Tasmania Restaurants

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by Mark Chipperfield, The Daily Telegraph, September 13, 2016

An insider's guide to the best places to eat in Tasmania and Hobart, including award-winning restaurant Stillwater, fresh seafood at Smolt and top spots for Chinese food and riverside dining. By Mark Chipperfield, Telegraph Travel's Tasmania expert.


Stillwater (1)

Located in the historic Ritchie’s Mill on the banks of the Tamar River in Launceston, this award-winning restaurant serves up contemporary Tasmanian cuisine along with an indulgent five-course evening degustation menu. The beautifully restored 1830’s flour mill has exquisite views over the Tamar River and is renown for its professional service and flavoursome, often playful and always slick cuisine. Stillwater is Tasmania’s most awarded regional restaurant with a flair for local seafood, including oysters and calamari, but is equally adept at meat and vegetable dishes. It has recently added wallaby to the menu. Try it. The five-course tasting menu is excellent value at A$100. 

Address: 2 Bridge Road, Launceston, 7250
Contact: 00 61 3 6331 4153;  stillwater.com.au
Getting there: no public transport: drive
Opening times: daily, 8.30am-11.30pm
Price: dinner from A$67; five-course tasting menu A$100, with paired wines A$160
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: essential

The Source (2)

Hobart’s most beautiful dining room just happens to be part of the huge MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) on the Derwent River. You might be tempted to come here for the view alone, but luckily the team here takes its food very seriously and you’ll be dazzled by the French-influenced cuisine. Dishes are by turns playful, rich and daring. To find out what this place is all about, choose the nine-course degustation menu which includes dishes such as pan-fried scallops, whole roast duck, rabbit sausage and venison. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. The wine list here is truly impressive, so make the most of this by ordering one of the great value degustation selections with matching wines from Australia, New Zealand andfurther afield. Take a cab home.

Address: 655 Main Road, Berriedale, 7011
Contact: 00 61 3 6277 9900;  mona.net.au
Getting there: bus to Berriedale (28)
Opening times: Wed-Sat, noon-3pm, 6pm-10pm; Sun, noon-3pm
Price: mains from A$31; three-course dinner A$75; nine-course dinner A$175
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: essential

Mud Bar & Restaurant (3)

Overlooking the Tamar River in the old seaport, Mud Bar & Restaurant is a laid-back place for an evening drink, a long relaxed lunch or a more formal dinner. While other restaurants come and go, this one, founded in 2004, just motors quietly on. The menu is the sort of thing you might find in any good gastro pub: lemongrass chicken curry, slow roasted lamb and grilled salmon. Make sure you have the oysters here -- they’re sensational. Mud has a good selection of Tasmanian wine by the glass, plus local beers, ciders and cocktails. When the sun is shining there’s no better place to be in northern Launceston.

Address: 28 Seaport Boulevard, Launceston, 7250
Contact: 00 61 3 6334 5066;  mudbar.com.au
Getting there: bus to Seaport Boulevard (10)
Opening times: daily, 11am-midnight
Price: lunch around A$45; dinner around A$75
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: not necessary


Smolt (4)

Smolt is hardly the most evocative name for a restaurant, but for lovers of fresh Tasmanian seafood this is one of Hobart’s must-do experiences. Don’t expect flash interior design or funky lighting, Smolt is a pared-back sort of space tucked away behind Salamanca Square. The menu here is really a roadmap to everything that makes Tasmania such a delicious place to visit. You can't go wrong with the fish of the day here. The kitchen serves up the freshest salmon, mussels and oysters, and handles meat dishes and pasta with equal aplomb. It also offers superior pizzas. Don’t expect too many gastronomic fireworks but for high-quality seafood, professional service and a damn good wine list this place ticks all the boxes.

Address: 2 Salamanca Square, Hobart, 7000
Contact: 00 61 3 6224 2554;  smolt.com.au
Getting there: bus to Franklin Square (44)
Opening times: daily, 8.30am-late
Price: entrees from A$14.90, mains from A$34.90, pizza from $A18.90
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: recommended

Black Cow Bistro (5)

The idea of a steak house may seem pretty old hat, but the team at Black Cow Bistro have come up with something entirely different and contemporary. This handsome city eatery is reminiscent of those great New York steak joints, but the premium beef on offer here is defiantly Tasmanian. While the bistro does offer a token, non-meat option, you come here for the steaks which are large and succulent. The kitchen uses only aged beef from northern Tasmania. Choose from porterhouse, rump, scotch fillet or rib eye. If you’ve never tried it before I suggest the grass-fed Wagyu from Robbins Island – a carnivore’s dream. Kick off your meal with a dozen freshly-shucked Moulting Bay oysters. Natural, of course.

