Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Will the new THA (see previous post) help with this?

I received an email the other day which provided me with much of the proverbial food for thought. I agree with my correspondent, who said the following:

"I have lived in Tasmania for the past 2 years & have found lack of consistency in the food industry a real disappointment. I haven't found a reliable restaurant that I can recommend & know that the food/service will be the same on any given night. After living in Adelaide & enjoying Melbourne, Tasmania is just not living up to its potential. Everyone here seems to have an 'it will do' attitude rather than striving to be the best."

That issue is a perennial problem I have found, especially if you're in the food-recommending line, like Rita is. When I raved about Darjoh's Yum Cha a while back, and Christina took me up on my exhortations to readers to get their cute butts along there and sample some great food, I assumed she'd experience the same as me. Unfortunately it turned out differently, and not due to the food, but to the overall experience there.

I know it's nearly impossible to standardise things in that type of scenario but it really does make you think twice about recommending anywhere to anyone else.

It's a dodgy game at the best of times, and trying to maintain integrity, consistancy and impartiality at the same time makes it trebly dodgy!

There are only a few places that I've eaten at which have managed to maintain their food and service standards predictably, so that I just know that whoever I recommend them to will find exactly the same as I found whenever I was last there.

I hate to flog a dead horse, but Marque IV was always one of those. I haven't been there since Justin started, but in the days of Fore, not only was the food consistent, but the service was absolutely faultless, and totally the same every time you went there, no matter with whom or when.

I won't single others out, but I will say that they really are few and far between.

We seriously do need to notch it up a fair bit if we intend being serious about our industry, and attracting people (ie visitors) here as a food destination.
Posted on by Rita


Anonymous said...

I don't think Tassie will ever be a food destination :(

Anonymous said...

Actually what about Montys? That's always great

Anonmouse said...

As it stands at the moment, Tassie has some serious catching up to do. So here goes..

Firstly, suppliers are bad. I'm sick of seeing wilted herbs, bruised fruit, trays that had obviously been dropped and a general lack of care by fruit and vegetable suppliers. From the butcher, I was upset to see anywhere up to 60 chicken breast or kievs packed into one bag, with a hole in it, leaving a trail of destruction. Opening it up, they were quite often on the verge of going off and generally in an unusable state. Same goes with seafood. Why several pieces of fish are packed in one bag is beyond me. Pack it individually and show some care. Overall, the one thing that really got on my goat was ALL the suppliers turning up at no earlier than 11:00am. Put it this way, if you were working in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane (or any major city for that matter), if your supplier hadn't arrived by 8:00am you wouldn't be supplying that restaurant the next day.

Service in Tasmania is pathetic. It really is. Apart from a few major restaurants (Smolt, Moorilla, Lebrina, Angasi, Fee & Me (when it was around) and Picalilly), the service in general is terrible. Waitstaff getting orders or meals wrong, slow on drink orders and tables taking anywhere up to 45 minutes to clear - in an empty restaurant. The "she'll be right" attitude and the overwhelming lack of urgency that seems to occur in Tasmania is not good. Considering tourism brings in a large proportion of your income, you really aren't providing a good service to justify that. Trained, career waiters are important, because there are way to many uni students acting as senior waiters in restaurants.

Food. Tasmania could quite possibly be the biggest myth in food circles at the moment. People talk about Tasmania's produce and how virtually everything is better in Tassie. Well it's not. Fumigated, irradiated fruit & vegetables, an overrated cheese maker (King Island cheese is flavourless, characterless production line crap) and overrated seafood. Yes, you do do some world class stuff (Pyengana, Woodbridge, Bruny Island Cheese, Grandvewe, apples, scallops and Cape Grim) but the rest is questionable.

Restaurant wise, there are very few that are good restaurants and none that are "great". Moorilla, Smolt, Picalilly & Lebrina are all good restaurants - at least in the worldwide scheme of things. And considering that Tasmania markets itself as a world class dining destination we need to put it on the world stage. The aforementioned are all at the "Bib Gourmand" level, if we wanted to put it in Michelin Guide terms IMO. But great? No. Tetsuya's and Quay are probably the only great restaurants in Australia atm, up there with the likes of The French Laundry, Noma, Mugaritz , el bulli & Arpege. Take 373 for instance. Locals say it's as good as any restaurant in the state. The times I've been though, there is a massive gap between it and say Moorilla.

