Why Hobart dining knocks it out of the park

Hobart's restaurants are in a league of their own.

9 Min Read
Edible, living table by Vince Trim at the Museum of Old and New Art's The Source Restaurant.

Hobart’s restaurants are in a league of their own.

Tasmania is one of the least populated parts of Australia but its food and drink are phenomenal. The state’s climate supports quality produce and the creativity of local chefs knows no bounds. We visit the best restaurants in Hobart to learn more.

Best restaurants in Hobart

The best restaurants in Hobart all start with the humble pie shops. You can’t leave Tasmania’s capital without trying its speciality: curry scallop pie. Go to Smith’s Speciality Pie’s in Cambridge, just outside of the city. Tasmania is known for its fresh seafood, including scallops, and what better way to have them than in a pie.

Hobart, Tasmania.
Welcome to Hobart, the capital of Tasmania.

Pies are also a great way to enjoy Tasmania’s top beef and lamb. Head to Jackman & McRoss Bakery in Hobart’s Battery Point for this. Pair your pie with a delicious salsa to take it to another level. But beware; once you’ve tried one of these, you won’t be satisfied with another.

Pie at Jackson & McRoss Bakery in Battery Point, Hobart.
Get yourself a pie at Jackson & McRoss Bakery in Battery Point, Hobart.

If you want to experience a unique Hobart restaurant, go to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), founded by the eccentric David Walsh. This museum is not just for viewing but also for dining. Executive chef Vince Trim creates spectacular dishes at restaurants Faro and The Source.

Faro overlooks the River Derwent and prides itself on serving Tasmanian’s best produce. It’s also known to inject some cheek into its dishes.

Faro at the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, Tasmania.
“F*** art – let’s eat”: Dining at Faro at the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, Tasmania.

Amid the dining, you may even enjoy a performance or two by the MONA Ensemble.

The MONA Ensemble at Faro, Hobart, Tasmania.
The MONA Ensemble will entertain you throughout the evening.

MONA’s The Source restaurant is something else. Trim creates a Midsummer Night’s Dream-like experience with a living, edible table. That’s right – you’ll sit at a dining table that’s covered with foliage, and you can eat nearly all of it: from the nasturtiums and the dried kimchi to the seaweed.

MONA executive chef Vince Trim's living table in Hobart, Tasmania.
MONA executive chef Vince Trim’s living table at The Source restaurant.
The Source restaurant at MONA has a  living table.
You can eat nearly every piece of greenery on this table.

Try dishes like chorizo-spiced summer vegetables with saffron and fino roast fennel, and fried buttermilk cauliflower with almond cream, burnt honey and wild rice.

Executive chef Vince Trim is a food wizard.

We enjoy line-caught fish with chermoula, white bean puree and pippies, and wild-harvested venison with wattle seed mole and tamarind apple.

Wild harvested venison at The Source restaurant at MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
The venison has been wild harvested.

Oh, and Tasmania’s famed scallops make an appearance too.

More scallops, no less.

Don’t miss out on dessert, like the roasted pineapple and mango sorbet with passionfruit, coconut tapioca and puffed black rice.

Mango dessert at The Source restaurant at MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
This mango dessert was riveting.

More of the best restaurants in Hobart

We have another exceptional experience at Aloft in the town’s centre. Here you’ll find the likes of wallaby tartare with sichuan and tapioca. There’s also koji pork with peas, zucchini and horseradish. Aloft’s hero dish is the yellowtail kingfish with kohlrabi and anise with crispy eggplant and fermented chilli. In other words, the restaurant’s take on fish and chips.

Aloft's version of fish and chips. Hobart, Tasmania.
Aloft’s version of fish and chips.

Aloft has a fine wine list, featuring Tasmanian drops. We love the Ghost Rock Supernatural Pinot X 2021 – a white wine made from red grapes. You heard it here first.

Another restaurant we love is Dier Makr in Hobart’s CBD. Enjoy the locally caught abalone nori and the zucchini and finger lime gazpacho.

Gazpacho at Dier Makr in Hobart, Tasmania.
Dier Makr showcases some of Tasmania’s best produce.

