Sunday, 22 March 2009


Stephen said...

I don't think that NH really has a use-by date. Sure, over time individual restaurants come and go, but that means that there's renewal of individual parts before the overall use-by date is reached.

Stephen said...

BTW, has NH ever been a place for 'serious eaters'? With the exception of 373 (now very much on the decline), I can't think of an NH restaurant that has ever targeted the 'serious eater'.

For 'serious eating' I've always headed into the city - Marque IV, Montys etc.

PS: I've been meaning to try Piccolo - anyone been there?

earmuffs said...

Stephen, your sentiments that 373 'is very much on the decline' is at odds with the glowing review in the weekend Australian yesterday.
What is 'serious eating' anyway? Sounds like elitist wank to me.

Maggie said...

I've had a lovely meal at piccolo. Great service, great wine list, great menu.

Anonymous said...

i'd say hobart as a whole lacks serious restaurants and bars. and by serious i mean places that can truly offer well cooked food, great service and not try to be carbon copies of places in sydney and melbourne 10 to 15 years ago. the whole industry is in decline and it has nothing to do with population etc. it's all about passion, knowledge and mastering the art of simplicity.

Anonymous said...

here we go again Rita . . . . another woe is the restaurant scene here in Hobart - blog.


steve said...

It was good to read the article today in the Sunday Tasmanian about the national interest in all things culinary about Tasmania.
However, the most obvious fact for me is that it is yet another opportunity for others to capitalize on the unique bounty that Tasmania has to offer, you will note that its not Tasmanians promoting Tasmanian food, it seems that this task is reserved for credentialled mainlanders or overseas chefs, whom I'll bet hardly any Tasmanian people have ever heard of?! This leads me to aks, 'Who is this campaign aimed at, Tasmanians or others'? We here already know what is amazingly abundant & many of us already know what to do with it. So whats the point?
When will we shrug off this 'cultural cringe' & stop relying on people who dont live here to tell us how we should cook our food?!

Whilst I dont agree with last anons overly simplistic view of the state of play within the Hobart restaurant scene, I do say that yes there are some very average places around in my opinion, but there are also some people who are trying very hard to offer something different, something possibly unique to Tasmania. I think it might be time to stop the sniping, stop the factionalsism & the pettiness of past grievenses & concentrate on the positives that many people are trying to achieve within this remarkable state. You might find that we have more in common than we have points of difference.

Anonymous said...

If ever there was a frustrated TV chef it would be you.
Were you yourself not drafted over from the mainland to show us Tasmanians what to do.

steve said...

No last anon, I wasn't drafted.
I chose to relocate my family here after believing their was an opportunity to engage with a community of food lovers whom shared a passion like myself. Tasmania seemed the obvious choice after a long search for a rural move.
As to the 'frustrated tv chef' thingy, I think you are mistaken. I am from the school of, 'a chef should BE in the restaurant that bears their name'. Thats why I still do every shift 'on the tools' at the RVL except sun & mon.
Yes, I have done some tv which I have enjoyed, even though I dont feel I am as telegenic as some, however, I haven't chased it as such.
But if you are interested, in TV anon, look out for 'Warm TV' , a new green lifestyle program featuring noted Australian green communicator, Tanya Ha as host. I have a small part as the food presenter for this six part show airing on WIN TV on Fridays at 7pm.

Christina said...

I love North Hobart as you know from my previous comments.
I feel it has something for most people if you get in there and find it.
Reminds me a lot of Newtown in Sydney,{but smaller},which we visited heaps when we lived in NSW.
A place to relax and watch the world go by, or to join in and be part of.
I consider myself a serious eater.
I enjoy high end restaurants when funds allow, I love a good pub meal too. I'm not above a great pizza or a little thai if thats what takes my fancy, and I also love to spend a day at home in the kitchen cooking for friends and family. I take my food very seriously as people that know me will attest to.
I have to say as a serious eater I always think North Hobart first. Sometimes I have to make myself think outside the square though.
I also agree with Stephen's first comment.
There's some place new popping up now and again. Keeps things interesting.

B said...

>Has the North Hobart eating strip gone past its use-by date?

Not at all, I don't think. It's a fantastic little hub of options for all price ranges and tastes.
Drive or walk through at 8.30pm on Friday or Saturday night - the place is buzzing.

>Do serious eaters still think North Hobart when they think dining out?
I don't think Hobart has enough 'serious eats' places (and it depends on your definition of that term) to narrow it down to a specific area. Certainly NH and Salamanca are popular eating zones though, and both have a few decent choices for foodies.

It's sad to see places close, but the opening of new restaurants means that there are fresh options all the time. I am still keen to check out Solicit and Piccolo

Anonymous said...

