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Heather

Eating in Tasmania

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Hi Roger

I'm wondering if you've been to Calstock, near Deloraine, or heard reliable reports about it?

We read about it in a food magazine -  a rave of a write-up which coincided with the property opening. I've surmised that magazine's editor knows Calstock's managers, on account of the male half of the management team formerly working at Banc. The food magazine's editor is married to Banc proprietor. So, I'm not sure how much faith to place in that report.

When we were last in Tasmania, we heard that the place is kind of uptight, the manager aloof. (Or maybe his French-ness just intimidates Tasmanians unaccustomed to dealing with it.)

So, over to you. Is Calstock one of Tasmania's great gourmet travel experiences or a bit of an ordeal?

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Calstock is a beautiful Georgian house near Deloraine in Tasmania. Heather, you correctly say that the proprietor was associated with Banc before moving to Calstock.

Sue and I stayed there about three months after it opened. We had a lovely meal and some great wines and whisky but people going there need to be aware of a couple of things.

First it isn't cheap by Tasmanian standards. Our rooms cost $A250 each - so we were up for $A500 before we started eating! (The restaurant isn't open to the public.)

The food was very good and the service pleasant. The wine list features a wide range of very good Burgundies as well as Australian wines. After dinner we were delighted to see one of the most comprehensive collections of Scotch whisky that you are likely to find in Australia. We finished our meal with a Lagavulin, a Springbank and a Highland Park!

So, our personal experience was first class. We really enjoyed the accommodation, the food, the wine and the service.

On the other hand, we have had two reports of the type you mention so would be interested in feedback about Calstock - either positive or negative.

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Hi! Two of this board's hosts - Heather and Grahame from hgworld.com - will be in Tasmania for a month from mid-December through mid-January. We've got some exciting food-related experiences planned, but we're always looking to expand our feasting itinerary. We're particularly interested in off-the-beaten-path experiences - really, the more obscure the better. Any suggestions, or questions?

Roger, we have read your book, of course (the excellent Food Lovers Guide to Tasmania - don't visit Australia's island state without it). What a resource! How much fun you must have had in the name of research.

As well as answering questions here, we'll be posting Tasmania travelogues on our site, which eGullet community members can access via the eGullet Affiliate News board. You won't be able to access the travelogue updates directly from hgworld, as we're only making them available to friends and eGullet community members. We'll likely post edited versions of the travelogue for all to see after we return from our trip.

(Edited by Heather at 10:59 pm on Dec. 12, 2001)

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We are just working on the next edition of the book now but we will be putting some updates on our Web site over the next couple of weeks.

New places to try include Stillwater in Launceston, Tonic in Sandy Bay and Sens Asian in North Hobart. There is also a pleasant coffee shop in North Hobart that has just opened called Cafe North. There is a good place for coffee in Burnie called Cafe Europa (don't go there for dinner the food is very ordinary).

Try the deli in Launceston called Luscious. they have some excellent 'take-home' food.

Drop in and see us while you are in Tasmania. Our office is in Salamanca Square.

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Yvonne

Yes, Tasmania is quite large (of a similar size to Ireland). Unlike Ireland, however, the landscape changes dramatically as you move around the island.

The West coast is very rugged and has some of the most beautiful rainforest in the world. You can experience this by catching a ferry up the breathtaking Gordon River from the small fishing village of Strahan. Where crayfish (lobster) and abalone are brought to shore.

Below Strahan right to the southern tip of the island there is a massive reserved section measuring about 70 miles by 80 miles where there are only walking tracks - no roads and no buildings! This is pure wilderness.

On the east coast the climate is much more temperate and there are lots of sandy beaches.

Around the south-east coast there are lots of fish farms where Atlantic salmon, oysters and mussels are farmed.

There are only about 450,000 of us sharing this tranquil place!

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The best bit about this is that Altlantic Salmon is not genetically a member of the Salmon family, but a Trout.  It was first indroduced to Tasmania in 1864, and was actually first released in NSW in 1962.  Quite a few crops are introduced in oz.. William Bligh of the Bounty planted the first apple tree in the Southern hemisphere in Tasmania.

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Hello

I will be in Hobart on Christmas day and would welcome suggestions for Christmas lunch or dinner.

Regards

Ramon

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Well you have come to the right forum, since I am based in Hobart!!

What type of lunch would you like?? Formal, seafood, country, vineyard???

Let me know and I will make some recommendations.