The calamari with pork fat and paprika is also a treat. So is the blue eye with curry leaf and potato bread.

Blue eye at Dier Makr in Hobart, Tasmania.
Blue eye at Dier Makr in Hobart, Tasmania.

But if you’re only after a simple pub meal, you’re still spoilt for choice. We have a great evening at the local izakaya (Japanese pub) called Bar Wa Izakaya. It’s a place to get your friends together for a bowl of ramen, fresh sashimi (featuring fresh Tasmanian salmon) or sukiyaki (featuring premium Tasmanian beef) and a glass of beer or sake.

Bar Wa Izakaya in Hobart, Tasmania.
It’s worth dining at Bar Wa Izakaya.

Wine and whisky

However, you can’t come to Tasmania without visiting a winery. Tasmania makes wine that is loved around the world.

We stop off at Frogmore Creek Winery in the Coal River Valley, not far from Hobart. Frogmore Creek is known for its cool-climate wines. The grapes enjoy a long growing season. Because the grapes ripen slowly, they develop fruity flavours and a soft acidity.

Frogmore Creek Winery in the Coal River Valley in Tasmania.
Frogmore Creek Winery in the Coal River Valley in Tasmania.

Drop in for a wine tasting over lunch. You can choose a small flight if you’re driving and eat good food (like the salmon sashimi bordered by a pretty summer salad, pictured below) too.

Sashimi at Frogmore Creek Winery in Tasmania.
Frogmore Creek Winery dishes look almost too good to eat

You also can’t go past Tasmanian whisky. In fact, Tasmania is the birthplace of Australia’s liquid gold. It all began with Bill Lark, known as Australia’s Godfather of Whisky, who founded the award-winning Lark Distillery.

Bill Lark (left) delivers a whisky masterclass at The Still whisky bar in Hobart.

Back in 1989, the then-surveyor wondered why Australia didn’t have its own whisky. He found that lawmakers adopted Scottish whisky laws during Australia’s Federation in 1901, but such laws only recognised industrial-level whisky production. Because it was hard to start a whisky business at this scale, Lark campaigned for the law to recognise smaller ventures too. He was successful, and in 1992, Bill Lark’s business became the first Australian distillery to produce whisky in over 150 years.

Lark Distillery is the oldest whisky distillery in Australia.
Lark Distillery is the oldest whisky distillery in Australia.

Fast forward to 2022, and Lark Distillery is one of Australia’s leading distilleries, with global awards to its name. While you’re in town, stop by the Lark Distillery whisky bar, The Still. Bill Lark also runs whisky tastings there. Who better to learn from than Australia’s whisky master?

You can even have a whisky pairing with your meal. You’ll want something peated, like the Lark Classic Cask Strength, to go with a smoky, dry-aged beef.

Dry-aged beef at The Still by Lark Distillery in Hobart, Tasmania.
A peaty whisky and a smoky beef.

Meanwhile, the butterscotch and sweet-spice notes of the Lark Tokay go well with a creme brulee and cheese board.

Creme brulee and a cheese board at The Still by Lark Distillery in Hobart, Tasmania.
Visit The Still by Lark Distillery for a whisky pairing.

If you’re staying in Hobart, it doesn’t take long to visit Bruny Island – a produce haven. Just take the vehicular ferry over or join a day tour. If you travel far enough down the island (it’s only 50 kilometres long) you’ll find yourself at the southernmost part of Australia.

Spectacular Bruny Island.
Spectacular Bruny Island.

Our first stop is at the Get Shucked oyster farm. It’s brimming with freshly harvested oysters. Get yourself a dozen with a side of fresh, warm bread and a glass of sparkling water to start your day.

Oysters at Get Shucked oyster farm on Bruny Island, Tasmania.
Oysters galore.

Next stop is the Bruny Island Cheese Company, which has both fresh and aged cheese. We recommend the cheese tasting board. The company also excels at beer and wine making.

Bruny Island Cheese Company tasting.
Bruny Island Cheese Company tasting.

The best restaurants in Hobart are really something; they’re well worth trying out. The food scene is truly magical and we can’t wait to go back.

Experience more culinary adventures at Two Chat Food and follow us on Instagram @twochatfood.

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