out on the town for a night, but in fact a service much like a metro bus...except on water! or does Simon Currant own the waterways here in hobart? why does hobart only have one mode of public transport when there is an abundance of waterways! if there were a case for idiocy it would be you, if you kept that narrow minded point of view.

And to anon 11.47...sarcasm is (if you've taken any time out from listening to your own voice) the lowest form of wit!

congratulations are also soon in order as you my dear tasmanian "food buffs" will soon achieve mediocrity! (sound of one hand clapping). i do not doubt that when most of you saw the dish of the day on todays blog...you all made a reservation at the ocean child for dinner, sorry i must apologise about that last comment as it is false...tasmanians dont make reservations, they just expect to walk in, be seated, served and bloated within half an hour.

Anonymous said...

Some one give anon 6.09 a Bex & a good lie down, before we ship him or her off with all the other Emos who cant cut it here.

Here's a tip Emo-anon, stop moaning, do your mis en place, get your house in order & go up a gear & smile & be thankful that we turn up at all, last time i went to your gaff you was in the shite bigtime!

Anonymous said...

Anon 9.07 for the record: passion for finding great hospitality in all its forms is not limited to restraunteurs or staff. so when you visited my "gaffe" where exactly were you? because i certainly would like to know about a business that i apparently own/run.

you made an assumption that i was a restaurant owner, and we all know that assupmtions are the mother of all stuff ups... (i will stop there before i hurt your ego on this public site). next time you're out leave a decent tip because the last one you gave was up to shite.

on a positive note i just had dinner at taste of asia on sandy bay road, and it was absolutely delicious and so authentic. excellent service for what it was, and reminded me that i dont go in often enough. the char siu is excellent!

Anonymous said...

I made an assumption alright, I made an assumption that you're a whinging twat!
Eff off back to the land where punters book, people dont get bloated ore expect a feed in half an hour

Anonymous said...

Rita makes a good point that although the Kingston eateries may not be perfect or even upmarket, they do seem to thrive. Correct me anyone if I am wrong, but have any of them gone bust? They all seem to be thriving. Can the same be said of the places in town?
You know maybe these places have done there research afterall. Whilst maybe not appealing to all they do seem to appeal to at least some. And if they were abysmal then as others have pointed out then surely they would not be patronized.
Maybe, just maybe, what they are saying is that they are bored with their 34 choices.

Cartouche

Anonymous said...

You've stated that you don't like the lotus eaters sir g. Why would you want one in Kingston/

Anonymous said...

Last anaon, was this question directed to Sir G?
To get it away from Cygnet.

hrv said...

Catouche, yes several places have gone bust in the last ten years or so.

Rita I don'n't think my question has been answered - what do people want? Instead of running down us over zealous and ego maniac chefs then tell us what you would like to see more specifically.

Anon you are so right about 'Conservative Kingston'. But it is Dutch reformist, not so much Lutheren. If the Lutherens are so conservative why has the Barossa thrived?

Anonymous said...

Dear me why as everyone being so negative/ Surely this is the forum for open speech about the state of Hospo in Tas! We need both ends of the spectrum! I hope that everyone who reads and comments on this site actually wants the food and the outlook of proffesionals in the hospo business in Tas to inmprove and by bringing each other down we are not going to improve this so wheteher you be a traditionalist or somebody who is pushing the boundries just support each other!!!!!!!!!! We need a bit of diversity for gods sake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think there are a lot of people doing some great stuff here whether it is people that have been doing it for years, people that have been around for ages and are trying a new direction or some young guns just trying to do there own thing. If we don't get behind these people we may as well stop looking at blogs like this because in a couple of years there won't be anything to write about. Just get over your petty differences and realise that we all enjoy different things!

hrv said...

Amen to that

Anonymous said...

Interesting guys!
Plenty of places in Kingston have shut
Maypole Bakery
Sushi place where Golden Tulip now is
Chinese shop
Steves Kebab house
Kingston Beach Brasserie
Cheesecake shop
Hogs Heaven
Citrus Moon (almost)
Takeaway place in blackmans bay
etc etc etc

Anonymous said...

Interesting guys!
Plenty of places in Kingston have shut
Maypole Bakery
Sushi place where Golden Tulip now is
Chinese shop
Steves Kebab house
Kingston Beach Brasserie
Cheesecake shop
Hogs Heaven
Citrus Moon (almost)
Takeaway place in blackmans bay
etc etc etc

Anonymous said...

Kingston Beach:
Milk Bar
Butchery
Bakery
Go-A-Curry
3 different pizza shops (before PEP)

Anonymous said...

Oh and Kingston fish shop

Anonymous said...

And the K Beach Supermarket!!!