Saturday, 20 August 2011

Ethos Eat Drink

Rita’s much anticipated virgin visit to Ethos happened yesterday lunchtime.

We partook of the following:
Chilli almonds (complimentary) – gorgeous snack
Flathead fish fingers ($3 each)
Crispy skinned lamb with yoghurt and beans ($15/20)
Pickled sardines and crostini ($10)
Braised octopus, mussels, chickpeas and hummus ($15)
Pan fried flathead tail and roasted garlic, lemon ($20)
Beef cheek and quinoa, chim churri ($20)
Winter fruit trifle ($15)

All the dishes were spot-on, and exactly what we envisaged them to be, except maybe the lamb, which didn’t grab me at all really. My favourites were the fish fingers and the braised octopus. The fish fingers contained one per serving, so it was lucky we ordered one serving per person! They were the traditional fish finger shape, complete with course breadcrumbs, but the winning flavour of the flathead was absolutely perfect. They were a gourmet fish finger.

The octopus was tender and beautifully flavoured, as were the accompanying mussels, but the highlight was the hummus – which wasn’t your usual dip-type hummus, but rather more runny and saucey, and provided an ideal “gravy” for this Mediterranean dish. I should have ordered more bread to mop up the remaining hummus sauce with after I’d eaten all the octopus, mussels and chickpeas!

The service (although when it happened was very good) was spasmodic. We had to ask for drinks on three separate occasions. But, on the plus side, at the start, the waitress was diligent in explaining what the place was about and how the food ordering worked – which really helped with understanding how to get maximum enjoyment out of eating there.

The wine list was good, and provided my dining companions with a variety of glasses of different wines they wanted to sample. To them, the drinking was of equal (if not more) importance than the eating, which is obviously MY priority, given that I can’t/don’t generally drink. And I think that therein lies the secret of Ethos’ success.

It’s no more, or no less, than what they advertise it to be - tapas style food, with a more diverse selection than Spanish food, as tapas is traditionally based on. If you match your wines to your nibbles, I can see you’d have a fabulous time there. As it was, for drinks I stuck with aerated water and was more than happy with that, constantly topped up as it was.

It’s not a place I’d think to go to if I were starving hungry, or wanted to celebrate a special, intimate occasion. It’s a place I’d instantly think of to meet friends for a chat, a drink and a nibble. The renovation is stunning, and adds to the general atmosphere. I was extremely interested to check out Ethos, and see what all the hullabaloo was about. If they knew what I looked like, and gave me special attention knowing I was there to blog about it, then I’d be disappointed. As it was, I don’t think we received any more or less service or attention than any other table – which is how it should be.
Posted on by Rita


Apple Island Wife said...

Wow. Sounds delicious and like the prices too. Will visit next time in Hobart. Last time I was at a tapas bar was London in the 1990s. The people running it were Spanish and the food was sensational. Baby fried squid. Mmmmmm! (Not quite sure where they got squid from in central London but there you go.)
Nice blog! Shall visit again.

Anonymous said...

Sounds as though you liked Piccolo way better

Rita said...

Welcome Apple Island Wife. Glad you like the blog.
Anon - yes, I DID like Piccolo better, as, not being a drinker, plus not getting a plate of food specifically for me, generally works better for me. Having said that, I am the world's greatest nibbler, so lunch at Ethos being a good grazing time, worked for me then too, being, as it was, a catchup time with friends.
As I said, Ethos has its place for those situations where you DO want to just sit, nibble, drink and chat.
When I get serious about food, that's when I want a full plate of beautiful food such as I got at Piccolo last week.

Grazing is Good said...

If you want to graze then head down to the Opossum Bay Store. The Opossum Bay website ( is possibly the weirdest you will find on the interweb but somewhere on there (good luck finding it) there is a claim that the local store does the BEST hamburgers. They're not wrong.

Anonymous said...

Gee, it would be nice if the reviews gave the address of the establishments for us newcomers to Tassie.

Rita said...

Anon 1.38 - if you look in the Restaurants section, you will see the address, website and contact details of all restaurants reviewed on this site.

potplant said...

I agree with Anon. Adding addresses and phone numbers etc on places you review would make it so much easier for the instant gratification generation. Perhaps you could give it some thought, Rita?

Anonymous said...

Its just a frigging blog for christs sake, lets keep it simple !
Any of you guys heard of google ?

Nanny said...

Google even comes with a handy map. You'll have to book your own cab though.

Billy said...

Rita - I reckon potplant has hit on something here. You could provide a paid subscription version of your blog which provides detailed instructions for people on how to find the venue which is the subject of your post. But would anybody subscribe? Nah!

potplant said...

I can do maps even tho' I'm from Venus. But if you're putting "address, website and contact details of all restaurants reviewed on this site" in another spot on the site, what's the big deal about putting them in a blog? Other blogs do it...BTW Rita, I'm also a relative newcomer to Hobart and I've found your blog invaluable in getting to know the foodie scene here. Sorry other's found my suggestion so contemptuous, it was just a suggestion FGS!! not a whinge.

Disgusted of Sandy Bay said...

If I'm going to spend my highly valuable and sought after time reading a restaurant review, then the very least the author can do is order me a fkn cab.

It's a disgrace!

Anonymous said...

It appears that Graham Phillips likes Ethos more than Garagistes which is OK it his choice but Ethos are not even in the ten best restaurants in Tasmania according to the Gourmet Traveller awards but garagistes is and the chef Luke won a major national award

Anonymous said...

This was one of the worst restaurants I've ever been to (also confirmed by 3 other friends who ahve dine there) so I'm surprised by your review. It was embarassing as I took executives from our head office there. The food came out in dribs and drabs (the last meal was forgotten) and someone obviously doesn't even know how to bone a flathead. The abalone was a disaapointment too at $20+ a pop for 4 wafers in a soup. Ethos needs to actually provide genuine tapas.

Anonymous said...

why is there a need to compare these restaurants against each other and then back against there placing on a corrupt and biased national list. cant we just eat and drink and enjoy a venue on its own merits. just sit down and dine, not judge or pick holes. hobarts not big enough yet we need to encourage and nurture