There is a lot to love about Hobart. The small-town vibe, the culture, the people, but above all else, you’ve got to love the food.
Tasmania’s natural beauty is delivered right to your plate in Hobart. There is no place that celebrates local produce so proudly, and so narrowing down your bucket list of food experiences is no easy feat.
With that being said, I never shy away from a challenge, so behold – my top five culinary experiences of Hobart, best enjoyed curious and hungry.
Peacock and Jones
Hidden away in an old sandstone warehouse – and one of the Henry Jones Art Hotel’s dining offerings – lives Peacock and Jones. It’s the kind of restaurant to take someone to when you’re trying to impress them. A place where every bite stands out, but nothing is too try-hard.
The open-plan kitchen gives your senses access to the entire process, as world-class chefs prepare your meal using some of the finest Tasmanian produce.
For first-timers, a selection of small plates will get the job done. Highlights include the beef tartare and anything with seafood. And from one food lover to another, do not leave without trying the parmesan chips.
To accompany your meal is an all-star selection of wines. And according to Peacock and Jones themselves, they keep over 60 bottles in the cellar at all times… yes please.
Pennicott Wilderness Journeys’ Tasmanian Seafood Seduction
Not only would I consider this trip aboard a Pennicott Wilderness Journeys boat a must-do for seafood lovers, but also a must-do for just about anyone. It is without a doubt one of the best travelling experiences I have ever had.
Tourism legend Robert Pennicott and his knowledgeable, attentive and passionate (I could seriously go on all day) team of local guides have been sharing the wonders of Tasmania with travellers since 1999.
The Tasmanian Seafood Seduction tour voyages down the Derwent River. Along the journey, your guides will gift you with knowledge of the wildlife, scenery and deserted beaches. However, it’s when you dock that things get really memorable.
Not only will you be treated to some of the most incredible seafood in the world, but it will be prepared before your very eyes. Part of the experience will see your guide literally jump in the ocean, snorkelling to catch your meal. Talk about farm to table.
You will then proceed to ingest the best wild abalone, rock lobster, oysters, salmon and sea urchin that money can buy. I promise.
The Pennicott Wilderness Journeys tour showcases Tasmania’s five-star seafood culture at its very best and purest, and it was here that I really discovered what all the fuss was about.
Landscape Restaurant and Grill
From the outside, the Landscape Restaurant and Grill seems understated. A simple, sandstone building perched on the waterfront next to the impressive frontage of the Henry Jones Art Hotel. The space just didn’t seem to be showing off…
Inside however, was a different story. Lining the historic walls of the dimly lit, former IXL jam factory is a collection of iconic John Glover paintings.
The striking landscapes surrounding each table create an ambience that leans less toward that of a restaurant, and more of an art gallery.
Like Glover, the Landscape menu celebrates the life and beauty that exists in Tasmania. Head chef Oli Mellers is committed to serving the island’s finest produce, cooked on the coals of the restaurant’s hero: a wood-fired Asado grill.
Sear-aged local wagyu, tender Tasmanian lamb, freshly caught seafood and other premium ingredients create masterful dishes of unrivalled flavour. Oh, and lest I forget the three words that changed the way I consume potatoes forever: duck fat chips.
As for wine, sommelier Louis Kesur has curated a selection that celebrates old world, new world and emerging niche wines.
Nestled between the sandstone facades of old warehouses sits the famous Salamanca Markets.
Held on Saturdays between 8.30am and 3pm, thousands of tourists and locals flock each week to taste some of the best food the some 300 stallholders have to offer.
If you’re keen to undertake the tour de Tasmanian cuisine, there are a number of places you should stop.
For starters, get yourself to the stall dubbed Provenance Growers. Horticulturalist Paulette Whitney supplies vegetables, herbs and edible flowers (yum?) to the leading restaurants on the island. Here you’ll find a number of unusual edibles that are often forgotten on our shopping lists. Think pink fir potatoes, climbing butter beans, tomatillo and potato onions.
Secondly, it’s hard to get a sense of Tasmanian street food without getting your hands on a scallop pie.
A number of bakeries about town claim to have perfected this traditional, so just to be fair, be sure to sample a few while you’re in the area.
Also at the markets is a number of other famously delicious culinary experiences. Pick up some Bruny Island Oysters and Tasmanian cherries, and wash it all down with some aged gin.
If you begin a chat about Hobart’s food scene, it’s only a matter of time before someone mentions Fico.
The modern take on Italian-inspired cuisine is the food baby of head chefs and owners, Federica Andrisani and Oskar Rossi.
After coming together in the north of Italy four years ago, the pair searched for the perfect location. And after a stint of travelling and pop-up restaurants, Oskar, a Tasmanian himself, eventually found his way home to Hobart.
It would be incorrect to say that Fico’s reputation comes from its interiors. Sure, the old, spacious setting does the job, but it isn’t really something to write home (or an article) about. No, for Fico, it’s the unpretentious allure of the food that is consistently impressing diners.
The menu combines the heritage of both chefs, showcasing elements of their personality and culture. It blurs the lines between fine dining and a traditional bistro, featuring a well-priced list of savouries, pastas and seafood.