A whirlwind weekend in Hobart, Tasmania
Disclaimer: Sponsored article
RACV/RACT Hobart Apartment Hotel
154-156 Collins Street, Hobart, Tasmania 7000
(03) 8657 0140
RACV/RACT Hobart Apartment Hotel website
This was my second time in Hobart for a holiday and it was an absolute pleasure to attend as a special guest of RACV/RACT Hobart Apartment Hotel. I have always had fond memories of Hobart – it’s a lustrous, beautiful space, and a wonderful way to escape the bustle that so often consumes Victorian life.
Aptly located within close walking distance of the pier, Salamanca Markets and Hobart’s premier shopping strip, the Apartment Hotel is a sight to behold. The entire block has just undergone a spectacular, 14-month-long renovation, with each space being carefully crafted and maximised to a tee. The result is a gorgeous celebration of old and new, where historic touches and the old Cascade brewery office (heritage-listed) and on-site stables are reinvigorated to blend in with modern finishings. After speaking with the warm staff there, and having viewed pictures of the transformation process myself, I can honestly say that the journey has been well worth the effort and it is a true testament to the team’s patience that they were able to ensure the smooth running of the hotel while construction continued throughout the precinct.
Maison Du Bon
I first visited Paris when I was 10 years old.
It was the middle of winter, and the air cut through the skin like ice. The sort of coldness that one would ordinarily need to bat away, with a warm, fluffy blanket or a steaming cup of cocoa. Yet, surprisingly, it was the one place where the coldness did not bother me – all one had to do was look up, and any hint of it would immediately vanish. The beauty of the place, in all its history and intimate splendour, was enough to take one’s breath away. In an instant, I had fallen in love with the city.
And oh, let me tell you about the food.
34 Inkerman Street, St Kilda, Melbourne
Contact: 03 9810 0087
Just off the Princess Highway is the Newmarket hotel. With a rather deliberately low key looking entrance, it opens out onto a secluded, glassed courtyard, bathed in light, a chilled bar lounge, and intimate dinner amongst the concrete arches and rather suggestive wallpaper.
Fancy Hank’s BBQ Joint
Level 1, 79 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Contact: 1300 BRISKET
Fancy Hanks has moved uptown. From Canteen like pub digs at the Queen Victoria Market, Fancy Hanks has taken their expertise, as well as a 2 ton Silver Creek smoker to the top of Bourke st. The bright new dining area is a definite lift upmarket. The food however has the same old favourites though, but with added complexity to the sides, which always merely orbited around those juicy brisket slices. The wedge salad for example is killer. T & I were at the launch where they brought out the crowd favourites.
It’s worth making a booking as it’s sure to fill quickly. Their website even allows bookings to be made only 5 minutes beforehand, as if you were on wotif.
The food is balanced and flavour filled, the sides are so good and the drinks are familiar, but twisted to suite the cuisine. Well worth going to.
Connecting food creators with food lovers
Can we all just take a moment to admire this wonderful creation?
I mean really, that is one SERIOUS cake!
Juno and May
662 Burke Road, Camberwell, Melbourne
Contact: 03 8840 8006
Juno and May have transformed a large complex space into a series of areas with different textures. The bright light, light stained wood brunch front leads to the luxurious dark back area, with a great high function area above. We dropped in at night to taste their asian inspired dinner menu
352-354 Chapel Street, South Yarra, Melbourne
Contact: 03 9827 7506
Chinese cuisine is one of those that would be instantly familiar to most people, along with its associations born from stir fried takeaway and cramped red restaurants of the 80s and 90s.
Like burgers, pizza and Thai food, a reinvention for the modern palette would help cleanse the mind of the culinary horrors of yesteryear.
Spare Me Kitchen
Location: Level 1, 393 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne
Contact: 03 9419 6380
Walking into Glamorama’s Spare Me Kitchen, on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, I didn’t know what to expect.
Operated by the same crew behind the popular Less than Zero in South Yarra, Glamorama offers itself as a restaurant; a bar; and later in the night as a nightclub. I had high expectations about the atmosphere, but didn’t know what to expect from its kitchen.
I found that all my expectations were surpassed by Spare Me Kitchen, which offered a fun and inviting atmosphere matched by a creative and delicious menu.
Meat Market South Wharf
Location: 53 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf VIC 3000
Contact: 9008 8953
Set in the stunning South Wharf precinct, Meat Market offers pasture fed beef from some of Australia’s best ethical producers, as well as chicken, seafood, lamb and kangaroo sourced in Victoria.
Hearty proteins are available in all forms and sizes (think Cape Grim porterhouses and Kilcoy eye fillets) and come dressed with a range of classic sauces, from Bordelaise jus to a trio of mustards. Those looking to impress can turn it up a notch with a whole roast duck or 1kg of crispy pork belly, although make sure to leave up to a 45 minute wait for these gems busy periods.
The Truffle Shuffle
Location: South Melbourne Market
I still remember the first time I tried truffles.
A good friend had just gotten engaged and, armed with a good excuse to throw a decadent cheese and wine party, I headed down the orange staircase at Spring Street Grocer’s cheese room in the hopes of picking up a creamy brie or camembert for a crowd. Safe to say, Spring Street Grocer does not disappoint, and I walked out with a slab of truffle brie, absolutely convinced by the French cheesemonger that it was the best thing in the world.
And boy, it was – from the strong scent of the truffle that had been grated and strewn throughout the middle of the cheese, to that sharp, earthen and delicately oily taste. It was out of this world.
Location: 285 High Street, Kew, Melbourne, VIC
Contact: 03 9853 6929
Mister Bianco has an offering too good to refuse – gorgeous, authentic Sicilian flavours and hearty southern Italian dishes finished with the sense of refinery that one would expect from someone of owner and chef, Joseph Vargetto’s experience.
