Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Aproneers, East Derwent Highway, Lindisfarne

You know how most of you normal people out there in the webosphere use sex as the basis of ultimate physical stimulation and satisfaction, and overall well being? Well, for Rita, this very feeling comes, not from sex, but from being in an atmosphere of total hospitality synchronicity – whereby all those things I bang on about day after day, year after year (fabulous customer service, excellent product etc), all magically come together, and you have, unfolded in front of your very eyes, a scene such as you have only ever experienced within your own head, with your own very vivid imagination!

So – you may now recognize the core reason as to why I am about to wax extremely lyrically about the new shop, The Aproneers, at 145 East Derwent Highway, Lindisfarne, which opened its doors to the public last Saturday, and has its official opening by celebrity chef Kylie Kwong this coming Saturday at 10.00.

Picture this:
On our way out to dinner last night driving along the highway on the way to Lindisfarne, I randomly commented to daughter Bec that if there serendipitously happened to be a parking spot outside the new Aproneers, I intended popping in for a look, to see what all the hype has been about in the past few weeks regarding this fledgling new corner shop for Lindisfarne. Basically, I wanted to see if there was any perceivable difference between my old favourite, Hill St Grocers, and this new one.

We walked in, interestedly looking around to suss out the room, the products etc, and proceeded to start to walk towards the fruit, vege and meat sections. No sooner had we got to the meat fridge when a mega-friendly assistant came up to us, a beaming and welcoming smile on her face, and asked us if there was something specific we wanted, or needed them to order in for us (tick number 1). Wow! After they picked me up off the floor (nah – just joking!), I mentioned that I absolutely loved the Cygnet Butchery’s bacon, and did they stock it. No, they didn’t but they would be more than happy to get it in for me, assuming it met their sustainability criteria. (tick number 2!)

This young assistant talked us through generally what they were wanting to achieve with their shop, but on further questioning by the ever-curious Rita, made the decision to call in a fellow passing staff member (ex Eumarrah) named Jo who then elaborated for a good 10 minutes on what their general principles were in the products they carried, what their plans for the future are, how much they have been hammered over the past few days since they opened, and, again, how they were happy to source anything their customers little hearts desired.

Having no idea that I was concentrating hard on everything she was saying, with the intention of writing about it when I got home, I eventually confessed to being the mythical food blogger Rita, following her comment that I seemed to know a lot about food!

That prompted her to call head honcho Matt Osborne of Captain Bligh’s Cider fame (amongst many other things, he shared the stall at this year’s Taste of Huon with mate Steve Cumper from RVL) and introduce me. He is a lively, engaging bloke, and equally as passionate as the other staff members we had already had dealings with. This experience was now beginning to feel like a true out-of-body experience, the like of which I have never felt, due to never having been drunk, or drug affected, in my life! How much better could life get for me, I silently asked myself!

Well, as it eventuated, WAY BETTER, as Matt took us backstage to the cooking area to demonstrate their new sous-vide machine, just at the very moment chef Stu bought out a whole sous-vided (for 24 hours) and roasted (to crispen it up) leg of lamb, and placed it into the hot display counter next to the ready roasted chooks. I asked the nearest assistant how they intended selling this roast lamb (thinking, probably by the slice), but she said they were selling it whole for $49.95. It was hot, it was sous-vided, it was crispened, it was absolutely the best thing I have ever seen in a corner shop – so I bought it, there and then! It was perfect!

Bec bought a couple of bottles of a gorgeous (she tells me) pinot , and we were off, following THE best 30 minutes of my life!

I’m sure you will have already heard of this shop, and its sustainability and food miles ethos, its preference for sourcing as much local products as they can, the fact that they have a café in house, and are intending conducting master classes down the track. All  true, and all wonderful – but the full impact of the package I was presented with last night made me  SO glad I wasn’t Robin Gibb (he died yesterday at the same age as me) and that I had lived to experience this wonder of wonders – a perfect shop, selling perfect products with perfect customer service!
Praise be to the good food lord!

PS – I am still loyal to my old favourite Hill St Grocers, but I will definitely be calling Aproneers my second home as well. HSG is more supermarket-y, with great fresh products. Aproneers is great fresh product, with a café and that sustainability passion. If you don’t give a shit about either, go out to Island Markets in Moonah!
Posted on by Rita


Anonymous said...

eeeiiiwwwww!!!! If I never hear you talk of sex ever again it'll be too soon!!!

Tassiegal said...

JEALOUS. I have been reading Sirrocco Souths Facebook posts about prepping an order for them. DESPERATELY want to visit....but now been based in blooming boondocks means I am stuck with what I can scrounge at farmers markets once a month..... I MISS TASSIE.

Anonymous said...

As a kid, for our lunch at Lindisfarne North’s primary school, I remember going up the road to get the best Flake and chips I’ve ever had. Now for the first time since then, the enthusiasm of your review certainly makes me want check out Lindisfarne again, for it’s food!!

Anonymous said...

Just home from the 20th year party down at the Lark. Catering by Aproneers plus a special Jack Lark extravagansa.

That was great but my favorite was the Bruny Island goat dish which was some incredibly tender goat surrounded by what I think was a folded South Arm potato blini and a great sauce. I don't really know what it was, lets call it a minature goat potato sandwich.

It was fabulous!


Fram said...

wow. nice post. I like this. I'm so envy. I want this. I hope to read more of your post.

Christina said...

Oh Happy Days!!!
Just got home from my first visit to The Aproneers and to say I'm excited is an understatement!
What a gorgeous place to shop. I'm so pleased to say it was quite busy for a Thursday morning and I do hope it stays that way. This place is food heaven.
The highlight for me being I was able to purchase fresh beef cheeks!!! (sorry Rita). I have been unable to source these and usually substitute gravy beef left uncut instead. I cannot wait to make something beautiful with these. The young man who served me knew all about the beef, from how to cook it to where it came from,(cape grim), which was so helpful.
I also walked out with Tasmanian green tea, as a gift for my aunt, murray river pink salt at a decent price, Mures prawn bisque, real butter from Ashgrove and a jar of Tangelo and Lemon Marmalade.
Roll on breakfast time tomorrow!