Address: 70 George Street, Launceston, 7250
Contact: 00 61 3 6331 9333;  blackcowbistro.com.au
Getting there: bus to George Street (50)
Opening times: daily, 5.30pm-late
Price: entrees from A$20, steaks from A$40
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: recommended

The Roaring Grill (6)

Not only is The Roaring Grill a funky place to hang out, it also provides a geography lesson in fine Tasmanian produce. The menu showcases the island’s most delectable grass-fed beef, Roland Range lamb, Bruny Island oysters and sought-after seafood such as Huon Salmon and Blue Eye Trevalla. The kitchen also uses the island’s best seasonal fruit and vegetables. The menu is a modern twist on the traditional Surf and Turf formula, with freshly-shucked oysters, glazed pork ribs, flame-grilled meat skewers and marinated steaks. Match your steak with a traditional sauce such as béarnaise or red wine jus. Dedicated carnivores should try the 250g Wagyu Porterhouse from Robbins Island.

Address: 301 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart, 7000
Contact: 00 61 3 6231 1301;  roaringgrill.com
Getting there: bus to Elizabeth Street (8, 9, 11, 12, 13)
Opening times: Mon, Tue, 5pm-late; Wed-Sun, midday-late
Price: entrees from A$14, mains from A$27
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: recommended

Me Wah Restaurant (7)

Walk past the ornate lions and you have entered Hobart’s most awarded Chinese restaurant. The team of chefs here produces excellent Cantonese dishes using the very best Tasmanian produce. The menu features dishes such as truffle crayfish wonton, Peking duck, XO sea scallop and wagyu wasabi. If you are feeling extravagant order the whole crayfish sautéed with ginger and spring onions and Shao Xing rice wine. Me Wah has an extensive wine list with rare vintages from Australia, New Zealand and France. There is a good range of craft beers, cocktails and non-alcoholic mocktails. Drop in for Yum Cha on the weekend.

Address: 16 Magnet Court, Sandy Bay, 7005
Contact: 00 61 3 6223 3688;  mewah.com.au
Getting there: bus to Sandy Bay (154)
Opening times: Tue-Thu, noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9.30pm; Fri, noon-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm; Sat, 11am-3pm, 6pm-10.30pm; Sun, 11am-3pm, 6pm-9.30pm
Price: entrees from A$16, mains from A$28
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: recommended

Frogmore Creek Restaurant (8)

Frogmore Creek, just outside Hobart, produces sophisticated cool climate wines. The same elegance is obvious as soon as you step inside this beautiful winery restaurant overlooking Barilla Bay. Guests can choose from a degustation menu of four, five and six dishes or simply choose a single dish from the a la carte menu. The restaurant sources seasonal ingredients from around southern Tasmania including Belbin Lamb and local seafood. The cooking style is rustic with a strong Mediterranean influence. Dishes include slow-braised oxtail, smoked eel, steak tartar, braised octopus and slow-poached chicken. If you don’t have time to linger, order a selection of share plates at the cellar door. These are available between 10am and 4pm each day.

Address: 20 Denholms Road, Cambridge 7170
Contact: 00 61 3 6248 5844;  frogmorecreek.com.au
Getting there: no public transport: drive
Opening times: Thu-Mon, 11.30am-3.30pm
Price: set-price, four-course menu A$85, five-course menu A$100, six-course menu A$120
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: recommended

Josef Chromy Wines (9)

Just 15 minutes by car from downtown Launceston, Josef Chromy Wines is a 150-acre vineyard producing high quality Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer. The newly-opened restaurant, which overlooks a picturesque lake and the surrounding vineyards, has already carved out a name for its fresh, seasonal cuisine. Expect to find plenty of excellent Tasmanian meat, such as free-range chicken, aged Black Angus and Wagyu beef alongside line-caught Tasmanian fish. Don’t miss the freshly-shucked oysters – some of the best you’ll ever try. The dining room is open daily for lazy lunches or book for a more formal dinner date on Fridays and Saturdays.

Address: 370 Relbia Road, Relbia 7258
Contact: 00 61 3 6335 8700;  josefchromy.com.au
Getting there: no public transport: drive
Opening times: daily, noon-3pm; Fri, Sat, also 6pm-10pm
Price: starters from A$18, mains from A$34
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: recommended

Written On Tea (10)

This cheerful Chinese noshery was so successful in Sandy Bay that the owners have opened a second restaurant in the city, excellent news for urbanites who are keen to try its xiao long bao dumplings, Cantonese-style roast duck and other delicacies. Chinese cuisine in regional Australia is often pedestrian, but Written On Tea is the exception. Expect plenty of authentically spicy dishes. The menu is huge and includes everything from soups to stir-fried noodles, hot pot and steamed fish. There are plenty of vegetarian options. If you can’t make up your mind, choose the four-course banquet, great value at A$35.

