Saturday, 25 July 2009

Roundup at the Stockmans Restaurant

When Commercial Manager Ben Targett of the Old Woolstore emailed me a few weeks ago with his response to the Marque IV post, he mentioned their in-house Stockmans Restaurant:

“I would be pleased if you would also consider trying Stockmans Restaurant sometime. We do not promote the restaurant to the public as it works well for us to cater for those in-house guests who want an uncomplicated, hearty, Tasmanian-inspired meal in a safe, comfortable and “single-diner friendly” atmosphere. The kitchen crew does, however, take a great deal of pride in their work and our Executive Chef Kristian Bearman has recently worked with Michelin-starred Japanese Chef Suzuki during his recent visit to Tasmania and workshops at Drysdale.”

Well, I did in fact go along to the Stockmans Restaurant last night, and, did in fact get a pleasant surprise. Trusty dining-out friend Kelly once again was my partner-in-crime, as we met at the Stockman’s to debrief after another hectic week at work!

The service was excellent. The food, whilst not going OTT, we both agreed was extremely good, and I have to say, far outstripped my previous day’s dining experience at Stillwater.

To start with, Rita had the Thai-style Calamari, Pan seared and served with a refreshing Thai mint salad and chilli jam $15.00, which was surprisingly good, but Kel’s choice of the Chermoula Lamb Pie, Braised lamb shank in a crisp pastry case served with kasundi $15.50 won the day for both of us. We agreed that its closest competition was the Wallaby party pie we had at Fleurty’s at the Andrew Fielke degustation in April, which mega-rocked!

The lamb pie won hands down on the night. Well done chef!

For mains, naturally Rita had a Stockmans Steak, Eye fillet (see pic below) grilled and served with green peppercorn sauce $32.00. I actually think they forgot the peppercorns in the sauce but it didn’t matter, as the steak was THE tenderest steak I’ve had for ages, and cooked exactly as I wanted it. Kel had the Pork Striploin, Roasted parsnip and fennel puree with sage and sauce charcutière $28.50, which she enjoyed but said it was a bit on the chewy side.

We were impressed with pretty well everything about the restaurant: it was warm and cosy, the chairs were very comfy, the service attentive, the food fine, the ambience and music subdued. The only thing I could fault was the tacky plastic floral arrangements in the room.

It isn’t a place you would automatically think of when selecting a venue to eat at for a night out, but I agree that it really is a quality restaurant for visitors to Hobart to eat in, if they don’t feel like leaving the hotel.

I trust I didn’t offend Thomas on the Reception desk, either, when I enquired (as he seemed to be struggling with the touchscreen when totting up our bill) if he was on L plates! I noted later that he actually had the word “Manager’ written on his name tag! Ooops! Sorry Thomas!

Posted on by Rita


Carte Noire said...

You didn't offend me in the slightest Rita. I was having a blonde moment whilst training an actual 'L-plater' and simultaneously struggling with a good ol' fashioned Casio caluclator (no touchscreens to be seen anywhere). Glad you enjoyed the Wooly! :-)

Anonymous said...

What's with the wombat-shaped saucing? And why has the steak sprung a tree?
Can we have a photo of the floral arrangement too Rita?

sir grumpy said...

Once again a naked steak on a vast white plate. Why doesn't the chef create a dish rather than an ingredient.
The food as art brigade have a lot to answer for. Is this Picasso or minimanist? Hmmmm.

christina said...

Now that you mention it Sir G, where are the spuds of any description? Did this $32 steak come with anything else Rita or were they added extras?
It does look good and I'm tempted to try, but I would have been disappointed with no peppercorns, and downright aghast at no potato side.

Rita said...

Sorry Anon 6.20, but I omitted taking the pic of the fake florals!
Sir G - as ever observant. I ordered a side of chips and salad. They weren't in the pic, sorry, as they came in two separate containers. As both you and Christina point out, you DO need your steaks and spuds taken together!

sir grumpy said...

But my point (endlessly repeated!) is that the ingredients of the dish should be on the same bloody dish. Not served in their own dish....aaaaarggghhhhhhhh!!!!!
Is the chef reading this? Please speak. When did this begin. Is it to facilitate charging you for your steak on its own then something extra for spuds, then something extra for other veggies or salad. Shit, this is my new hobby. I won't go into places I know that serve up this way.
Maybe this is the way to spot pretentiousness. Where did we go wrong?
Gimme good bistro grub served up together and cheerfully. Ban the naked mains!

Anonymous said...

Well the new way of charging for something is done around the corner from the Woolstore at the Indian place called Saffron under Zero Davey.

What they do there is sell you some poppadams early on and at the same time bring you a platter of chutneys, pickels, yogurty stuff... you know what I mean.

So then you order everything else and eventually get the bill and whatdoyouknow but there is a charge of $7.50 for the side dish.

How many people would notice that. An absolute con, bringing something that you haven't ordered and charging for it!

It would seem to be a pretty set system so they get $7.50 each extra table all the time.

Any better con tricks around?


sir grumpy said...

Me mate Johnno didn't rate this place at all, he likes a medium to slightly hot curry but everything was mild.
He asked the waiter about chilli strength and it waqs way underspiced.
And he said they knew how to add spice to the bill!

Anonymous said...

It was like going to the worst type of tourist orientated restaurant anywhere around the world where everything looked superficially OK but the result .... ordinary food and even a scam going on.


Barry said...

Mr G (glad you are alive after Summer Heights High finished!) you assume that a chef has come up with this arrangement of steak without anything else on the plate but you might be respectfully misguided.
You see the trend these days is a menu by committee. No, longer is the menu left to the person most suited to its conception & delivery, no, now its done by a focus group & left up to someone to implement it. No doubt some Albert Speer type decreed that the steak was to be served so in order to prompt the upselling of the requisite carbs that Rita had said were an extra. The poor chef is but the last in a conga line routine of 'just following orders'.

sir grumpy said...

It is time chefs were put put back in TOTAL control. This silliness had gone too far.
A pox on all beancounters. I measn does anyone really think food is appealing served up in this way?
(Apart from some accountants).

Rita said...

Sir G - the steak comes with a choice of either veges or chips and salad. I opted for the chips and salad, and that's how it came.
It didn't cost extra.