Thursday, 13 August 2009

A class act at The Grain

It was a stunning meal tonight at The Grain in New Town, the previous Maypole pub. We couldn’t find one single thing to fault, except if you wanted to be mega picky you could say the Laksa was a bit too creamy/saucey and could have done to be a tad more watery, but that really is being picky as its flavour and contents were very good.

Chris, Naomi and I ate the most fabulous food tonight, and all agreed at the end of the meal that we couldn’t think of anywhere else in Hobart that we could have had a pub (or restaurant) meal of that standard, at that price. We all sampled each others food so we had a good cross section of the menu.

For entrees, Chris had the Laksa (above), and Rita had the Mushrooms with baked ricotta on harissa sauce – both around the $14 mark, and both great but we all agreed the mushrooms rocked.

I ordered the mushrooms (pictured below) on our waitress Camilla’s recommendation. Camilla is Karen Goodwin-Roberts’ daughter and also waitresses at Karen’s Taste café in the Bahai Centre. It was lovely having such a familiar person serving us at The Grain, and I like Camilla a lot anyway. Coincidentally, she explained us her brother was one of the chefs at The Grain too, so it really was a family affair there. She also said that (mum) Karen and husband Michael (fine food eaters from way back) eat there frequently and love it, so yet another fine advertisement for the food out there. In my book, if Karen Goodwin-Roberts loves the food, it genuinely is great.

For mains, Naomi had the Porterhouse Steak with mushroom sauce and assorted side sauces served separately (all of which were beautiful in their own right). Chris selected the Cape Grim Bolognese with house made pasta, and I had the Confit Duck with stacked potato and buttered spinach.

Naomi’s steak was perfectly cooked with a predominant chargrill-y flavour. It was gorgeous, and came with Christina’s controversial Potato Gratin, which we all tasted with much curiosity! We all agreed we liked it, but it wasn’t as good as the stacked potato which accompanied my duck.

Chris’ fettucine Bolognese was different, sweeter than you would expect, and equally beautiful.

My duck dish was perfect. Every component was faultless, and every mouthful to-die-for.

We ordered a Raspberry Crème Brulee with biscotti and house made vanilla bean ice cream – a nice dessert to finish off with but more for you guys with a less sweet tooth than Rita’s. The raspberry in the base of the brulee took the traditional sweetness from the dish, but the crunchy toffee top made you forget about that anyway.

Chris wanted a glass of sticky to finish off with but they didn’t do stickies by the glass, so he ordered a Galway Pipe Port, after pooh-poohing the waiter’s suggestion of a Pedro Ximenez sherry. Said waiter bought the Galway but accompanied this with a half glass of the sherry, to prove his claim about it being a superior sherry and not your traditional old woman’s sherry. Chris had to eat his words after he tried it. Both he and Naomi loved it, and were appreciative of the waiter doing that.

I could rave about this place till the cows come home, but will resist. I was truly, genuinely impressed with everything there – the fitout, the service, the menu, the food, the ambience – everything. It was fabulous and you’re a mug if you don’t go there and eat. I can see why so many people whose opinions I respect have told me to go there.

Posted on by Rita


Hazel said...

Pedro Ximenez sherry - ahh I have fond memories of a Boxing day Christmas dinner with friends- a mild evening on the deck, drinking PX, smoking mini cuban cigars - feeling so sophisticated -especially in our reindeer antlers!
Although I also recommend a good Hungarian Tokaji (I might be slightly biased I admit)- starts with sweetness but should have an acidic finish that cuts through and removes any cloying feeling in the mouth. Perfect with dessert or as an apertif with foie gras!

reb said...

Nice one Rita. Sounds like a place for us to visit. Whereabouts in Newtown is it?

Rita said...

Hi Hazel - you obviously wouldn't have knocked back the waiters sherry suggestion like Chris did then!
I just know you would love it Reb. It's the former Maypole pub, opposite the KMart in New Town, on the corner of Risdon Rd and Main Rd New Town.

Christina said...

So glad you liked it Rita.
It's so warm,cosy and welcoming.
Next time I may try something other than the steak.
Glad you all like the gratin, but it's not to my taste, and apparently I'm not on my own according to your first posting on The Grain.
Different strokes etc. I suppose.
I particularly loved the bar area, not just because it's full of alcohol either!
The roaring fire and gorgeous chairs. I just want to sit in front of that fire with a glass of red and the paper for a couple of hours.
I think they've done a wonderful job and thank goodness they're doing it out our way!