For lesser dining establishments, the bread and butter of the industry, they are horribly inconsistent. Service is nonexistent, the food is okay some days but terrible the next and it's overpriced. The lack of quality ethnic restaurants is concerning - I am yet to find a good Yum Cha in Tassie or even a good sushi place, which should be a staple of any dining destination.

Chef wise, training seems to be nearly non-existent. There are some very good apprentice chef's (and chefs in general) at the upper end of the scale but once you get past the 6-8 restaurants that are at that level in the state, the quality drops dramatically.

In my opinion, apprentices don't receive a comparative level of training that they would receive in other states or even on a worldwide scale. Drysdale seems to be where most apprentices come from and they give them a good start, but I also think competition against Drysdale is important. Scour the country side for three (or four) outstanding trainers to head up a new training institute.

Anonomouse said...

BTW, Monty's is stuck in the 90's. Sick of seeing things like

* Truffled (they are out of season anyway - pull out the truffle oil/paste boys)

* Port jus/reduction

* Salmon caviar or salmon

* Potato fondant

*wild - ie cultivated in a greenhouse, not commonly used, mushrooms

* eye fillet and lamb rump

* basil oil

* parmesan crisp

* mirin

* baby spinach

* balsamic reduction/glaze

* eggplant caviar

etc etc at restaurants...

Anonymous said...

I can't stop LOL-ing at your comment about service at Angasi.

Are you serious? It was rubbish when I was there.

Well I always found Montys better than Smolt and Piccalily.

sir grumpy said...

My Goodness, anons. Sure we have many issues in tassie but it's a worldwide phenomena.
Read London Eating Guide or some blogs from interstate Oz or America.
Same problems, service, consistency, actual grub, overpriced drinks.
Read Andy Hayler...he eats ``top shelf'' a lot and has plenty to grumble about.
Or AA Gill, Giles Coren and Michael Winner in The Times.
Jay Rayner in the Guradian...they all have horror stories. recently a place in manchester copped a real bagging.
As for Adelaide, do me a favour. Melbourne goes from sublime to crap.
Sydney and Brisbane too.
It IS NOT a Tassie problem.
Come on, don't stamp all over us with that interstate bullshit.
If we ain't good enough for you, well, as they say, PISS OFF.
We may whinge about each other, but we stick together when assaulted by passing opportunists.

Nuf Sed said...

There is a huge attitude in this industry of lazy chefs, useless chefs, lazy FOH/BOH staff etc etc


Is something I hear everyday in the establishment where I work.

What a stupid thing to say!!!

Sure you might be tired or stressed or whatever but if you aren't passionate, don't bother. Because your business will be absolutely rooted if you say that everytime someone questions something.

And yes suppliers are bull crap. One supplier located in Hobart...Coff will happily turn up at midday with your order containing wilted mutilated shredded herbs, rotten carrots, green potatoes and rotten black bananas. It is these people who also conveniently 'accidently' leave items out of your order, and then when you ring them for a credit note, deny that anything is missing from your order.

As for the meat/Polutry/Seafood suppliers, they are dodgy too. Trust me several places at the hobart wharf soak their fish to make it weigh more, and several sell frozen fish as fresh.

The attittude being : "It was freshly frozen"

I could go on but I am about to go to work!

Anonomouse said...

I thought Angasi's service was pretty good when I went. Might have gone on an off day (or on the other hand I went on an unusually good day).

As to Sir Grumpy's comment, Tasmania has bigger issues than most. For a destination, that is classified and marketed as a world class dining destination, it really doesn't live up to it's hype. I do read plenty of the blogs and critics that you have stated. But... The other thing that far outweighs anything else written is I have lived and worked in a number of those cities (NY, London, Paris, Sydney, Brisbane & San Sebastien) along with (most importantly) comparable cities to Hobart & Launceston overseas & interstate. And I can assure you right now that Hobart & Launceston are at the lower end of the scales (Hobart may actually be at the bottom).

Tasmania is a great place to live and has a great quality of life but when it comes to food & restaurants, and the quality you expect with it's reputation, it doesn't live up to it's reputation. BTW, I'm not from interstate or overseas. I'm from Tasmania. I was born in Lenah Valley.