I was having this exact conversation with a good friend over the weekend re the restaurant scene in Hobart. I have spent a bit of time in North Hobart recently and noticed how quiet it had become, wasnt sure if that was a sign of the GFC (global financial crisis) or otherwise. I have been to Piccolo a couple of times and been very impressed, Restaurant 373 had a fab menu, but very quiet, thai mai ake empty, yet Fish 349 thriving. My friend recommended Solicit as having fantastic food but perhaps not the amibence of Piccolo or others in its 'class'.

In any case, its always nice to try new restaurants and return to old favourites..


Lucy said...

I don't think North Hobart could be labelled as 'past its use-by-date', but I do think it's time for some new restaurants to open up. I live in North Hobart and am very familiar with almost all the shops there and know my faves, however there are a number of restaurants that have dropped their game.

SOmeone mentioned Mai Ake, which is a good illustration. The prices at this once fantastic Thai restaurant have gone right up, but the quality has dropped hence I don't think the economy can solely be blamed. Places like Onba (should be shot for their food), and the North Hobart Nandos (food poisoning), if they remain, will also promote a NH as past its used-by-date (no pun intended).

However there are some new(ish) additions to North Hobart eating - eg. Piccolo and the Alley Cat - that illustrate that diversity and a turnover of restaurants keep a food strip like North Hobart exciting and attractive.

Anon2 said...

Christina, agree with your comments entirely. Rock on!

Anonymous said...

I love North Hobart but would like Nandos to sod off and take that dreadful pizza place, La Porchettta.

Taste of Asia could do with something new on the menu.

I think 373, Piccolo and Solicit do a nice upmarket menu and Republic has the best pub food in the city.

But how good are the chips from Legs n Breasts?! Now that's serious eating..

Anonymous said...

I used to love the pit stop. Is that still going?

Rita said...

Thanks all for your interesting contributions. Most informative.
I agree with the fact that NH covers all alternatives in foods and prices, and that Nandos & La Porchetta don't enhance the area. I believe Pit Stop is still operating. Chips at Legs & Breasts OK but - serious eating? Surely Anon 6.17 you're taking the piss? I'm with Lucy re Mai Ake - it's disappointing. TJ - good to see you're still keeping up here, and still eating out! Piccolo at night is on my to-do list - I lunched there but so want to try the evening menu, which I'm lead to believe is different. Steve - I think another post is there in your words, and I had already formed the bare bones of it. You've now spurred me on, and it will appear soon....Christina & B - good thoughts. CR - glad you're still round too. Stephen - thanks for your contribution. I think your question about Piccolo has been covered now! Looks like you and I both are on our way there.

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering.. Has everyone forgotten the fairy new restaurant located on the way to NH strip? I think royal Thai is serious in what they doing and serve no doubt quality food and services. Kuzina is consistent and not bad. Parshas spot on. I am a big fan of Parshas and regular to Royal Thai. But realised the restaurants are quiet sometimes.

Jaye said...

I can't recommend Piccolo enough!! I've been there a several times for both lunch and dinner and haven't had a bad experience! The food is wonderful, wine list fantastic and the service is completely brilliant!
And I completely agree with the comment before regarding the food at Onba, it's such a shame that somewhere that was once upon a time really good can fall so far!

Anonymous said...

Begin Rant:
Onba - one of those 'potential' establishments originally staffed by those familiar faces you see at all new establishments in Hobart. The kind of staff who have no dedication to any one property and just hop from one hot new spot to another. Mark my words, places like Cargo and Das Zimmer and so on will all end up like Onba.
Rant over!

Anonymous said...

I heard that the owners had no idea of what they wanted & at the first sign of being quiet, they pannicked & 'dumbed' everything down?

Anonymous said...

Make sense of the 'Ladies Cocktail Night' (or whatever it is) sign in the front window!
Anon 9.32am

the punter said...

well i can't decide wether to jump in on the best seafood restaurant debate or the north hobart mud-slinging debacle. my hackles go up whenever i see anon as a leader, why not be a little creative. this whole best of,is it a spent force lets bag someone for a neferious reason smacks of the food orientated players here in tassie hitching their collective wagons to the economic tragedy that is all pervasive. the food available here is of the finest quality. costwise it beats everywhere else hands down. not much point in passing an opinion on somewhere you haven't tried. get out and try some of the regional and country places that are there, cygent yielded up a great breakfast at one place, excellent bread at another, good soup with slow service at yet another place, but i was in cygent green and verdant and making me feel good about the state i live in. less of the negativity and more exploration , i'll let you know when a siege mentality is the order of the day regarding gastonomic endeavour....nuff said.

Rita said...

And Hi to The Punter - glad you entered the fray in this one! Refreshing opinions, but a bit fragmented. So, you were in green and verdant Cygnet and ate at 3 places? Not quite sure about the rest of your message re siege mentality and gastronomic endeavour though. I think you were bascially telling the collective us to chill out? Please correct me if I'm wrong.