Saturday, 14 March 2009

Fleurtys at Birches Bay

For grown-up work, Rita had cause to take a visit to Birches Bay (past Woodbridge) on Thursday. The object of this visit was to suss out the operations of Chris Read, farmer extraordinaire. Chris’ main three ventures on the farm at Birches Bay comprise his Native Pepper Berry processing plant, his iris farming and his Fleurtys Café venture.

Here is a guy with vision and enthusiasm we need cloned! I came away mega-impressed with Chris and his operations, as well as the promise of a beautiful meal at Fleurtys Café on the evening on Saturday 4th April, when they have Adelaidian chef Andrew Fielke coming over to cook alongside Christine, the resident French cook at Fleurtys. Andrew was the brains behind the Red Ochre Grills native foods restaurants on the mainland, and the plan is for him to come over here to Fleurtys (and also a few classes at Drysdale) to cook a degustation meal of native food. I have the menu in front of me now, and I just can’t wait to try some of these foods.

Following our meeting in Chris’ office, the obvious place to go for a coffee was Fleurtys. I hadn’t been to Fleurtys for a few years, and I confess that despite my agreement with all and sundry that yes, it is indeed a fabulous venue with a wonderful restful feeling to it, actually it wasn’t on my eating radar as my last visit confirmed for me the fact that they only had reheating facilities (with the predictable toasted sangers, lasagnes, quiches etc) there and as such, unless I have the specific need for such food, am happy to bypass places like this in favour of alternative food.

Times have changed, and Christine is now well and truly installed there as cook, and if you are to judge from the redolent aroma of Wild Thyme and beautiful free range chicken and mushroom pot pie cooking, which assailed our nostrils as we entered the café, producing fabulous regional food.

As I was destined for lunch at Meadowbank, I unfortunately had to ignore my instinct for lunching there, but will definitely return. My companion had a slice of cheesecake, which usually doesn’t turn me on to any great extent, but at her insistence I sampled a mouthful, and OMIGOD! It was beautiful, and with its principal flavour of Lemon Myrtle, bowled me over.

I have booked in for the dego there on April 4th and very much looking forward to it.

So – my suggestion for today – get yourselves out there – drive on down the Channel to yet another local slice of heaven at Fleurtys, and have lunch – but MAKE SURE YOU BOOK, please.
Posted on by Rita


sir grumpy said...

I have always like Fleutys, Rita and service has always been relaxed (not slow) and cheerful.
me and the missus were down at Woodbridge on Thursday arvo, so we may have passed!
We did some shopping at the little store (great garlic and Richmond Milk).

Rita said...

Welcome back Sir G! Steve & I were just speaking on Saturday about your recent quietness on the blogs.
Glad you are a Fleurtys fan - what about the dego there on Apr 4th? Wanna make it a date and celebrate Rita's big 60th with her at Fleurtys? (The real birthday is Sunday 5th April)

Anonymous said...

Sir G, 'Richmond milk' is in fact milk from many other areas, badged so in order not to incur the wrath of the big milk duopoly. Some of it comes from down here, very very south of Richmond.

Anonymous said...

Fleurtys. Lovely building. Unfufilled potential. Uncertain owners?
Inside too hard edged & loud loud loud.
Tiny menu of 'arranged' food wit pretences. Look at me I'm French & all that. Whatever.
Must book! I'll go when I please thankyou.
Needs a Luke, Lee or a Steve.
Or end up like Pear Ridge or worse, Grandvewe.

sir grumpy said...

Well know I like to keep a low profile.
Haven't been responding because I am the centre of a huge social experiment which could shape the destiny of man and womankind.
Well, at least shape my profile.
me and the missus only ate HOME COOKING for a fortnight, so it would be a bit cheeky to speak out on places we were avoiding.
We only fell off the wagon twice...a lamb souv from Mykonos shares between us (and the dog) at Marieville Esplanade.
And (me) a beaut Cornish pastie from Lipscombe larder.
We were trying to cut out all the takeaways such as grease, chips, etc, etc.
Firstly to see if we could do it, Secondly to see if we could stick with it and lastly, to see if it made a difference in the weight/health stakes.
We did manage it...I cooked every day and we had brekky and lunch at home too. So, we are going on with it but will still eat out.
It's cutting out the tendency to just bog into Legs N Breasts for chicken and chips etc.
But (proper) eating out (sit down) is still in our plans.
Good to be back. What time is your do at Fleurtys (not committing but flattered you would ask).