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Hi Roger

Thanks for your offer of advice. I was hoping for a meal to remember, something special. It can be any format but quality is what I am after. I initially asked for Hobart suggestions, May i complicate the matter and ask for Launceston suggestions also?

Thanks

Ramon

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There are two very good restaurants in Launceston - although I do not know whether they will be open on Christmas day.

The first is Fee and Me which is an upmarket, fairly formal restaurant that serves great food. The other one is on the edge of the Tamar River. It is called Stillwater and serves Asian inspired dishes of great sophistication.

Either would be a great place for a Christmas lunch. If they are not open then there is a wonderful place a few kilometres north of Launceston called Daniel Alps at Strathlyn. The food is great and the view over the valley superb.

Hope this helps.

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Hi Roger and other tasmanian enthusiasts,

Off to Hobart and parts south for a week on a cheap Virginblue flight from Sydney next month. Any suggestions on interesting restaurants/cafe.

I heard that Mit Zitrone has died and wondered where all the foodies now go.

Noticed in the Sat. SMH that Lickerish a cafe in North Hobart got a good rap - dishes such as beef shin braised in an asian masterstock - anyone heard of it?

What about the restaurant at Meadowbankwinery at Cambridge - also heard the restaurant at Home Hill at Huon is pretty good.

Cheers

Paul

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Meadowbank winery has great food. Definitely recommend it, plus the view is excellent!

Don't know about Lickerish but we went to mit Zitrone (333 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart --03 6234 8113) last year and had a fabulous meal.

I found the Discover Tasmania website to be really good, by the way: http://www.discovertasmania.com.au. It has a good food and wine section. Plus this website lists restaurants for all of AU, actually: http://www.eatanddrink.com.au/index.cfm

Have fun!

Lori

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Whadayaat? I would suggest goin to Waurthaus (sp?) in the Salamanca market area if you would like to pick up a few local things to eat while hiking and wandering around....also there was the great place on Bruny Island but the name is lost....also try the oysters on the dock with a fresh order of chips! freddychef

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Back from the week in southern Tassie.

Highlights - wonderful walking in the Mt fields National Park about 45 minutes from Hobart up the Derwent valley and wine tasting around the Huon and Coal River valleys.

Had a very good meal at a restaurant as part of the Coal River Vineyard and an up and own meal at Lickerish in Nth Hobart - outlined below.

Went to the deli Waurthaus just off Salamanca and was blown away by the variety and quality of the produce - really worth a visit.

Coal Valley Vineyard restaurant.

We popped in early one morning to check it out and looked great so booked for lunch. We weren’t disappointed. The chef was recently the sous chef at Pipers Brook and Strathlyn on the Tamar and was clearly enjoying having his own place.

Entrees we had were:

Tribunna scallops – pan fried with pureed cauliflower, cotechini sausage and chive oil. The nuttiness of the cauliflower puree worked beautifully with the scallops and the spiciness of the thin sausage.

Sliced and poached , milk-fed veal layered with tuna aioli and caper paste on a bed of rocket. An excellent take-off of the classic veal tonnata.

We shared a platter for main meal consisting of:

Poached scallops on a beetroot compote, veal and pear salad with salsa agresto, trout rilletes with a caper paste, white gazpacho shooters and pork sausage on pickled onion.

Now the wines – CVV I think only make 2 wines a riesling and a pinot noir on a 1.5 hectare vineyard that is in the process of doubling in size. Had a glass of each:

2003 Riesling ($21 a bottle)

Slightly confectionery nose, talc and lime as well. Palate has good structure but not a great deal of fruit depth. Average

2001 Pinot Noir (highest pointed wine in 2001 class at 2003 Tasmanian Wine Show)

Mid red – no browning. Lovely complex, spicy nose. Palate not quite as good as the nose –lacks the fruit complexity and depth of flavour of the panorama for example. However, lovely long finish – something a lot of Tasmanian pinots are chronically deficit in. Too expensive though at $40 a bottle.

Last night in Hobart ate at Lickerish (North Hobart)

A warm friendly restaurant , quite casual but with serious food pretensions. On a Tuesday night all tables full, which suggests a good cook. Baltic pine timber floors, with whimsical collection of teapots at the entrance and random collection of mirrors and other objectd’art give it a sort of chabby chic feeling.

Food is an eclectic mixture of Spanish tapas , Asian/French fusion and straight out French/oz food.

Can BYO at $10 a bottle but why bother when there are over 14 wines by the glass and bottled wines such as 1999 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon at $77 a bottle!

