Monday, 25 January 2010

Market update

Rita popped in to the Tasmanian Farmers Market in Melville St yesterday morning for a fresh vege top-up for the larder and was delighted to see it blossoming.

There is now a definite vibe, with a greater variety of stalls. The fact that it’s held on a Sunday is also important I think. There simply aren’t so many distractions first thing on a Sunday morning as there are every other day of the week.

It was good to see that the “cafĂ©” now has tables and chairs thus adding to the ambience of the market, and reinforcing the fact that you don’t have to just go there, buy what you went for, then leave. You can now feel justified in hanging round, having an egg and bacon roll and a coffee, and people-watching.

I was also greatly heartened seeing Justin Harris collecting fresh goodies (salad greens, herbs etc) for Marque IV, especially since Sunday is his day off. He could have been at home reacquainting himself with long-suffering wife Natasha, but there he was, shopping devotedly for MIV.

I sampled half a dozen natural oysters from Bruny Island Oysters, each one topped with a different topping courtesy of the Kuzina chef, whose name I’m afraid escapes me. He had whipped up 6 different toppings, and arranged the oysters in their takeaway container in the order in which I should eat them. An extremely thoughtful, and intelligent, thing to do, and as I ate each oyster in succession I found his decision validated.

I chatted with Ross at the Bruny Island Cheese and Rare Foods stall too, and tried his pate and rillettes on some beautiful bread baked by Nick Haddow’s new wood-fired oven baker.

I love the fact that it’s a leisurely shopping expedition where you can take the time to chat with the producers of the products, and find them equally as generous with their information and friendliness.

If you haven’t yet checked it out, now is the time to do it. If you HAVE been there previously and found it lacking, now is the time to revisit and see what you think, now they’ve got a few months experience under their belts.

This market, to me, is the TRUE Taste of Tasmania.
Posted on by Rita


lemon curd said...

I had a lovely wander around the market a few weeks ago, bought some lovely baby carrots, some honey, an awesome rolled loin of lamb (served with said baby carrots, crushed rosemary potatos :)), and just soaked in the atmosphere - heres to the future!

Re opening times - bring on the later opening, I always forget its on and by the time I get down there at 11...

Congratulations by the way Rita on 'coming out', I bet that photo of the four of you is adorning a few local restaurants pin boards as a mug shot!

Rita said...

Thanks LC! It took me a lot of soul searching to add that photo to the blog, and I did indeed think to myself that was probably where that photo would end up!

Tassiegal said...

You must have been there early Rita! I got there at 8:30 and all the eggs had GONE! (Grumble).

Rita said...

I didn't go as early as you TG, but have to admit that pic was one I took last time I was there, not on Sunday. However there WERE eggs for sale there, and I bought a dozen free range eggs from one of the stalls. They just weren't from a large open basket as depicted in the photo!

Tassiegal said...

Must have missed them then. I think some of the stall holders only came in a little later, as the Oatlands bread ppl were still setting up when I arrived and some of the things Maddie said should be there werent.
I still think its brillant - though I didnt have much change from 80 bucks last Sunday (buying wine and Ross's beans will do that).

lemon curd said...

Hey Rita,

Doing some research for work, stumbled across Charlie Trotter's Beverage Tasting Menu designed to accompany his dego menus - but for those amoung us who choose not to drink alcohol...

Whatcha think? appeal to you as a non-drinker?

Rita said...

Hi LC - yes, sounds fabulous! I love Charlie Trotter, and love the sound of his non-alco listing.
Well done you for finding that, and thanks for providing me with the link.

steve said...

Great to see Maddie getting the kudos she well & truly deserves for setting this market up as written by Elaine Reeves in todays Mercury.
Its also refreshing to see this market beginning to thrive despite what seemed to be a curious climate of pessimism when it started.
Well done her & the stallholders1

Anonymous said...

Totally off topic but please read

ha ha ha ha

Rita said...

Thanks Anon 5.39 - I actually wrote about this very topic on this blog in Dec 2008.


I read the article - it was very interesting. It is so sad that eating standards have degenerated to such an extent!

Anonymous said...

Old news then, LOL.

"You heard it first on Ritas Blog"


Anonymous said...

What a great idea the farmers market was

Anonymous said...

No blog updates all weeeeek? :(

Nuf Sed said...

Anon - 4.52.

I think you will find that as some people have a life outside of the internet, perhaps Rita is busy?

Also from reading a previous post I presume she is probably insanely busy right now - preparing for all the kiddies about to start college again.

Rita said...

