Sunday, 10 March 2013

Augusto Cafe 2013

Georgia has left a new comment on your post "Raincheck Lounge Feb 2013":

Have you been to Augusto cafe in Lenah Valley lately Rita? I just enjoyed a perfect beetroot and nut risotto tonight whilst friends raved over crispy salmon. The chai brûlée and chocolate fondants were suberb. The staff are attentive and it's well priced for a great suburban eatery. Luck Lenah Valley-ites!

I’m thinking I was set up with Georgia’s comment above, added to my blog last night, but never mind! Yes, Georgia – I HAVE been to Augusto Café lately, in fact last Friday night, and enjoyed, as you have highlighted, a mains serving of crispy skinned salmon and a taste of the chai crème brulee for dessert, as well as tempura mushrooms (done with a besan batter to cater for one of our party who is a vegan and gluten free diner). All the food that came to our table was good, but the thing that impressed me so much about this place is the fact that they went to so much trouble to cater to, mainly, our vegan/gluten free eater, plus a vegetarian.

I’ve been in so many dining out situations where anyone who wants something not on the menu is looked at and treated with great disdain. Not so at Augusto. We booked a few hours ahead, and when she seated us, the waitress explained what they could offer our ‘special’ diner, but hastened to tell us that if we’d given them notice the previous day, they would have come up with more of a variety for her – ie gluten free pasta. As it was, she had the beetroot risotto with a few minor adjustments and was extremely happy with it.

We all had the tempura mushrooms for entrée, with the besan batter. It was OK, but didn’t crispen up so much as the floury tempura batter would. You could also pick the chick pea flavour in it too – not a bad thing as chick peas are fine, but ideally I prefer the focus to be on the mushrooms rather than the batter, with the normal crispy batter being more of a texture contrast to the mushroom.

Chatting with the guys in the kitchen on my way out, I got a bit of background of what’s happening there currently. My last blog review in 2011 mentioned that they were intending getting a liquor licence and opening some nights. Well, they’ve done that. They’ve also got a new owner, Reid. The two kitchen staff, Matthew and Liam, filled me in on their backgrounds, which are local. This pleases me when I know that there’s been a continuity and flow from local training to work, and further experience in our Tassie food industry.

I stand 100% by what I said about this café in 2011 – it all still resonates. It is a perfect place to eat when you want good food, reasonable prices and good service. North Hobart on a Friday night really gives me the shits, so this little gem shines for me.

My two courses and two drinks cost me $32 – excellent value! I’ll be back again soon.

Augusto Cafe
100 Augusta Road
Lenah Valley
Ph 6278 7724

Posted on by Rita


Lenny said...

They have a website still under construction but there's plenty of info and pictures on their Facebook page. Looks good.

Anonymous said...

Great write up! I hadn't heard of Augusto but will be adding it to our list of 'must try' places in Hobart!

Anonymous said...

Savour Tasmania: the pop up dinner with Porkstar Colin Fassnidge and Matt Evans. The Aust Pork Corporation's marketing Porkstars does not have any free-range pork.
Is that odd or is it just me?

Anonymous said...

You get heaps of lamb from the Crumb St Kitchen for your money not like at Garagistes

Sir Grumpy said...

Hello Rita,

hope you are well. I'm still reading and wondered if anyone knew what happened to the Chill Cafe at Kingston.
It closed right sudden like.

Rita said...

That's spooky Sir G....I was just thinking this afternoon that I hadn't 'talked' with Sir G for ages! Don't know anything about Chill in Kingston, sorry. Have been so-so, health wise, but not fabulous, thanks for asking. It's a wait and see game at the moment for me. I have my next examination in May (next month), and truly hope for better results than February's tests. If not, it's not looking too flash for me. In other words, I intend to spend up big all that superannuation, cos I don't think I need to be saving up for a 20 year retirement! Bugger! I have so many more people to annoy and upset!

Anonymous said...

Sir Grumpy,

I would describe Chill as being in significant arrears.

Based on non payment of rent for a period of time, the landlord changed the locks and the business was closed. Happened in a flash.

Sign posted on the door
"Chill Cafe - Closed until further notice" ...

Tenant gets given 2 days to remove fit out, and clean the shop, reinstating it to it's original "shell" ... Annnd it's gone.

It's been going down hill for years, ever since a young twenty-something took it over. His attitude was his main problem, followed by the fact he knew absolutely nothing about how to treat staff and customers, and even less about how to run a business.

Rumour has it, that they lost $300,000 over the past two years.

Staff are still owed money, landlord and various suppliers the same from what I've heard.

Shortly before Chill's closure the Timeless Way opened in channel court, further contributing to the glut of mainstream cafe's in Kingston, all offering mediocre food and beverage options.

Still, even now, no one has stepped up to make a mark on hospitality in Kingston.

Anonymous said...

Thats a good synopsis from the deli-counter Hobart Restaurant Veteran

sir grumpy said...

Thanks guys,

I hate to see any business go down but the suddenness of this one startled me.
Rita, hope you bounce back soon with still some super to help your lifestyle!

Thinking of you (or my imagined you, as we've never met...but I'm sure I saw you at the Red Velvet way back).