Started with a couple of tapas

Spring Bay scallops on half shells grilled with black rice vinegar and ginger juice dressing. Yum – love ginger with scallops.

Fried eggplant with toasted walnuts and a pomegranite dressing – the eggplant and walnuts were a match made in heaven.

Had a glass of 2001 No Regrets Pinot Noir $8 a glass (Glaziers Bay – Huon Valley

This wine is from the superb Elsewhere vineyard which the owners use to own and until their new vineyard comes into production they utilize some of the grapes off theor iod vineyard).

Mid red with slight orange rim. Dark morello cherry , sour cherry nose with hint of oak spiciness. Light to medium weight palate with a soft finish. Lacks a bit of complexity and structure. If you have any its ready to drink. The effect of rain just before vintage is all too obvious. Not a patch on the 2000 but nevertheless a nice quaffing pinot.

Main course

Slow cooked beef shin with Sichuan flavours on asian greens with steamed ginger and spring onion buns.

Duck breast with pink-eye potatoes roasted in duck fat, rocket salad, cherry and cumquat pickle.

Both were competently made meals but lacked finesse. Too rich and too much without enough contrasts to lift the meal. If I see another plate of rocket used as a bed for the main ingredient I’ll scream!

Drank a bottle of Winstead 2001 Pinot Noir ($44) One of my favorite Tasmanian wines made at Bagdad about 15 kilometres north of Hobart, off 10 year old pinot vines - the vineyard itself only has 2000 pinot vines and 2000 riesling vines on 1.5 hectares.

Rich vibrant mid red with no browning. High tone cherry, earthy foresty nose. Only just medium weight palate but with long finish and nice red fruits . An excellent 2001.

For dessert, they has run out of the chocolate/coffee panacotta but in its place they were able to whip up a:

Orange panacotta with candied cumquats, pistachio glaze syrup.

An absolute highlight – the intensity of the orange citrus jelly sitting on top of the panacotta was superb as was the cumquat/pistachio glaze. As a bit of trivia and to show how remarkable home made a lot of Tasmanian produce was the cumquats had actually come out of Peter Gees (ABC sports commentator fame) backyard. He had even supplied the restaurant with oregano a couple of weeks earlier when there was a shortage.

With the dessert 1997 Chateau Filhot – Barsac sauternes ($18 a glass)

Probably the boo boo of the night. I remembered that 1997 was an excellent year in Sauternes and while I knew Filhot was a 2nd grand cru, I remember a couple of decades earlier I had really liked their 1976 so thought it was worth risking.

Pale yellow, limely, lemon with little botrytis (grrrr), even a bit of anise on the nose. Slightly broad palate, lacked richness and bite with little sweetness . A disappointment.

That’s it for our week in southern Tassie. Went on a wonderful 6 hour walk along the tarn shelf with myriad small lakes (tarns) from the last ice age in the Mt. Fiels national Park about an hour up the Derwent from Hobart. Can thoroughly recommend

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Bumping this up as Johnnybird just landed in Hobart.  He will be there for about 6 days.  He loves seafood and not upscale - as he calls it "fancy ass" - so...any suggestions I can pass on?

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3 hours ago, suzilightning said:

Bumping this up as Johnnybird just landed in Hobart.  He will be there for about 6 days.  He loves seafood and not upscale - as he calls it "fancy ass" - so...any suggestions I can pass on?

 

In that case, he should check out the cultural experience of an Aussie Fish and Chip shop. I had some good Trevalla in Tassie.

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I'm no help with current recommendations but I was lucky enough to attend the Taste of Tasmania in Hobart once upon a time and everything offered was wonderful.  If he drinks whisky, I hear that Tasmanian whisky is considered either the best or among the best in the world.

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2 hours ago, lemniscate said:

I'm no help with current recommendations but I was lucky enough to attend the Taste of Tasmania in Hobart once upon a time and everything offered was wonderful.  If he drinks whisky, I hear that Tasmanian whisky is considered either the best or among the best in the world.

thank you no......NOT a good option.  about 2 weeks ago after drinking he fell down a set of stairs into the basement of he Poughkeepsie house.  

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4 hours ago, haresfur said:

 

In that case, he should check out the cultural experience of an Aussie Fish and Chip shop. I had some good Trevalla in Tassie.

thanks @haresfur,  just talked to him and he said in New Zealand that was all he ate...and threw most of the chips out because they were 'greasy'

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