Address: 135 Bathurst Street, Hobart 7000
Contact: 00 61 3 6234 9989;  writtenontea.com
Getting there: bus to Bathurst Street (42)
Opening times: daily, 11.30am-9.30pm
Price: dishes range from A$12 to A$70
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: not necessary

Frank Restaurant (11)

Opulent, daring and full of colour, Frank Restaurant is a welcome arrival on Hobart's waterfront, injecting a touch of Latin warmth into a rather sterile ground floor space on Franklin Wharf. That said, its frenetic décor might send some diners batty. Thankfully the kitchen shows more restraint. The Argentinian-influenced dishes are packed with flavour but fairly simple in their execution. The seafood dishes are actually quite minimal – unlike the bizarre light fittings. Pride of place is naturally given to the charcoal grill which turns out some impressive slabs of meat – everything from flat iron (butlers') steak to lamb rump. Leave some space for the desserts, which are all stunning.

Address: 1 Franklin Wharf, Hobart, 7000
Contact: 00 61 3 6231 5005;  frankrestaurant.com.au
Getting there: bus 67 to the city
Opening times: daily, 11am-late
Price: lunch from around A$35, dinner from around A$70
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: not necessary

Franklin (12)

Flawless is not a word used in many restaurant reviews, but the hard-working crew at Franklin should take a bow. The food here is flawless, or pretty damn close. The cavernous white space was once a car showroom but now all eyes turn to the well-run open kitchen which dominates the room. I kick off with grilled octopus lightly dusted with paprika and finished with new season olive oil before wolfing down a silken bone marrow dumpling served with roasted Jerusalem artichoke and black truffle. It’s possibly the most beautiful thing I’ve ever tasted – certainly within Australia. The wine list is equally impressive with a number of exotic labels and cheeky wine styles. There is much to savour here, so take your time. The menu changes daily. Prepare to leave your comfort zone.

Address: 28-30 Argyle Street, Hobart, Tasmania 7000
Contact: 00 61 3 6234 3375;  franklinhobart.com.au
Getting there: bus 67 to the city
Opening times: Tue-Sat, 6pm to 10pm
Price: dinner from around A$85
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: recommended

Remi de Provence (13)

In the Seventies, Hobart’s most sophisticated diners were tucking into coq au vin, crème brûlée, gratin dauphinois and charcuterie – just some of the dishes to be found at Remi de Provence, a cheerful retro French restaurant on Macquarie Street. Remi Bencal, who hails from Nîmes, is proud to fly the gastronomic flag for his native country. His passion for the cuisine of Provence is matched only by his knowledge of wine – Remi worked as a sommelier for many years in France and Australia before opening his own luxury retreat in Tasmania. With its sparse furniture, playfully Gallic murals and well-stocked cellar, Remi de Provence is a welcome escape from the new wave of hipster chefs sweeping into Tasmania. There are great-value, fixed-price meals for two on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday lunchtimes.

Address: 252 Macquarie Street, Hobart, 7000
Contact: 00 61 3 6223 3933
Getting there: bus 44 to South Hobart
Opening times: Tue, 5.30pm-late; Wed-Fri, noon-2pm, 5.30pm-late; Sat, 5.30pm-late
Price: lunch from A$28, dinner from A$65
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: recommended

Ethos Eat Drink (14)

Housed in one of Hobart’s oldest colonial precincts, this new eatery takes the principle of locavorism (serving local food) to new heights. There are no menus on the table – guests simply choose a range of ingredients and the kitchen maestros do the rest. This progressive dining experience showcases some of the finest regional produce available in Tasmania – the restaurant works closely with selected producers to create a truly unique culinary experience. The degustation is available in either a six-course or eight-course format, with or without matching wines. Let sommelier Alice Chugg expertly match each dish with a specially chosen wine – most are sourced from Tasmania.