Of course places are going to get a bagging. It happens. My problem is that the general standard is poor. Suppliers are the worst I have ever seen. BY FAR. They won't change because no one demands change and there is no one else to go to. I once got a box of rocket - it was yellow and dripping. Scallops that were sold as fresh, but when it was cooked it leeched a lot of liquid. Like it had been frozen. Tasted one and it had. Sell me frozen f*&@en seafood!?!?! WTF! I'm sick of poor service and have had enough of overrated poor food.

Sydney and Brisbane going from sublime to crap? Seriously? The standard of restaurant in Brisbane is reasonably good and up to a level that can be expected from a city that size. In Sydney, its pretty hard to find a bad restaurant. Avoid the obvious and your fine.

It isn't good enough for me. Tasmanian food & restaurant service needs a good kick up the arse. Open your eyes guys and see the world. Why not get on a plane and have a look around? I know a lot of people in Tasmania haven't even left the state. Driving to Launceston is not an overnight trip. I'm sick of the laziness, and the general lack of wanting to change and improve in this state is deplorable. Start demanding the best and you will get the best. This goes with everything. Service, food, produce from suppliers, training - the works.

more to come...

Anonomouse said...

It goes like this at the moment. I get service from a uni student who doesn't care about their job or the guest. I try and get his/her attention to order or at least drinks but he/she is chatting away to a workmate. After ordering, in which it is obvious he/she is not really listening and is more worried about how her hair looks or how he can get the new girl into bed, I am given my meal, which has been prepared by a chef who hasn't had adequate training and is a sous chef or head chef at 25. He also doesn't give two rats about the guest. He is more interested in chatting up the hot young nubile uni student whose tits are hanging out or is wearing pants that show of her body. He's also thinking that he is the next superstar chef. Like Jamie Oliver (who is not though of highly by any self respecting chef if you get my point). He doesn't have the skills, the experience of working in good restaurants, or spine to reject the produce sent by suppliers. The suppliers don't really care though. They are thinking "It's cheaper to buy poor quality stuff at the markets, and we can sell it for the same price. No one complains anyway. What are they going to do about it any how? There is no one else around". At the end of my meal, I'm either:

(Educated Diner)
I feel ripped off. I complain to the manager who also doesn't give a rats. He is also interested in the young nubile uni student, or the cougar at the bar and is most concerned about having to do 2 hours overtime because the other uni student they employ hasn't turned up because they are hungover or still drunk. He thinks to himself that why is this guy complaining, this is a well respected and award winning establishment that won something in the local gazette (circulation 450) in 2001 and he is managing it. Besides, we get plenty more tourists through here. They have no idea. So, I go home and complain on a blog where I am then torn apart by the locals... Which brings me to:

The uneducated diner.
They think the meal is great. They may have forgotten a side, overcooked a steak and taken 20 minutes to serve drinks but it's fantastic. The local gazette gave it an award in 2001 which must mean it is good. So they also go home to that same blog and rip apart the guy who - what is his problem?!?! - actually complained. I mean, the reviewer who gave out the award, worked with/met/saw him drive past Jamie Oliver.

Anonymous said...

not sure where you lot are dining but perhaps I can alert you to a couple of places in the south where food & service are paramount.

pigeon hole
red velvet
lotus eaters

these are run by energetic, focused & driven people-who make that effort to determine the point of differnce that stands them out from the average.

Mount Gnomon Farm said...

A bit harsh saying that Tasmania will never be a food destination because to some degree it already is. The problem is traditionally the best produce is exported as the markets for fine produce in Tasmania have generally been fairly small. Environment-wise we are blessed with what we can grow in Tasmania, we have the world's cleanest air, some of its freshest water and fantastic soils. We just need to create more of a fine food culture, as food in Tasmania has been more about value than quality. While there is room for improvement, the future is exciting if people are positive. For one, most farmers in the state have been able to be commodity farmers, and that is changing as they are no longer able to be cost effective and so more of our land will go to high value enterprises. This, combined with a warming climate (perhaps one of the only positives of climate change), will suit a range of new enterprises. We just need the value chains in Tasmania working better.

sir grumpy said...

Look every place is hyped in some way. I haven't believed the clean/green image of tassie, ever.
So what? It's sill better than most I've seen.
I can find great produce to cook with at home. It ain't stinking hot like the mainland or cynical like London and arrogant like Sydney. Melbourne central is good but get out of the city a bit and it's average. Lygon St is a joke. What has Adelaide got. Rundle St is shabby and the central markets painful. Glenelg is nowt special in my book. But I like it fine.
We are small and growing, Sure have a go when it's called for but remember to heap some praise for goodness sake. Viva Tasmania and pass the whisky and plum pud.

