Thursday, 20 September 2012

Republic Bar, North Hobart 2012

I had the greatest pleasure yesterday to be taken out on an eating excursion by faithful Rita-reader Christina, to her most favourite and cherished old faithful dining destination – Repblic, in North Hobart.

Quite simply, we had the classiest, best value food that would easily stand up to scrutiny by anyone seeking a satisfying, top pub meal anywhere in Hobart.

Thank god they make their profit generally with bar sales because if yesterday lunch time was an example of their dining-in trade, three tables occupied over a lunch period would send them broke after a week! But, as I prefer my eating environment to be calm and ordered, I was more than happy with the lack of customers!

We took ages to peruse the menu, with Christina thoroughly explaining each dish on both the printed and blackboard menus – thus exampling exactly how often she and her family frequent this venue.

We ultimately decided on a confit goat shank on a bed of parsnip mash ($24) for Christina, and a slow cooked Tassie beef shortrib with smoky pan sauce and thick cut chips ($26) for me.

I’m going to make a big claim here when I say that the thick cut chips were THE best I’ve ever had anywhere, at any time in my life. I’d love to know how they achieved such crispness in their chips, because god knows I’ve set out to achieve this countless times in my extensive cooking life, but never gone anywhere near achieving such perfection as I experienced yesterday.

The shortrib was absolutely the right amount of food for me, complemented by the chips, and I was glad I hadn’t decided to order any entrĂ©e. If I were a bigger eater, as most folk in fact are, then I would add a few of the very reasonable sides to my order, which all sounded like perfect accompaniments to the meals.

Christina raved about her goat shank (there was only the one on the serving), and pronounced it perfect. It didn’t present so beautifully, but with those slow roasted lamb and goat shanks, it’s when they look dark, slightly dry-ish and (maybe to the uniniated) unappetizing, then that’s exactly when they are fabulous to eat.

We sat, totally immersed in chatting about food, restaurants, cooking utensils (yes, alright – Thermomixes!!!) etc but had to leave after a few hours.

I would have been happy to lounge around there till dinner time, in front of the fire nursing a Baileys on ice, then eat again but I don’t think Christina was up to such a lifetime commitment at Repub, much as she loves it there!

It’s a pity they don’t have a Frequent Shopper program there, hey Christina?
Posted on by Rita


Little Swan said...

Crumper is going to be pissed about you chip comments.

Rita said...

I actually thought that as I wrote about Repub's chips, but, in all fairness, the chips at Repub were exactly as I described - crisp and delicious! Sorry Steve, but I am more than happy to give you the Chip Crown next time I dine at RVL and find the chips as good as, or better than, Repub's yesterday. RVL's are beautifully hand cut, but they emerge as mine do at home - not so crispy as Repub's.

Christina said...

I'm so pleased you enjoyed lunch yesterday Rita. I always get a little nervous about taking people to places I rave about, always hoping they'll love it as much as I do. And so it seems you did.
I did love my goat shank. A first for me at the Republic, and it was wonderful. I agree it didn't look that appetising but hiding underneath were beautiful caramelized onions and the parsnip mash was gorgeous. I adored the gorgeous portion of beef you kindly left, and even though I swore and declared I couldn't eat another bite, I somehow managed to polish of every last bit! Had to leave the last chip though :(
It was a cup of tomato soup for dinner for me last night!
I did enjoy our day, and was wishing when I got home that we had stayed longer. Especially as I spent the next 3 hours trying to fix a printer problem at home. Should have left the car with Phil and got him to take us home after.
Can't wait to return again for more. So many meals to try, so little room to fit it in all at once!

potplant said...

Perhaps you should add Republic to your recommended best eats, Rita? It's my local, but am happy to share with newbies who may read your review. Well, kinda long as they show due deference to the regulars :-)

Anonymous said...

.as long as they show due deference to the regulars

Its comments like the last one which fills me with dread on behalf of the operators who have to endure this kind of attitude of self-aggrandised entitlement from some deluded people. Just because you may occasionally frequent a place does not make it yours, other visitors surely have an expectation to to be treated equally?
This underpins the undercurrent of small mindedness which prevails in Hobart-little wonder so many visitors to your city leave underwhelmed by their hospitality experiences, with a few notable exceptions
Dennis Bergkamp

potplant said...

...the undercurrent of small mindedness which prevails in Hobart

Apologies to everyone in Hobart that my feeble attempt at humour caused such an offensive remark to smash on your collective heads. Believe me, I'm working hard on my "attitude of self-aggrandised entitlement" to ensure this never happens again. But, for what it's worth...and I don't think I'm deluded the three years I've lived in Hobart, I've experienced nothing but open-minded friendliness and inclusiveness. Nor have I observed visitors being treated differently or unequally to "locals" by anyone in the hospitality sector. It's disappointing to hear that Dennis's own experience has been so underwhelming.

Christina said...

Hi Dennis, Ive been thinking about your comment all day, wondering just how to tackle it.
Potplant got back too but I'd like to add my 50 cents worth.
Some times it's just so great to walk into an establishment and feel like you're at home.
As in sit at the couch with a wine in front of a fire, read the paper, have a leisurely meal, maybe know the staff by name, maybe they know yours, and be made to feel welcome. Order from a menu you know well in comfortable surroundings. I think this is what potplant means when they say "regulars". How does the theme tune go?? Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name?
That's how it is at the Republic, and I just love it!!
I'm sure too by the tone of potplants comment, and the smiley face after it, it was all meant in good humour.
I can't think of a single place in Hobart or the big Island that wouldn't appreciate return trade. Word of mouth being a magnificent form of advertising.
I'm positive The Republic and many other places appreciate the fact that we make it ours! And we get treated like it is.
Potplant I'm with you. An awesome place that is mine, but I'm happy to share with you too, as I know you would be to share with others. Great to see a place do so consistently well.
And for the record Dennis we have been going on a regular basis for over 12 years. Gotta be something bringing us back time and time again!
I'd like to add that The Republic is not the only place that I feel so very welcome in Hobart. Amigos, James Squires, Taj palace, Mee Wha, any number of places have wonderful hospitality.
I'm sorry Dennis if your experience has been different to ours but to speak on behalf of all operaters of hospitality services, to say they are filled with dread at the thought of return customers, well that is just a bit much for me.
Potplant, hope I catch up with you at our local one day.

Potplant said...

Me too, Christina.

Sir Grumpy said...

Yes, potplant, those former Arsenal players from Holland can often have a humour bypass.
I couldn't believe his response.
Heading the ball too often I fear.
PS I follow football (soccer to you)!

Anonymous said...

I take umbrage at that last comment. Some of the worlds best football players/comedians originate from Holland
Johan Cruyff

Anonymous said...

I have been to the republic many many times and have never had a bad meal! Outstanding for a pub!