Address: 100 Elizabeth Street, Hobart, 7000
Contact: 00 61 3 6231 1165;  ethoseatdrink.com
Getting there: bus to Elizabeth Street (31)
Opening times: Tue-Sat, 6pm-late
Price: six-course meal A$90, with matching wines A$165
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: essential


Osteria (15)

Stefano Lubiana is one of Tasmania’s most gifted winemakers so it’s no surprise that his latest venture, this vineyard restaurant, should display the same flair and inventiveness. The cuisine is rustic Italian with plenty of rillettes, antipasto, robust soups, gnocchi, ragu and braised chicken. Naturally, there’s an excellent selection of Italian cheeses to finish off with. And don’t miss out on the tiramisu. The menu changes weekly. The food is prepared using biodynamic vegetables and herbs grown in the family’s own garden. Stefano Lubiana was recently named Tasmanian Winery of the Year 2014 at the Melbourne International Wine Competition. Order a bottle of Stefano Lubiana Pinot Noir. It will be the best decision you make all day.

Address: 60 Rowbottoms Road, Granton, 7030
Contact: 00 61 3 6263 7457;  slw.com.au
Getting there: no public transport: drive
Opening times: Thu-Mon, 11am-3pm
Price: lunch from A$47
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: not necessary

T42 (16)

This all-day dining and bar venue provides front row seats on what is surely Australia’s prettiest harbour front. If you enjoy the sight of yachts and beautifully restored wooden boats then head to Elizabeth Pier. T42 has been around for 15 years and delivers no-nonsense Australian cuisine, with a good range of share plates and bar snacks. The main restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, while the cosy bar has 100 types of rum. The dinner menu offers staples such as Cape Grim Porterhouse, Ox Tail and English puddings. Come here for the signature dish: chicken schnitzel with mash and mustard seed sauce.

Address: Elizabeth Street Pier, Sullivans Cove, 7000
Contact: 00 61 3 6224 7742;  tav42.com.au
Getting there: bus to Elizabeth Street, Sullivans Cove (606, 608, 613)
Opening times: Mon-Fri, 7.30am-midnight; Sat, Sun, 8.30am-midnight
Price: lunch and dinner from A$37
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: not necessary

Small Fry (17)

If you want to hang out with Hobart’s cool young things, then park yourself at Small Fry (formerly known as Sidecar). Seating just 20 people, this cute little bar is now under new ownership and has changed focus. The new menu features sliders, salads, soups and cassoulet, plus a stellar range of breakfast treats including chelsea buns and doughnuts. Opening hours have been extended to include breakfast, lunch and dinner. The wine list has also been given a revamp. Expect a queue for breakfast – the doughnuts are highly prized and usually sell out by 9.30am. Or try the apricot, almond Leatherwood granola, served with poached rhubarb and passionfruit yoghurt. Takeaway food available until 3pm.

Address: 129 Bathurst Street, Hobart, 7000
Contact: 00 61 3 6231 1338;  small-fryhobart.com.au
Getting there: bus to Bathurst Street (62)
Opening times: Mon-Fri, 7.30am-9pm, Sat, 8.30am-9pm
Price: small plates from A$8, main meals from A$26
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: not possible

Jackman & McRoss (18)

It may sound like a firm of city solicitors, but Jackman & McRoss is actually Hobart’s most loved bakery café, and one with a distinct European influence. Come here for your morning croissant and latte, or something more substantial, perhaps soup, meat pies and savoury tarts. My favourite is the spiced roast vegetable pastie served with house made relish. Many people come here just ogle at the trays of cakes and Danish slices. Housed in a beautifully restored colonial building the shop also sells organic muesli and a range of great preserves.

Address: 57 Hampden Road, Battery Point, 7004
Contact: 00 61 3 6223 3186
Getting there: bus to Battery Point (74)
Opening times: daily, 7.30am-6pm
Price: snacks from A$8
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: not possible

Red Velvet Lounge (19)

Anywhere that has proper corned beef on the menu gets my vote, but Red Velvet goes even more old school than that with seared beef tongue, welsh rarebit, liver, bacon and onions and other childhood favourites. This the perfect excuse to visit Cygnet, surely the prettiest little village in Tasmania, just outside Hobart. I like the fact that most of these dishes can be ordered as a starter or a main course. And that they make proper chips from real Tasmanian potatoes. There’s no shortage. Red Velvet also serves delicious breakfasts and fairtrade coffee. For most of the year the restaurant runs special pizza nights on Friday and Saturday.

Address: 24 Mary Street, Cygnet, 7112
Contact: 00 61 3 6295 0466;  theredvelvetlounge.com.au 
Getting there: no public transport: drive
Opening times: Wed-Sun, 8am-4pm; Sat, 6pm-9am
Price: lunch from A$41
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: recommended

The Standard (20)

Alleyway cuisine is a new concept for Hobart, but the young entrepreneurs behind this little burger joint have not let that deter them. The decor is industrial and the cuisine classic American soul food. Don’t expect a pineapple ring with your burger here. Everything is done in-house, including mincing the beef, baking the buns and cutting the potatoes into man-size chips. The standard burger here is called The Cowboy and features homemade BBQ sauce, bacon and a buttermilk onion ring burger, while The All American is an American cheese burger with a double thick beef patty, American mustard, aioli, tomato and pickles. But if you like things a little hotter try the Chili Cheeseburger with Chili cheese fries.