Anonymous said...

That Prosser bloke reckoned he was gonna start a restaurant franchise with SOP and all, how OTT. He reckoned it was going to be really consistent, and that he was giving Tas a "ramsay shake-up" Obviously never happened.

Best of British luck to him.

Anonomouse said...

You may well be able to find great produce for home. If you buy it straight from the producer. Nine times out of ten though it has been fumigated and irradiated in supermarkets. What about restaurants & cafe's though? It's always ordinary. As I said before there is some truly world class produce in Tasmania (Woodbridge, Cape grim, Pyengana, apples and co) that wouldn't look out of place on any menu at any gastrotemple in the world. But the rest is horrible. Why should a restaurant accept poor quality produce because a supplier is being a prick about it?

Sadly, it is true that most produce is exported to the mainland. Two things with that though. Tasmania doesn't have the climate to produce a fair proportion of foods coming from the mainland. Considering the mainland has a warmer climate, foods that are easily produced in a warmer climate have become staples in Australian food. Over history, Tasmania has being left behind in this case.

Secondly, why doesn't Tasmania produce foods that are well suited to a cooler climate in larger quantities? You can't produce everything and you don't need to compete with the mainland. Just complement it. In fact, a larger range of produce on the market will make restaurants very very interested around the country. We are all a bit sick of the same old same old. And I'm sure most restaurants would be happy to pay premium prices for new and interesting items.

Anonymous said...

And as said above then there are all the un-educated diners who get a plate of shit put in front of them for dinner and think it is superb.

Mount Gnomon Farm said...

I would have thought that Tasmania does the staples very well. Our cold winters allow us the critical chilling requirement to support world class stone fruit and apples. What about berries etc The cold winters also result in high levels of sugars in some of our root crops and in the spring summer we can grow pretty much anything that is produced in southern australia. For example did you know that it is possible to even grow avocados in Tasmania!
It would be good to see what cold climate foods are possible for Tas that are currently not being grown.

sir grumpy said...

Yes, we have issues. One that never gets mentioned much is the LOWER standard of wages in Tassie.
In general, not just the restaurant industry.
People have LESS to spend. There is also the question of the HIGHER cost of food brought into the state. So it costs more for less, but I do concede we do have issues.
But what to do. I do give up from time to time but soldier on with some hope.

Anonymous said...

have to agree with anon 8:08 and anonomouse. the attitude from suppliers and a lot of restaurants is disgraceful. there is a fruit supplier in hobart (starts with c) who is bad. not a nice lady on the phone when you want something (seems like such an inconvenience to her) and when something comes in that is not up to scratch nothing usually gets done. or a stink is caused. you think 11am is bad? i get mine at 2:00pm. i have to order 2 days ahead to have food for service. lol @ your scenario on what happens when you go to a restaurant. it is spot on. especially at salamanca. the educated and uneducated thing is pretty accurate too. but most educated diners wouldn't pay. pigeon hole is fantastic. really good cafe doing really good food. coming from the mainland i am pretty biased towards it, but your point about things being relative to each other and on scale and tasmania as a world class dining area is accurate in most cases. a little harshly put but well thought out and accurate. anon, out of interest how often have you noticed the plate of shit scenario happening? do you think its common. haven't seen it much myself but hear about it all the time at restaurants which i thought were just a bit shit. i'd be interested in seeing what vegetables are grown in tas on a common basis and why. i'd like a bigger focus back on varieties that are easy to produce and the varieties of those that can be produced as well e.g root vegetables like pumpkin plus salsify, taro etc or cabbage as well as broccoflower, chinese broccoli etc.

Anonymous said...

Wages aren't helping at all. No one from the mainland stays long because they can earn a lot more interstate. Locals leave quickly (i.e as soon as they are qualified in the case of chefs or experienced enough in the case of waitstaff) to work in a better organised, better paying environment. I know I left when I was experienced enough and a lot followed me over the years. I followed a lot as well. That last post is really hard to read btw. Use paragraphs!

lemon curd said...

All these problems have been well documented before. We know service is a problem, we know supply is a problem, its all been said previously.

