10 Luxury Fine Dining Restaurants to Try in Tasmania


For a state that makes up less than one percent of Australia’s landmass, Tasmania packs a punch when it comes to epicurean experiences.

From the crystal clear waters of a coastline brimming with deep-sea fish, abalone, oysters and even sea urchins to fertile valleys filled with farm gates and cellar doors, you could spend weeks here drifting one welcoming restaurant to another, dining on sensational dishes created by innovative chefs drawing from tight-knit communities of local producers, farmers and fishers.

With most flights landing in Hobart, the Tasmanian capital is a great place to start your foodie adventure. Hobart’s pioneering restaurant, Franklin, may have closed in 2020, but there are still plenty of amazing dining options to choose from in the compact city center.

But first, check into a centrally located hotel like MACq 01, where each suite tells the story of a famous or notorious Tasmanian. This unique ‘storybook hotel’ is right on the water’s edge, facing Constitution Dock, and my spacious room has wall-to-ceiling glass doors and a balcony taking full advantage of the water view . I also enjoyed my stay at the nearby Moss boutique hotel, which offers a series of comfortable, well-appointed suites straddling a beautiful old sandstone warehouse and historic pub in Salamanca Place.

If you opt for the MACq 01, you won’t have to go far for your first meal: the Old Wharf restaurant, run by Simon Pockran, a former chef at the luxury resort Saffire in Tasmania, reinvents and refines traditional family meals. (It’s also where you’ll eat breakfast in the morning.) Across the street from MACq 01, at its sister hotel The Henry Jones, culinary curator Ben Milbourne scours the state for the best produce to feature on seasonal menus from Peacock and Jones. .

Away from Constitution Dock, Dier Makr offers elaborate tasting menus brimming with flavor in a small space just steps from the water — note that you need to book well in advance, and it’s only open Thursday through Saturday . Oh, and the name is pronounced like a heavily garbled “Jamaica.” There’s a paired wine option and an eclectic wine list – the night I dined here we had an unfiltered mtsvane from the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

About a 20-minute walk or five-minute drive from Constitution Dock, popular Templo ‘neighborhood restaurant’ prepares a weekly seasonal chef’s menu of dishes with Mediterranean influences and rich flavors and pairs them with varietal wines. Italians with minimal intervention. . It’s a small dining room and it’s also one of the few restaurants in town open on Monday nights, but even though it’s busy the night I eat here, the dishes show up with impressive regularity.

For a long lunch with excellent biodynamic wines, head to Osteria Vista at Stefano Lubiana Wines, a 25-minute drive from the city center in the Derwent Valley past Mona. Here, you can enjoy an Italian-inspired four-course tasting lunch Friday through Sunday. Alternatively, you can opt for the light Italian lunch at Café Cibo e Vino at Battery Point, high above Salamanca Place.

AAustralia’s most awarded whiskey is distilled in Hobart: Sullivans Cove has won numerous awards at the World Whiskeys Awards for its divine single malts. Sample flights of whiskeys and visit his distillery in Cambridge, between the airport and the city center. The distillery and tasting room are in a warehouse in an unassuming industrial area, but what happens inside is magical. Prefer to have a drink in town? Tasmanian single malt whiskey pioneer Lark Distillery’s tasting room occupies a prime position on Hobart’s waterfront at Constitution Dock. You can also choose from around 150 Tasmanian whiskeys to try at The Still, Lark’s new whiskey and cocktail bar, just a few blocks from the waterfront.

A must-stop on any Tasmanian food road trip is Rodney Dunn and Severine Demanet’s Agrarian Kitchen Eatery in New Norfolk, a 40-minute drive from Hobart. Here we dine on expertly prepared dishes using seasonal local produce in a high-ceilinged space in the grounds of a former mental asylum. Starting in April, the relocated Agrarian Cooking School and Vegetable Garden will begin a program of on-site cooking classes, including two-day Nose-to-Tail Whole Hog Experiences, if you want to immerse yourself in hyper- local.

FFrom New Norfolk, it takes around two and a half hours to drive to Launceston, Tasmania’s second largest city and the perfect base for exploring the Food Bowl and surrounding vineyards of the Tamar Valley. The stay of choice for foodies is Stillwater Seven, housed in an old flour mill at the mouth of Cataract Gorge. The seven suites face the Tamar River and feature massive exposed beams and green velvet lashings. I was tempted to raid the impressive minibar and sink into the massive bed in my room, but instead took the door to Stillwater, Launceston’s most award-winning dining experience, to a memorable meal overlooking the river.

