I can’t believe that not only is it 2016 but that we are almost at the end of January already! 2016 has started off busy for me (which is always a blessing in my line of work) with work meetings and events filling up my calendar very fast. One such work meeting was a trip to Tasmania with my business partner Filipa (and yes I know I am extremely lucky to have business meetings interstate) I was so excited for this meeting for a number of reasons; the biggest being that although I have always wanted to visit I had never been to Tassie before! The trip was to Hobart and was for 2 days, 2 amazing days! Not only were my meetings successful but Tasmania completely lived up to my very high expectations so much so that I was inspired to write this blog and share my trip with you all. Before I start please note that this is mainly a food focused and light hearted look into my trip, if you’re after one of those long in-depth blogs that includes 101 things to do in Hobart this is not for you.
It was an early start on Monday with a 6am flight to Hobart, I barely slept the night before in anticipation of all the brilliant food and wine I would get to enjoy! So of course the first thing we did when we landed was find somewhere to have a big breakfast (it is the most important meal of the day after all). Filipa insisted that we go to one of her favourite breakfast spots in Tasmania called Machine Laundry Cafe in Salamanca, you can probably guess from the name its a laundromat converted into a cafe. Don’t let how busy they are scare you off as the service is friendly and fast, and if you have to wait for a table please do so because the food and coffee here are AMAZING!! Most of the time trendy cafes like this are either far too cool for me or the food is lacking in flavour or the service is too slow, but Machine Laundry Cafe hit all the right notes. I had the Eggs Royale which was perfectly poached eggs, smoked salmon, english spinach, caramelised onions on toasted sourdough and topped with rich hollandaise, I wasn’t sure how the caramelised onions would work in this dish but they did! I couldn’t fault it at all and cannot wait to recreate it at home! Between breakfast and lunch we had some meetings which were very productive and I cannot wait to share some of the stuff we are working on with you all *insert cheeky teasing grin* but more about that in another post!
Next stop was a trip to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). MONA is the brain child of David Walsh and is one of Tasmania’s main tourist attractions and after visiting I can see why. Firstly the building is spectacular and is a work of art in itself, then you head inside to some of the most breathtaking yet confronting exhibitions you will see. MONA also houses 2 restaurants, 1 cafe and 2 bars so there were more than enough places for me to enjoy a drink and some food after working up an appetite. Did I mention that MONA also has its own winery (Moorilla Winery) and brewery (Moo Brewery)!? We started off our visit to MONA with a glass of sparkling at the Void Bar which is located inside the museum and surrounded by cooling sandstone. After exploring the museum we decided it was time to eat but as we were still quite full from breakfast we decided to snack on some truffle chips washed down with a Moo Brewery Pale Ale, and it was perfect the chips were nice a crunchy with just the right amount of truffle and the pale ale crisp and refreshing!
Later that evening and after a long walk (20 minutes) around the harbour it was time for dinner. We stopped in at Mures (lower deck) which is a laid back oyster bar that also sold your classic fish and chips along with a great selection of beers and wines. We got a picnic table by the water and watched the boats come in from a long day on the open waters while sipping on wine and enjoying the local tasmanians oysters, which by the way are out of this world! They are not as briny as Sydney oysters but boy are they creamy and delicious, basically everything you want from an oyster and so much more.
We started off day 2 a little later (no 6am flight thank you!) and went back to Machine Laundry Cafe. Yes I know I am meant to be a foodie, exploring and discovering new and exciting places to eat all the time, but sometimes when you find a place this great you have to go back and check out the rest of the menu and boy was I happy that we did. Looking at the specials board I instantly fell in love there was a dish on there that read “Pork Belly Brioche” Pork belly in a brioche bun with apple and fennel slaw topped with a chilli and lime aioli! How could I not order this? OMG am I glad that I did! The Pork belly was cooked perfectly, and I mean perfectly tender and full of flavour the crisp apple and fennel slaw added a beautiful contrast to the tender pork and buttery brioche then right at the end the lime and chilli aioli jumps out and slaps you across the face! I was so excited to taste this and enjoyed eating so much that I completely forgot to take a photo. This was hands down my favourite dish of the trip, I would go back to Tasmania just for this!
Next we drove up to Mount Wellington, it was a little foggy as there have been some bushfires but even with the fog WOW! What a view! The city of Hobart was on full display from there, and what a stunning city she is. Many lookouts can disappoint, but this is well worth the drive. I suggest taking a picnic and sitting on some of the boulders, breath in the fresh air and enjoy some of Tasmania’s local produce all while taking in the wondrous views.
All the driving and touristy activities left me hungry and craving a scallop pie, although I am not sure how I managed to crave something that I had never tried before but I am very talented that way. Filipa suggested we checkout one of her favourite places to buy a scallop pie. Pulling into the carpark at Lipscombe Larder I wasn’t sure what to expect although the name suggested that I was in for a gourmet treat and I was right. Its one of those gourmet stores that you could spend hours in discovering new ingredients and ways to cook everything. At the deli section there staring me in the face were these stunning golden little parcels perfectly plump and filled with promise of crunchy pastry. “I want that” not realising that they were the very reason I was there. With warm pies in hand (and some cold to bring home to Sydney) we drove to a local pier and I got to taste my very first scallop pie! Crunchy pastry, creamy filling and then the scallops! Oh my goodness the scallops, perfectly cooked and lots of them. How are these only available in Tassie?
And with that it was time to head off to the airport………….… BUT wait there is an oyster farm right near the airport, surely there is enough time to stop in? And there was! We stopped in at Barilla Bay Oyster Bar for a dozen oysters and some Moo Brewery Pilsner. Refreshing beer and creamy oysters with just a hint of lemon juice was the perfect way to end my very first trip to Tasmania!
If you are ever thinking about going to Tasmania, or if you haven’t thought about going to Tasmania I highly suggest you put it on the top of your must visit places in Australia! I am already missing Hobart and cannot wait to return!