Address: Hudson Lane, Hobart, 7000
Contact: 00 61 3 6234 1888
Getting there: bus to Elizabeth Street (8, 9, 10, 11)
Opening times: daily, 11am-10pm
Price: burgers from A$11
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: not possible

Fish Frenzy (21)

The crew at Fish Frenzy never pretend this is fine dining, but for straightforward, tasty seafood look no further. The signature dish here is the piping hot fish and chips served in brown paper flutes. Try one of the local fish varieties such as travally, flake or blue eye. Wolf these down at an outside table overlooking Sullivans Cove. I love the bustle and energy of this place – and the chance to people watch on the wharf. Fish Frenzy also offers ocean-fresh oysters, scallops and calamari, plus a small range of salads and a smoky fish chowder. There’s also a select list of Tasmanian wines and craft beers available.

Address: Elizabeth Street Pier, Sullivans Cove, Hobart 7000
Contact: 00 61 3 6231 2134;  fishfrenzy.com.au
Getting there: bus to Murray Street (96)
Opening times: daily, 11am-9pm
Price: fish and chips A$19; six oysters A$14
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: not possible

Sweet Envy (22)

Hidden behind this modest shop front in North Hobart lies an Aladdin’s Cave of sweet decadence. Unlike the high-end cake shops which are so popular in Sydney and Melbourne, Sweet Envy still produces post-war Aussie fare such as sausage rolls, jam doughnuts and lemon curd tarts. But you’ll also find plenty of glamourous and elaborate cakes which are tailormade for its customers. The shelves here are packed with brightly-coloured macaroons, cup cakes, slices and tarts. Sweet Envy also makes plenty of savoury delights, such as breads, croissants and delicious meat pies. And don’t miss its famous pecan sticky buns.

Address: 341 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart 7000
Contact: 00 61 3 6234 8805;  sweetenvy.com
Getting there: bus to Elizabeth Street (9)
Opening times: Tue-Fri, 8.30am-6pm; Sat, 8.30am-5pm
Price: cupcakes from A$3.50, ice cream from A$4.50, pies and sausage rolls from A$4.50
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: not possible

The Machine Laundry Café (23)

If you believe that a great coffee is the cornerstone of every decent breakfast then this knockabout café on Salamanca Square will suit you perfectly. The novelty of being part of a working laundromat seems a bit redundant – all the machines were empty when I ate there. The café’s popularity is not entirely due to the quality of the coffee beans – the food is pretty tasty too. The menu includes breakfast staples like fruit toast, muffins and porridge to hearty lunchtime fare such as slow-roasted Moroccan lamb. Service is brisk and friendly, and prices are reasonable. The Machine Laundry Café does get ridiculously packed for breakfast, but tables turn over fairly quickly so you won’t wait long.

Address: 12 Salamanca Square, Hobart, 7000
Contact: 00 61 3 6224 9922
Getting there: bus to Battery Point (63)
Opening times: Mon-Sat, 7.30am-5pm; Sun, 8.30am-5pm
Price: small coffee A$3.70; light dishes from A$6.50, bigger dishes from A$17
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: not possible

Room for a Pony (24)

In Hobart all roads lead, eventually, to Elizabeth Street. Just up the road from this former petrol station you’ll find other food and drink recommendations of mine – Sweet Envy, Willing Bros. Wine Merchants and The Winston. But for a hearty lunch or breakfast, it’s hard to drive past Room for a Pony, a buzzy café which takes both its coffee and food seriously. For brekkie kick off with something robust like clay-baked eggs with peperonata and Tuscan sausage, or Cajun meatloaf, bacon and pickled honey browns. Simpler options are available, such as omelettes. Things go up a couple of notches for lunch; the café is also licensed. Since it only opened in late 2014, this convivial gas station café is still a work in progress – the owners intend to funk up the empty forecourt. So watch this space. Maybe they’ll get a pony.

Address: 338 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart, 7000
Contact: 00 61 3 6231 0508;  facebook.com/roomforapony
Getting there: bus 119 to North Hobart
Opening times: Mon-Fri, 7.30am-4pm; Sat, Sun, 8am-4pm
Price: breakfast from A$16; pasta from A$17, main courses from A$28
Payment type: credit cards accepted
Reservations: not possible

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This article was written by Mark Chipperfield from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.