Blending modern European techniques with traditional Italian influences, Vargetto (of Langton’s, Number 8 and Mezzo fame) brings a wealth of experience and finesse to this local favourite. The restaurant falls within the fine dining category yet disposes of the pretentiousness that one might experience at fine establishments elsewhere. Service is friendly yet relaxed, the decor is intimate with white-clothed tables and low lighting, but the atmosphere oozes a pared back feel.
Academy Kitchen and Bar
Location: 318 Bridge Road, Richmond, Melbourne
Contact: 03 9427 8231
Academy Kitchen and Bar’s Chef and owner, Will Manning, has tapped into a number of classic European dishes and adapted them for the modern, Melbourne palate. With experience in hatted restaurants, as well as a previous stint of part ownership of the beloved Prospect Espresso Cafe, Manning has put together a well-balanced menu that combines indulgent share plates of wholesome pastas, risottos and meats with techniques developed in Australia.
Stepping in, it’s hard not to fall in love with the elegantly minimalist dining space. There’s a huge communal bar that lines the right side of the restaurant, with the other flanked by a long bench, wooden tables and an earthy brick wall. It has that genuine neighbourhood restaurant charm about it – warm, welcoming and accessible, accompanied by the promise of stellar food and drinks.
Location: 68A Acland Street, St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria
Contact: 03 8658 3127
Pablo Honey mixes twisted tequila-based drinks at it’s swanky bar, which is adorned in art created by its staff. Original paintings and decorated skulls are a prominent theme, filling the dark cool walls.
The setting is relaxed yet lively with a great buzz, with long tables for sharing tapas with a large group of friends or an intimate date.
Fall from Grace (located behind the bookshelf at State of Grace)
Location: 477 Collins Street, CBD, Melbourne, VIC
Contact: 03 8644 7110
Steeped in history, Amaro Montenegro, ‘the liqueur of the virtues’, was created by famous distiller and herbalist Stanislao Cobianchi.
With over 100 years of refinement, today’s Montenegro blend is a perfectly balanced mix of over 40 herbs, vanilla and citrus pops of orange peel. The Montenegro brand claims top place as one of Italy’s leading exports thanks to its ability to be enjoyed straight, with soda water and a dash of orange rind, or in complex cocktails. We headed over to Fall from Grace (located down the rabbit hole of the sassy State of Grace on Collins Street) for a bangin’ cocktail party to celebrate the re-launch of Amaro Montenegro in Australia.
Mt Erica Hotel
Location: 420 High Street, Prahran Victoria
Contact: 03 9529 5770
Every Sunday, Mt Erica Hotel transforms into a mini festival, complete with live bands and food trucks.
For decadent Sunday afternoons, a rotating variety of food and entertainment will grace Prahran to help finish off the weekend.
That particular Sunday, Mt Erica hosted a range of food trucks, including Toasta, purveyor of awesome toasted sandwiches;
Ghost Kitchen, pumping out Taiwanese street food; and
Location: 425 Collins Street, CBD, Melbourne, VIC
Contact: Bookings contact (03) 8614 2222 during business hours. For after work group package bookings or information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
After work drinks just got more fun! Ms Collins has just launched the Acoustic Kitchen, which means Friday nights just got a whole lot better. The huge bar, restaurant and club now features an acoustic live band from 6-8pm, every Friday.
Anchor Milk is redefining the way we look at milk. The company, which launched in Australia in February this year, is the first in Australia to employ the use of microfiltration technology – a unique process which allows the removal of 99 per cent of the bacteria in milk.
While unwelcome bacteria in pasteurised milk is not harmful, it can impact the taste and shelf-life of milk. The unique filtration process that Anchor Milk uses results in a beautifully fresh tasting product with a substantially longer shelf-life than normal pasteurised milk (21 days versus the typical 15 day shelf-life of regular milk).
Location: 67 Swan Street, Richmond Victoria
Contact: 03 9041 5393
Meatmother is back. Whilst most would be familiar with this bastion of American style low and slow protein, things have changed over in Richmond. The favourites are all still there, but tweaked with modern sensibilities, bringing the cuisine from a decadent once a year indulgence to fantastic Friday night fare.
Location: Collins Square, 727 Collins Street, Melbourne Victoria
Contact: 03 9252 7999
De Bortoli Winery and Restaurant
Location: Pinnacle Lane, Yarra Valley, Yarra Glen, Melbourne, VIC
Contact: 03 5965 2271
I first chanced upon De Bortoli a few years ago.
I had been invited along to a spontaneous weekend escape to the Yarra Valley, with the whereabouts of the lunch date kept a close secret until arrival. The day that we set out from Melbourne was absolutely beautiful – the sun was out, the air crisp, and the skies crystal clear; a perfect day for a winery visit.
I remember the car rolling onto the De Bortoli drive, the first glimpse of those rows of vines, and the first look-in to those cellar doors. That day we dined on one of the most exquisite degustations I had been treated to, matched with wines and delivered with impeccable service. It’s a intimate, romantic space, and somewhere which is understandably a popular destination for engagements, weddings and other important celebrations. I instantly knew we’d found something special.
Fancy Nance: Adriano Zumbo Dessert Bar Evenings
When: Friday and Saturday evenings from 6pm-11pm (bookings essential)
Location: 21 Daly Street, South Yarra VIC 3000
Contact: (03) 9826 0312
Adriano Zumbo’s exclusive dessert bar evenings kicked off with a bang at the celebrity chef’s whimsical South Yarra high tea salon, Fancy Nance.