Victor said...

Rita - what a glowing review. I have only heard good things so far. Saw the name changed. I worked close by. I drove passed the place a couple of days ago, and there was a fire siren and a fire brigade parked outside the building. Hope the kitchen is still intact.

QW said...

It would take more than good food to get me in the door!!! Actually I doubt anything would get me to

Christina said...

Hey Rita, went to the Grain again on Wednesday night, and guess what!! Phil had a steak and out came the potato gratin, and the potatoes were cut into chunks!!!
Not a shredded potato in sight.
I did taste them of course and I found them a vastly improved.
Needless to say Phil loved his massive steak.
I had the lamb shoulder, of which I'd had a taste the first time I went, and can still taste it today. It was so tender and meltingly cooked, and the taste was amazing. I'd return there just to have that meal again and again.
Young Sam had Chicken breast with Potato Gnocchi, which she enjoyed and so did Phil and I. {She doesn't eat much, my ideal dinner companion}. The Gnocchi definately had sage mixed through it and was very tasty.
Number 1 son went for a walk on the wild side and had Chicken Parmagiana. It was declared only okay, but was served with the MOST delicious mashed potato any of us had ever tasted. I would have loved that served with the lamb, maybe next time I'll see if I can.
If anything the second visit was even better than the first.

Christina said...

P.S. Why don't you have The Grain in the restaurant section of your site?

Rita said...

Thanks Christina for your feedback. I'm SO pleased the meal was good - and that your gratin-ed potatoes were different and better. I had had a heads-up about that but didn't want to say anything in case it hadn't eventuated!
I must have forgotten to add the link on my Restaurants page - will do it now! Sorry about that...x

Carla said...

My Man and I went the The Grain on Saturday evening for our anniversary dinner - it was awesome, best meal we have had in a very long time.
Nice little touch of the bread with Olive oil and balsamic - balsmaic seemed like it had been reduced, lovely and thick and sticky.

I had the ravioli - tonight it was duck with garlic butter and roasted cherry tomatoes. I thought I would give it a try, even though the first and only time I have had duck (that I recall), I hated it. This was really nice though, could have had a few pieces and left my eating done at that for the night. My Man had chicken caesar salad (minus the poached egg on top, which they did without hesitating). I then had lamb rack (lovely and pink) - plenty of vegetables and chickpeas - my man had the lamb shoulder (which I tried) - sooooo tender and flavoursome - heaps of vegetables served with this too. We both then decided to go for it and have dessert, me the creme brulee, yum, and my man had the chocolate mousse - sensational (of cause I tried this too) - the seperate mousses (dark & white choclate) worked a treat with the roasted hazlenuts, and the orange sauce, wow - I normally dispise orange with chocolate - but it worked really well, and not too sweet.
We topped it all of with 2 bottles of Stefano Lubiana Sauvignon Blanc, and we were more than happy to pay under $200 (I think it was about $180) total for all of the above, and great service too. We were made to feel welcome as soon as we entered the front bar area, and weren't pestered throughout our meal.
Sorry about the long post, this is my first, and the only bad thing I could really say about The Grain, is that maybe the pasta on my ravioli was just ever so slightly a bit thick (for my liking anyway).
Can't wait to go back and try something different on the menu

Rita said...

Hi Carla and welcome to you too. Thank you So much for adding your comments about The Grain - and I am overjoyed the food is still as fabulous as it has been to date, as I recommend it to evryone who asks me about a great place to eat.
Don't forget to come back and tell us about your next visit there!

Christina said...

Oh Carla,
I wanted to go to the Grain again for our wedding anniversary next month, but due to a million birthdays in the next two weeks, that won't be happening.
So I just lived vicariously through you and enjoyed it immenseley.
The lamb shoulder is my favourite ever
Happy Anniversary!!

Carla said...

Thanks Rita & Christina - I found this blog ages ago, but haven't been out for some time due to buying our first house, but just had to tell everyone how good The Grain was. Will make sure next time I go anywhere, will comment on that too