- Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher
I LOVE FOOD. I LOVE TRAVELLING. I LOVE MY BROTHER. NOT NECESSARILY IN THAT ORDER...but maybe... If you combine them together, jump on a plane and mix, you have a whole lot of love and the beginnings of the Twin Palates Food Guide. Welcome!
Our holidays revolve around what time a restaurant opens, when we can get a booking and how we can space out our eating times so we're not walking into the next mouthful with a full stomach. But that hasn't stopped us before.
IN THIS SERIES, WE WILL SHARE OUR FOOD AND TRAVEL RESEARCH ON CITIES AND COUNTRIES, so you too can explore a culture through it's food. This week, we will be covering Hobart and Launceston in Tasmania, Australia.
BIGGEST HIGHLIGHTS: Scallop pies, wineries, exotic produce (wasabi, saffron, truffles and the food derivatives in between)
Last visited: February 2014
Last updated: June 2014
Tasmanians' are known for their honey, particularly leatherwood. We love filling our suitcases with local food to take home, it reminds us of the holiday, much like a spoon or a magnet does, except it is edible. That being said, sometimes I think the food souvenir is so special, that I can't bring myself to open or eat it, so essentially it just becomes a pantry souvenir. The place we loved the most to get our honey products from was OzHoney. Not the easiest place to find (mid-building, near a hospital), and not the most manicured, but they let their products and bees do the talking. Not only are they a friendly couple, but we basically sampled all their products, which extends beyond the different varieties of honey. The owner has large acreage of apiaries, and is a keen brewer. You can also taste his honey beers, honey wine and mead.
Speaking of beers, breweries tours worth exploring are the homes of the famous Tasmanian beers Cascade (Launceston) and Boags (Hobart). For wine, Josef Chromy is an absolute must visit vineyard about 10 min drive from Launceston airport. They have a large selection (about 19 wines) on tasting, and they have fantastic cab sav, sparkling white, Riesling (try their Delikat SGR) and stickies.
For food, Navarro’s restaurant in Launceston was a top 3 dining experience in Tasmania. Amazing hand made ravioli, that I had to order both ravioli’s for an entrée, and then had to order them AGAIN after the main to have for dessert. They were that good! Then we ordered dessert. The menu was too enticing, and we were pretty much hypnotized by their food. Highly recommended.
Stillwater restaurant in Launceston is apparently one of the best in Tasmania. We didn't have the best experience there, but the dishes were well presented and sourced locally. Our favourite food memory was the burnt butter icecream, they absolutely nailed that flavour. Sweet, bitter, creamy, flavourful. Better than most of the gelato we've eaten in Italy. Impressive looking dishes and worth a look. For more sweet food and pastries, we found Tant pour tant patisserie our most notable, although we missed out on trying out some mille feuille. Valhalla is also the famous local icecream, but we found it tasted like an everyday supermarket icecream.
On the drive to Hobart we pretty much ate 5 or 6 pies from a handful of bakeries. A lot of good choice. Check out:
- Brighton Bakehouse - has fantastic pies, close to Hobart. Curried scallop pie is worth a try.
- Ross village has 2 great bakeries – try the vanilla slice (they dress up in cute French style outfits) at Ross village bakery and scallop pie at the famous home of the scallop pie, Bakery31.
For digesting and relaxation, the Launceston Cataract Gorge is Launceston's No.1 tourist attraction, it is where the locals go for a walk or run, a picnic or a walk in a very relaxed park like atmosphere.
Tassie is growing and producing more and more exotic foods – wasabi, truffles, saffron, you name it. Gone is their tag of the "Apple Isle". Their local products also reflect this. We found wild wasabi cheeses, Tasmanian truffle butter, oils and honey, along with a mouth watering selection of gourmet foods at the Wursthaus deli near Salamanca market.
Salamanca market on a Saturday morning is a must!! You also find Tassal (Tasmanian Salmon brand) shop is near the Salamanca market, next to a popular café called Smolt. A stroll down the wharf to see the floating mini-restaurants is worth a look, or a tasty dinner at Da Angelo’s pizza. It is one of the famous Italian pizza and pasta restaurants in Hobart, which came recommended to us and it certainly delivered on taste. It is about a 5 min walk from the central city, and is casual, reasonably priced and very popular.
We made a long awaited trip to the much lauded Garagistes, a well recognized restaurant within the Hobart and Australian dining scene. To be completely honest, it was very hit and miss, and we ended up being quite disappointed with the dining experience despite the food looking amazing and well presented.
Our favourite cafe was Café Ethos. Highly recommended! We had breakfast here and it was a top 3 dining experience in Tasmania. Try their take on "cocopops", very clever and delicious! Coffee is also good and café contains one of Australia’s oldest toilets.
For booze, you absolutely can't go past Overeem single malt Whisky from the Old Hobart Distillery. My favourite Australian Whisky by far! We found some amazing wines in and around Hobart, including:
- Puddleduck vineyard. Nice little boutique vineyard with a relaxing setting by a pond. Check out their pinot noir and wine dogs out the back!
- Pooley Wines - A multi-award winning vineyard, which won best cellar door experience the year we went. We bought their trophy dessert wine, which was stunning. They have trophies and awards coming out of their ears, including for their pinot, and we enjoyed their cellar door
- Frogmore Creek Vineyard - try their Forty Grams Residual Riesling, who also own the 42 degrees South brand which bottle some very good sparkling wines.
For a bit of culture, we made a visit to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). An absolute must do in Hobart!! Many famous pieces of art here, and it is actually a billionaire’s private collection which he has opened to the public. Highly recommended! Experience at their adjacent restaurant, “the Source” was overrated, it felt like the food tried too hard to be spectacular, but fell short. Don’t get us wrong, the chefs work hard, presentation is great and view is beautiful, but we thought it would have been better to do simple food well, rather than complex food poorly. For some further entertainment, we caught the yearly Uni Revue at The Theatre Royal – Australia’s oldest working theatre. While there was a plethora of Tasmanian jokes we didn't 100% understand, it was very well done and we will definately see another show next time we visit.