Lets go back to the crux of the original post - will this new hospitality body/ministry help the industry?

I hope it will, regardless of how political it is, lets hope it does some good for the industry. At least there is movement, it may not be an instant fix but at least someone is worrying about it, someone is trying to catch up.

I was lucky enough to spend an illuminating evening chatting to Emmanuel Stroobant, Marcus Eaves, and Shane Osbourne when they were down for Savour Tasmania. All three agreed that while the produce they had seen during their sponsored stay had been world class, they could see how supply and service and all the problems that have been identified above are important areas to work on. They were however quick to point out that we are not on our own, Marcus Eaves recounted story after story about problems he had with suppliers in London trying to rip him off with substandard produce - his solution? "Don't trust anyone, you have to be f**king vigilant!!" He also mentioned that he solved a lot of his supply problem by greasing a few palms, and buttering up suppliers so he received preferential treatment over others – necessary evil?

Anonymous said...

Agree with Lemon Curd. Heard all these before. Same old issues - bad suppliers, bad service, etc etc. Nothing new. The point is what can be done and bring the change? It is across the board - the whole supply chain issue, from supplier to customer expectations.

Do I believe it will ever change in Tasmania? Probably NO, and NEVER. I have given up thinking things will ever change. Just look around you. It doesn't even have to be in food industry.

What about all those tax payer money spent on many consultations/plans on redevelopment - such as the hospital, the waterfront, etc is the mentality of small minded people, trying to think big, but yet worry about their political suicidal image and jobs. It is all talk and no action. Rather sit in the same spot to be safe and not make the change. Let someone. I know I have side track a bit, but it is the same with food industry. Even at my work place! Workers are just happy to do little, and not challenge to be better or the best! Not even the manager. So how will the people or industry ever improve, with such mentality?

Tasmania will always be Tasmania - the pristine, clean image with clean air and water. But that's all it is. Nothing more.

You want A-class food, superb shopping, plenty of money and opportunity - Honey, you have come to the wrong place! Open your eyes. You will never find it here in Tasmania. LOL!

reb said...

Clearly what's needed is less variety and more of the stuff that people actually want.

Let's face it, Tasmania is a State of Bogans. 95% of people are perfectly happy to eat nothing but Pizza, Legs n Breasts, and any other number of fast food varieties.

There simply aren't enough people here who feel comfortable (or can afford) to pay big bucks for food that is fresh and/or carefully prepared.

A lot of them can't tell the difference anyway.

If we want to eat good food, consistently and affordably we may as well all pack up and move to Melbourne.

Anonomouse said...

Tasmania is the kid brother. Wants to play with his big brothers and his mates but when things get a bit tough he has a whinge about his big brother and how he is so much better than him and why is he making it so tough...

Anonymous said...

Rita: Just noticed your comment RE Global Economic Crisis on your sidebar.

I was at a certain seafood place this morning and someone was purchasing 11KG of Prawns, and $300 of crayfish, they must be having some people over for Xmas!!!!

Nuf Sed said...

Yes we actually had to get the Armaguard to come and collect our money yesterday.

We normally take on average $5-8000 per day. Yesterday $25,000.

True. I could tell you stories you would simply not believe. :)

We have never ever been so busy.

Now rushing off to start my XMAS shopping!

Anonomouse said...

Merry Christmas everyone! Ps Nuf... if you want to send some that cash my way I'd be much obliged. All major credit cards accepted!

Anonymous said...

ho ho ho ho

sir grumpy said...

For all those who have had a MAJOR whinge about Tassie...
Just remember that the majority of folk aren't foodies.
Probably 95 per cent or more.
Some people mainly eat for fuel. Others like a nosh of favourites, everything from pies to prawns or a juicy steak.
Most can fix the grub they like, the way they like it, without the need to spend vast sums.
Many like to have a PROPER drink when eating, so that means home. Then they don't have to drive.
Of the food-interested small percentage which remains some, like me, have decidede the starchy bullshit of fine dining is a bore and a chore.
They opt for middle-ground places that source good ingredients and don't mess about with them.
They shun tasting menus and El Bullshit foams and chemical gastronomy.
For them, the social event and company far outweigh the food.
So, take that on board and let's hope we never become anally-retentive (!) about grub.

Anon2 said...

Spot on sir grumpy

Anonymous said...