Anon 4.52 - sorry aboput about to rectify that very issue...!!
Nuf Sed - close. Yes, I have been busy capitalising on the fact that my free time is drawing to an end, and rushing round doing boring stuff, like collecting new glasses, having prescription filled out at Chemist Warehouse (=parking problems....means I put that chore off till the last minute!), changing library books, going to the beach, attending official farewell for Rita at former workplace etc
Also - eating out....see 2 new posts later re today's lunch at Home Hill, then tonight's dinner at Cooleys in Moonah.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see the letter to the Mercury Thursday 28 January, written by a Andrew Minnucci, hotel desk employee, slamming restaurants for not opening public holidays. Quote “wake up cannot choose to work office hours”. Presumably, this person was being paid double time himself, and I suggest his employer wasn’t getting value for money if Andrew was not able to find eating options for his guests. There were 6 restaurants open in the area between Henry Jones and the Woolstore, too many to count between Sullivan’s Cove and Salamanca, - most in North Hobart were open and one (that I know of) in South Hobart. Not sure about Battery Point, but there were several between Sandy Bay and Wrest Point. I know this only because I was asked to book a small group into a restaurant on Aust Day evening and there were a good variety of eating options to choose from.
Those who did close were possibly those who in the past didn’t get the trade. Not al restaurants can afford to have a kitchen and front-of-house team on standby, at public holiday rates, in the hope that some-one might give them the courtesy of a phone call, or MAYBE, walk in. As a local hotel desk employee, I hate to think what message this person is conveying to our visitors if his energy is spent on putting off side those who are in fact his industry colleagues. I’m all for feedback, criticism – call it what you like, but this person should get his facts right before he slams a group, most of whom are dedicated, hard working and if there’re lucky, able to pay themselves a wage.
How about being positive and thanking those who did open on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day , Australia Day, etc, (and there were a lot who did) and missed out on being with their children, family and friends. Yes, it is their chosen field, but it’s still not easy leaving your kids and family on special occasions in order to provide for them and give others an enjoyable experience.

Anonymous said...

Well said last anon.
the irony is not lost on me though when this fellow says 'you cant open office hours' which I take to mean 9 to 5.
If this is so why do we have to pay these ridiculous penalty rates when our core business is as he is stating on Public holidays, weekends & nights. Why are hospitality businesses being penalized for daring to open during these times yet we live in a society that demands we open 24/7?

Anonymous said...

Look I run a small business in this industry and I shut on public holidays simply because labour costs are way too high and I use public holidays as a great opporuntity to have a well earned day off. Some places charge a surcharge on public holidays which is perfectly fine and completely understandable. Because wages are so much extra charging a % surcharge sounds fair to me.

Christina said...

Anon 6:41,
I didn't see this yesterday but my husband mentioned it. So he went to a newsagent today to get me yesterdays news, so to speak.
The way it was explained to me and the way it read were two different things, must say I agree with you.
Some quick homework would have had Andrew better informed on who was open and who wasn't, and therefore more in a position to advise potential customers as to where they may like to dine on Australia Day.
A little off topic, but along the same lines,I must say I was pretty amazed at the amount of places that were closed between Christmas and New Year. I know the Taste is on but does it really warrant so many of our restaurants being closed during this period.
Not being critical, just a question really.

Andrew said...

I wish to thank everyone for their comments, and I agree that I did open up a whole can of worms when writing what I did, and I am glad that I have done so. Granted there were a handful of restaurants open, however they were bustling at the seams and could not fit another person in. Most of these restaurants that were open, were of your every day standard, leaving the higher end of the market closed for the period.

Maybe as Christina has mentioned, there needs to be an overhaul in the penalty rates paid in the industry. It could quite possibly encourage motivated and well trained staff to join the industry and stay within the industry that they love to work in and not have to worry about what hour of the day they are working.

And for anonymous to presume that I was paid double time and a half, please do not jump to conclusions, not everyone is paid like you.

Rita said...

Good on you Andrew! If I hadn't got one single thing out of writing this blog for 4 years (which, btw, I actually HAVE!), tonight has reinforced to me exactly why I keep on blogging!

I love it that you happened to read the comments which were about you tonight, then had the guts to respond, and explain/justify.

Never mind whether I think you're right or wrong, because I have't read your comment or the others that thoroughly yet. I just am so elated you responded here. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

The fact remains that there were more than a handful of a variety of dining options open on Australia Day and they were not all full. Christina, I can only guess that the restaurants who closed between Christmas and New Year made that decision based on previous years trade. On a different subject, my heart goes out to the boys at Olive which I understand has closed.

Christina said...

We spent some time on the Eastern shore recently and I stood outside Olive looking at their menu.
I noticed the pizzas were no longer there, only because I thought we may get one, but what I also noticed was that the staff I could see didn't look very happy at all.
Perhaps this was why.
I too think it's a great shame it's closed.
Although Olive has received mixed reviews, I've always enjoyed it, especially our second visit.
A shame for Bellerive as it was starting to pick up a bit in the way of venues.
I understand a new restaurant is opening around near Cbar{?}.
Anybody out there know anything?

Term Papers said...

Experience of such places make us feel like heaven. Foods are the cultural, could be enjoyed.

Christina said...

Finally went to our first market this morning.
What a treasure!
We purchased a rabbit from the lovely rabbit lady Rita, who I think may be in touch with you.
We also enjoyed a Date and Honey loaf from Artisan Baker Ass. which we enjoyed toasted with butter this morning, then with camembert this afternoon, an olive and herb loaf, a bag of kennebecs from a gorgeous gentleman who loves the market!,fresh greens from the Hmongs to go with dinner tonight, chilli ginger beer, enjoyed with vodka and lime this afternoon in the backyard,tasted Grandvewe cheese, Hop Honey and in general had a beautiful morning.
For goodness sake lets keep this thing going!
So now if anyone has any suggestions for my much treasured rabbit, I would greatly appreciate it. Would love to debone the whole thing and stuff it, but I don't have the experience yet.
Please send me any great rabbit recipes. or via Rita's Bite.
Hope that's okay with you Rita.