Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Recipe for perfection

Take one fine, under-the-radar chef, combine that with faultless floor staff, add a pinch of fabulous venue, and what do you have? Why naturally you have Meadowbank.

 Chacuterie platter (above)
 Duck pie (above)
Oxtail main (above)

Slow cooked lamb (above)

Lunch yesterday at this old favourite (restaurant) was perfect. The menu of chef Wayne Smith (pictured above) was not too long and wordy, or too short that many would be hard pressed to find something they liked. It was, as Goldilocks would have it, just right. It contained the following:

Half dozen bruny island oysters, three ways $19
Spring bay mussels, white wine, herbs, cream sauce $19
Sauté local calamari, green tomato, aubergine chutney $19
Twice baked Richmond brie and tamar valley truffle soufflé $19
Goats cheese tortellini, currants, pine nuts, olives $18
Chacuterie plate, chicken terrine, pork rillette, polish sausage, duck liver pate $19
Duck and mushroom pie, port jus $19

Slow cooked shoulder of pork, olives, preserved lemon, raisins, honey mustard jus $32
Farmed white rabbit, loin, leg, crispy belly, hazelnut sauce $34
Pan roasted fillet of blue eye, mussels, champagne cream $34
Pan roasted duck breast, celeriac puree, cassis sauce $34
Slow cooked clover valley lamb shoulder and rump, onion puree, garlic and rosemary jus $34
Braised oxtail, celeriac puree, mushrooms, red wine jus $34

Additional bread (first serving is complimentary) $2.50
Olive oil $2.50
Olive tapenade $3.50
Olives $5
Seasonal salad leaves, walnuts, pear, walnut dressing $8
Duck fat roasted potatoes, rosemary, sea salt $6
Green beans, buttered almonds $8

Richmond brie (cows milk), muscatels $14
Ricjmond cheddar (cows milk), oatmeal biscuits $14
Roaring 40’s blue (cows milk), fruit brioche $14
Cheese board $34
Truffles $3.50

Millefeuille, rhubarb, rosewater mousse, passionfruit sorbet $16
Raspberry soufflé, vanilla bean ice cream $16
Vanilla and honey panna cotta, almond sponge, nougat tuille $16
White chocolate parfait, salt caramel mousse $16

We had the chacuterie plate, and duck and mushroom pie for entrees, and the lamb and braised oxtail for mains, with sides of the potatoes and beans. All were exemplary dishes, extremely well executed. I mistakenly assumed the duck pie would be of the pot pie variety, but when it arrived, as you can see from the pic, it was a true pie, topped and bottomed by a delicious pastry.

My lamb main was absolutely melt-in-your-mouth, with that sous vide tenderness I love. The accompanying jus was stunning, as were the potatoes and beans sides. The whole flavour package of the meal was flawless.
I tasted Pete's chacuterie plate, and loved the duck pate, polish sausage and the winter pickles, but not so much the rest of the goodies. His oxtail was to die for. He hoovered it up, groaning at the end about how full he was!

I felt a huge French influence in most of the menu items, which was explained later when chatting with chef Wayne by the fact that he is married to a French woman, and consequently has spent some time in France. He has just returned from his most recent visit. His passion for food is obvious on every plate. I spoke with the couple on the next table after their mains had arrived, and they waxed lyrical about their food (rabbit, and oxtail).

The floor staff (headed up by Stephen Free, ex Gondwana) fulfilled their duties in the best and most unobtrusive way. Drinks were offered whenever you realized you needed or wanted one, the water was topped up and the menu explanations offered enthusiastically and intelligently, not assuming we were all au fait with menu items.

Last time I was at Meadowbank was when Simon West ruled the kitchens, and the menu consisted of mostly tapas-style plates. Wayne’s menu is obviously totally different to Simon’s, and I loved that difference. Meadowbank is heading towards being another of those fine restaurants who try to provide/grow much of their menu ingredients themselves. I applaud this ethic, and am in admiration of anyone who does this. Colette at Ut Si Café in Perth (Tas) is one who immediately springs to mind, with her herb and vege garden producing some fine products out the back of the café. My mate Steve at RVL also has just acquired some bees, so could now be technically called an apiarist!

For those who have left it a few years since they last ate at this peaceful haven of food heaven, like bad Rita, I recommend a leisurely drive to Richmond, finishing up with an equally leisurely lunch at Meadowbank.
Posted on by Rita


Christina said...

Going there!!!!

Kris said...

Does anyone know where one can buy rabbits (for eating) in the Hobart area?

Anonymous said...

Yes it is a bit hard to find them now Flynns in Bathurst Street have closed.

By the way Garagistes is closed for a month till 12 October and Sapa Rose id closed for a week until 26th.

Time for all you 38 hour a week people to say WTF !

Allison said...

My mum usually gets them frozen from Contrywide foodmart at Glenorchy. Though I have seen them at many butchers and the Sunday Melville St farmers market, though haven't ben for a while...

Vineyard Paul said...


saw some rabbits tonight in the freezer at Meat and More, Elizabeth St, pH 6231 3223

Tom North said...

WOW!!!!!!! that food look delicious, and by the looks of things that lamb could send me to heaven.

I ate at meadowbank a couple of weeks ago, and i would say it is my favourite place to eat in Tasmania. Things have really changed there since they got a new chef. I think everyone should stop there during winter to try the cassoulet.

Thanks for such a great review and for reminding me i must get out and try that duck pie

steve said...

That food looks delicious Rita-its on my 'to eat list'.

dillon said...

Food looks sensational. Always looking out for a super duck pie...but there are those damn, ubiquitous paper thin slices of radish. Just give me a whole fresh radish to crunch (they look beautiful as well)!

Darren said...

Rabbits? Snug Butchers.