I agree with sir grumpy and reb. Tas is populated by 95% bogans who dont give a shit about quality of food or foams. But should we let it finish there? Why cant we complain abput that if thats what we feel? I cant stand prosser and thought his idea stupid but you have to say hes right about food here.

Anonymous said...

doesnt that mean, if the tas pop is about 500 000, then 5% of that is 25000 people that might be interested in dego's and foams etc x by +- $90/head for some good wanky food = 2.25 million dollars annually divided by say 10 wanky restaurants in the state = $225000 annually for each of those restaurants.
food for thought maybe??

but saying that nothing wrong with a decentyly cooked piece of something with some sort of a accompaniment and a glass some moisture to wash it all down for$30 or so x 475 000 or so bogans = 14.25 million dollars for all the other restaurants

Anonomouse said...

This is the attitude that really gets on my goat. Tasmania is marketed as a world class destination and a world class food and dining destination. Yet 90% of people give me the usual excuse along the lines of what sir grumpy just said. Why should we change. The question is why bother marketing yourself as a destination worth visiting if you don't want to improve yourself and make a change. Why is it that people in food related circles in Tasmania are so reluctant to make an effort? You are in the wrong industry if you don't care enough about the guests and even your own reputations to make an effort. Tasmania's main income is from tourists and is only going to get bigger as baby boomers retire - but only as long as you make an effort. Yes, Tasmania is full of bogans. But you can't expect to support your own tourism industry with just locals. You quite simply don't have the numbers. You might not want (don't want) Tourists in Tasmania but you have dug yourself this hole and they are here to stay.

Secondly, it's not all molecular and de-constructed food in Tasmania. In fact, there are very few restaurants in Tasmania that have foams, airs, spherification and the like on menus. Picalilly does it (rarely), same with Angasi. PB has a play with it (albeit poorly in comparison to other restaurants interstate and overseas) and MIV is in the same boat.

Finally, I think the effort that needs to be made is the basics. Demand a better product from suppliers, demand better training for yourself as chef's, bar staff and waitstaff, demand better service from the aforementioned staff - it is your money you are spending and you do pay their wages afterall.

Anon2 said...

There are a lot of things to care about and lobby for change about in Tasmania.
I consider myself a foodie in the broad sense and, yes, I know this is a food blog, and these issues are also important to me.
Yes, quality of produce and its provenance, and standards of preparation and service etc, are very important. But I also think that sir grumpy has got some very valid points to make.
Ultimately, higher priority in Tasmania for me goes to fundamental problems we have - in environment, forestry, health, education and the condition of our transport infrastructure - before we get too precious about some aspects of our food culture.

Anonymous said...

Use the cash from Tourism to help pay for the other stuff. As anonomuse said it's going to be a massive industry very soon. Get things working well and profit...

Anonymous said...

The cafes and restaurants mentioned by anon 7.30pm are indeed the best in southern Tasmania. These cafes and restaurants all have one thing in common - they have endeavoured to seek out quality produce from local growers, they are respectful & loyal to the primary producers who supply them and are understanding of the vagaries of farming ie weather, seasonality, distance etc.
Providors on the other hand are disrespectful & disloyal to primary producers, to them it is all about quantity and price not quality & value for money.

sir grumpy said...

Yes, probably 99 per cent of Tasmanians awake with the REAL thoughts in life _ of work and how to get throught the day.
If it is a holiday, great...a chance to catch up with the garden or go on a drive with a casual cafe feed somewhere along the line. or to the beach, enjoy their hobby.
Their concerns in life are a job, roof over their head, law and order, health care and education.
They would not have a clue like the doomsayer anons here about Tassie that the sky was about to fall in because of a perceived lack of top-class eateries, poor service, bad produce, slack attitude and ``uneducated'' eaters!As far the state being marketed as a top-class foodie destination with the finest produce, well that's marketing for you. That's not my problem.
And I never see that when I'm interstate about us.
So the money men and marketers and positive spinners come up with a theme, grow up anon, that's Disneyland. as jocks would say, it Disney exist.
You bought the hype, the rest of us didn't.
We went for a lovely drive yesterday and ended up at Crabtree and Lesley Vale and surrounds, Great little trip.
Great scenery, tremendous charm and The old Longley pub a wonderful site, crumbling as it is.
I'm sure interstate visitors come here for similar. We weren't worried about food. A simple snack sufficed. We know we can get great grub here.
I made a fritatta with leftover ``organic, free-range'' ham and chicken, organic garlic, some decent tomatoes and spring onions and eggs from our daughter's neighbours free-running chooks.
Brillant with some good local bread and butter.
Crisis, what crisis? Come on, if you buy a dud image, don't go blaming everyone else.
Viva Tasmania.