Rita said...

Anon 4.32 - no one is holding a gun to your head and saying you MUST book or you won't be allowed in the door any time, but we Tasmanians are excellent at expecting to be served in any restaurant or cafe without having booked, and thus give the owners or managers the chance to more accurately predict how much food they'll need to order, how many staff they need to roster on etc. It's a courtesy thing too but greatly assists them with the running of their businesses, and I think it behoves all of us, if at all possible, to help them out there, surely. You can't complain about the lack of service if you (and 20 separate others) have turned up somewhere for lunch, no one has booked, and there is only one staff member working the floor. How was the owner meant to know they would have 22 for lunch that day when there are no bookings in the Booking Book? It happens every day and can be really hard to predict.

Sir G - the dinner I was referring to on the 4th April is the degustation dinner of native foods which I mentioned earlier in that post. I have booked to go along with a friend so we can try this food. It starts at 7.00pm.
Glad you and Mrs G are observing the economic times by cutting back. I think maybe all of us are doing likewise, in our own different ways.

hrv said...

Been to Fluerty's twice. First time was great, the second the food was nice but easily the equal worst service I have received in Tasmania by not only floor staff but kitchen also. Would love to love it but they were excedingly rude and discourteous which left a sour taste in our mouths

Anonymous said...

I wasn't going to describe a recent experience I had at Fleurty's as everyone was gushing - but here goes!
Arrived, (no booking, but only for coffee!) and asked for a table for two for a couple of drinks, the following exchange took place between us and the inanly grinning staff member after we had also had a look at the menu:
Us: We will have two lattes, but can you do just a small cheese plate?
Her: We do a Wild Platter - let me go and get the description for you (rushes off to get the chalk board thingo - we had already looked at the platter but it was too big for what we wanted).
Us: Thanks, we had already looked at that and it is a bit too big and has some seafood...
Her: (cutting us off)...Only one type of seafood.
Us: Thanks, but really just the coffee will be fine now.
Her: (to my friend) You're hungry aren't you.
Us: Really, just the coffees will be fine.
Her: I could do the platter without the seafood.
Us: REALLY the coffees will be fine.
Her: Have you seen the cake selection?
And this went on and on and on until we were about to walk out without the coffees!
Great view though :)

Anonymous said...

I'm with you last anon.
That particular person could be the same very very pushy person I have encountered there.
The place is fantastic if too lould inside & I think its never really reached its full potential like a few in the area. What is it with the Channel?

sir grumpy said...

Well, I am amazed anyone had such a trying time at Fleurtys!
I suppose it's my air of distinguished calm and imposing physical stature that protects me from such impertinence.
After parking the Rolls and traipsing up the charming rustic footpath to the restaurant on several occasions, the staff virtually lined up to meet and greet me and the wifelet.
They simply couldn't do enough to help.
I think many go to these places with some, what do the Americans call it?.....attitude.
There are two sides to every story and I'm sure the kindly staff have theirs.

rockyster said...

How do you go along Ferry Road in Kettering with that Roller Sir G? I'll bet you worry about it getting scratched by a passing log truck.

Never mind - help is at hand. The long suffering residents of Kettering and Bruny Island have spat the dummy and kicked off the Fix Ferry Road Campaign.

What does this have to do with food? Well, once the road is better it will attract more tourists, boost the economy etc etc etc

Lend your support Channel dwellers and other.

sir grumpy said...

I know all about Ferry Road, Rockoyser and sympathise.
I am lending my not-inconsiderable weight to the cause.
You watch.