A 10-minute walk from Stillwater Seven takes you to Launceston’s pedestrian shopping and dining district. You’ll find plenty of great breakfast or lunch options here, including Bread + Butter, a bakery, cafe, and butter shop all rolled into one. Sample a range of Tasmanian craft beers at Saint John Craft Beer, also in the city centre, before dining at nearby Pachinko, which serves modern Asian dishes that are sustainably grown, organic and ethically produced. Come during the colder months, like me, and you might fancy a big steak and a glass of red at Black Cow Bistro, Stillwater’s sister restaurant in town, which perfectly grills aged beef at dry from Cape Grim and Robbins Island.

After dining in Launceston, it’s time to take some foodie forays out of town. A 50-minute drive west of town is The Truffle Farm in Deloraine, the first of its kind in Australia. I join Mandy, a border collie-kelpie mix, as she sniffs black truffles in the farm’s groves of hazelnut trees, then gazes at the fragrant, earthy nuggets graded on the spot. We then have the opportunity to taste the spoils of the previous days shaved on a rich mushroom soup – sublime. You can book a truffle hunt with optional lunch from December to September every year, and there’s a farm shop where you can buy sealed packets of truffles and truffle butter to take home.

Heading north from Launceston, you’ll reach wine country in less than 15 minutes. The first cellar door you will come across is Vélo Wines, which focuses on French varietals. The cool-climate Tamar Valley wine region is best known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Riesling, with more than 30 wineries in the area.

Among the most notable vineyards on the road from Launceston along the west side of the river to the coast are Moores Hill Estate, which produces fine pinot noir, chardonnay and riesling in the premier energy vineyard Tasmanian Solar, and Stoney Rise, where you can sample minimal -intervention wines in a striking cellar door complex.

Then there’s Tamar Ridge, where winemakers are on a mission to produce ‘elegant and exciting’ Pinot Noir – try their efforts for yourself at the cellar door of the winery, which is just up the road biking. If you plan your visit well, you can taste Danielle Lefrançois’ delicious contemporary French-influenced dishes at Hubert + Dan. restaurant in Tamar Ridge for lunch every weekend and dinner every second Thursday night.

The Tamar Valley is also known for its world-class sparkling wines. Take the Batman Bridge over the River Tamar to the Pipers River sub-region to experience the fruits of a terroir remarkably similar to France’s Champagne region. Arrange a summer visit to Tamar Valley pioneer Andrew Pirie’s Apogee cellar door to taste his exceptional sparkling wines from a single vineyard, or head to nearby Clover Hill for a tasting of six of Tamar Valley’s elegant bubbles. the award-winning house. The Clover Hill cellar door faces the east side of the Tamar Valley. So, as you make your way through the six lava flows, you can plan the next leg of your journey of discovery.

Concierge

when should we go

With COVID causing so much disruption, the question of when to go now has two parts: what time of year and what part of the week. As the end of the pandemic unfolds, you will find most urban and regional restaurants closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, and many closed on Sundays or Wednesdays as well. So if you want to eat your way around the state, plan to have some slim pickings in the first half of the week. As for the time of year, the mild summer months are ideal, but can also be very busy. Winters here are cold, but also host a number of food and drink festivals, such as Dark MoFo’s Winter Feast in June, and Bridport’s Tasmanian Whiskey Week and Tassie Scallop Fiesta in August.

what to pack

Whatever time of year you visit Tasmania, pack a sweater and a rain jacket in your suitcase, especially if you’re heading to the West Coast, considered one of the wettest places in the world. The eastern side of Tasmania escapes much of the western deluge, and Hobart is actually the second driest state capital, after Adelaide. In winter, dress in layers, because although the early mornings and evenings will be freezing, the sun can still be strong in the middle of the day. And all year round, dress in smart casual attire to blend in with the locals
in high-end restaurants.

Most Memorable Meal

With black truffles costing upwards of $2,000 per kilogram, you usually only get a few splinters in restaurant dishes that claim to contain this valuable ingredient. But dine at Launceston’s Stillwater during the winter months and you can enjoy several courses of truffle delights created by Executive Chef Craig Will and paired with fine Tasmanian wines. Even dessert arrives evoking earthy mushroom, an unlikely but winning combination.

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