Anonymous said...

ha ha ha ha... There are some pretty pathetic comments on here...

As a restauranter and diner in Tasmania, I wholeheartedly agree with the comments about the lack of effort in Tasmania. And the worst part is, is that I get a lot of quality, well trained staff from the mainland who won't stick around because of this. Don't blame them really. No one really cares in Tasmania. And it's people like you Sir Grumpy that are half the problem. Accepting lackluster, not up to scratch stuff because the scenery nearby is pretty or the lady was nice and so on and so forth. Interstate visitors don't come just for that. They come for decent service and that amazing produce that is made known to the world not by marketing but LOCALS.

The point isn't that you made a frittata from your daughters neighbours produce. The point is as restauranters we want decent plentiful produce. Not the "produce" we are supplied with now. We want from our industry a decent experience equal of anywhere in the country or even the world. Not the lazy, sloppy stuff we get now.

No one is saying that other items aren't important. Health, education and the like are obviously way more important. But what I think is being said, and what I am saying is make an effort. That's all we want. Besides, as anon 4:41 said, it's going to be a massive industry soon. And we can either profit (massively) from it or be left behind. Interstate diners and tourists are better travelled and better educated than people in Tasmania. Most Tasmanians have barely even left the state - let alone the country. Simple fact is the babyboomers are coming - both from interstate and overseas - who have travelled and eaten out a lot and Tasmania has no where to hide. What are you going to do? Stop them at the border?

sir grumpy said...

I know what your problem REALLY is, Anon. You don't listen.
You think people come here just to eat. Get real, why wouldn't they go to Paris or Hong Kong?
I care about quality but I think you have to be a realist and wake-up to the fact we are a cottage-industry people. Keep it simple, and because of our size, keeping it smallish.
let's steadily improve but let's not be cowed by moaning ranters.
I think you must be a politician or and ad rep. Certainly the lure of the dollar has you in its grasp.

Anonymous said...

No actually I'm a chef & restauranter. And I don't care about the dollar. I never mentioned money only the fact we have a chance to improve our own quality of life using the money from babyboomers. No, people don't come here just to eat. They come here to drink wine (which is in a great state of affairs atm), see beautiful scenery and have a relaxing time. But the three things they talk about when they do come is wine, how pretty it is and the food. Why else do they come here? That's the three main things that tourists can see and do anyway...

sir grumpy said...

See, there you have it, Anon. Because you run a restaurant, the toursits you see DO indeed come to your place for food and wine.
Now, obviously not everyone who comes here comes to your place.

So you can't possibly speak for the vast majority.
Look, if times are tough, I wish for better for you and your ilk. trust me I speak up for Tassie, especially to those from abroad or overseas.
It's easy, I just tell them the truth. But things do go slower here, including improvements on a grand scale to your industry.
But the slower, less slick situation actually appeals to tired-out Londoners, jaundiced Parisians and even Sydneysider and Melburnians.
So, take heart and hasten slowly. i think the state will get there, and it will be a better place than most.
I take back the money barb, I know cafe and restaurant owners put in way over the effort to get a living.

Anonymous said...

Not talking about tourists that come to my own little piece of heaven. I'm talking about tourists in general. Talking to people interstate, they mention three things about Tassie - food, wine and scenery. I'm saying that as people in this industry, we have a chance to make this state an amazing experience for all and make some serious dollars to spend on other facets for our own quality of life.

ut si said...

'RESTAURATEUR' that you Mr Bailey?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Bad day for suppliers today. Here's what happened.

Mures delivered some fish to the restaurant today. Left it out the back in a box sitting on top of a wheelie bin... Absolutely disgraceful

Tasfresh delivery arrived. Boxes were ripped and looked like they had been dropped. Broken carrots, wilted herbs, dripping rocket. Why bother guys? Forgot a couple of things too... Won't be using them anymore. What's more they turned up at 3:00pm.

I too am sick of disgraceful suppliers. It happens at least once a week.