Saturday, March 26, 2011

Basil, garlic and chilli bread

Adapted from this recipe. Texturally it's the best loaf of bread I've ever baked, thanks to my Kitchenaid doing the kneading work and my new proper bread tin. Yay! The flavour is pretty good too, though maybe needs a little bit more salt.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Taste of the Huon, 2011

I love the Taste of the Huon - it's a lovely day out when the weather's nice - which it definitely was this year! As a result, thousands of people flocked down to Ranelagh and the lunchtime queues were huge. As a result, I mostly went to stalls that had shorter queues; this had a bit of a hit-and-miss outcome.

I tried a smoked salmon rosti from the Rosti Chalet - despite these guys appearing at pretty much every festival, I haven't tried a rosti from them for years. It was tasty.


I also tried a Bes Mudi seafood salad, which I didn't really enjoy. I was hoping for a lively, fresh salad but it didn't happen.


The Tasmanian Chilli Beer Co.'s raspberry with chilli sparking was fantastic - I went back for more later but they were all sold out.


Dessert was a berry crepe from Strawberry Avenue. After a long wait to get to the front of the line it hit the spot nicely.


A friend had their pavlova. It looked pretty great but the meringue was kind of overcooked.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Brunswick Hotel, Hobart CBD

The Brunswick Hotel on Liverpool Street has been revamped (I'd never been there before the recent renovations), and it's a rather nice space. We had the fun of sitting on their famous Chesterfield lounge - I think we had about 7 people along the lounge from our table, then there was a gap, then even more people were on it at the next table!

The menu is pretty interesting - lots of gastropub-type food and reasonably priced. Based on the strength of the menu I was surprised at the how few dining seats there were. We had a very long wait for our mains, but we were a large group of 14. Once the food came it was pretty well received.

Apologies in advance for the shoddy photos - it seems my phone camera wasn't interested in focussing properly that night!

J and I shared one of the dishes from the 'Bigger' side of the menu, and 2 from the 'Smaller' side. First up from the smaller dishes was the grilled Storm Bay calamari and chorizo with eggplant ($15.50). Rather nice.


We also had the Cygnet rabbit, pork and ham hock terrine with pear pickle ($15.50). Not bad, but nothing amazing.


Our bigger dish, the hand-rolled herb pasta, mushroom, baby leeks, hazelnuts and gruyere ($22). This was amazing - beautiful flavours, not too rich, lovely textures. I want to go back for this dish alone.


Finally, a plate that another friend had - I had to take a picture as it looked rather spectacular, although I am still trying to decide if I actually like the styling or not. The dish was free range duck breasts, beets, cherries, parsnip and orange.


Brunswick Hotel on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 18, 2011

Strathlynn, Rosevears.

Last month saw us at Strathlynn, a beautiful restaurant just north of Launceston that is part of Piper's Brook Vineyard. The setting is amazing, surrounded by grape plantations and overlooking the Tamar River, and the restaurant space itself is beautiful. It's a good choice for a special occasion.

We started by sharing one of the daily specials - I can't quite remember the finer details, but it included ling, trout and pickled vegetables. The combination of all three parts was brilliant.


I had the twice-cooked pork belly with almond couscous and pecorino ($25). The pork belly was perfect, but I struggled to eat this dish as the sauce was way too tangy.


J had the pan-fried Nichols chicken with red onion, beetroot and parmesan ($35). He scoffed this down in no time, so it must have been good!


My dad had the Springfield venison with carrots, feta and onion jam ($35), and couldn't stop raving about how good the sauce was.


Mum had the Spring Bay scallops with beetroot butter and hazelnut gratin ($25). They looked pretty, but didn't seem to be very good value - there were only four small scallops (it was a dish from the entrée menu - but so was my pork belly).


The organic salad ($8.50) was great, pepped up by the inclusion of pickles.


The herb potatoes ($8.50) were fantastic, perfectly cooked and drenched in oil, sage and other herbs.


We then moved on to dessert, having seen how good they looked when they were delivered to surrounding tables. I had the vanilla bean panna cotta ($15). Everything about this was superb, especially the perfect blueberries which were coated in an orange syrup.


Others had the lavender and rosewater semi-freddo ($15). I was a bit unsure about this when I read it on the menu, as flower-infused food can sometimes be a bit too ...floral, but this was really quite nice.


Finally, the amazing view from the front of the restaurant.


Strathlynn on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Written on Tea, Sandy Bay

I've been meaning to make it to Written on Tea for ages, and finally got there. I loved it - will definitely be heading back again soon! The service was a bit patchy, but the food more than made up for it.

Spring onion pancake. Utterly delicious - I'm planning to try and make these soon (there's a great guide here).


Stir-fried roast duck with basil leaves. Pretty tasty but it was pieces of a whole duck still on the bone - J wasn't so keen on fussing around with the bones.


Fried rice with Chinese sausages and vegetables. Lovely.


Xiaolong bun-steam juicy bun. Otherwise known as xiao long bao/soup dumplings, these were fantastic! They were soupier than the ones we had in Sydney, but the skins weren't quite as good.


I sampled a bit of a friend's tofu dish (I've forgotten the name, sorry). It was fantastic, with a good amount of chilli heat.


Eggplant filled with minced pork. This was ok, but the sauce was very very salty.


Written on Tea on Urbanspoon