Hobart is one of the most democratically beautiful cities in the world. Every house seems to get a stunning harbour view from the hilly basin that surrounds it. We left the rural seaside idyll of Dover and made our way to Hobart to catch the plane. One night in Hobart and your girl’s an oyster.
A mid-morning cappucino and bagel as the Citrus Moon Cafe in Kingston to make me happy and then farewell to my Dad who got me over here and who then went off to win $300 in 15 minutes at the Hobart Casino. Fark! So much for the casinos are depressing places full of addicted losers thinking they’re James Bond. We grabbed a shower at our hotel, the Astor. Cute friendly 1920s place but do go for the ensuite rooms which are roomy and swish. The next rooms down are a tad more humble and for those wishing to recreate the depression era emery paper salesman effect.
A wander down the mall picking up this great furry red Yowie vest from Mountain Design and then, down to the harbour for reconstitution in the form of a cherry flan and a nick of Toni’s cherry cheesecake at Jam Packed. It’s in the restored old IXL jam factory and rumour has it you can still hear the screams of the strawberries at night.
On on and thought I’d have some calamari at the floating harbourside fish and chip shop before windowshopping for antique maps and prints and then buying a genuine Floreat teaspoon (the coincidence!) and an ornate beer bottle opener – more stout Lady Windemere?
Back to the hotel for a disco nap, a quick stop at a pub (can’t remember the name though) and rush down to Orizuru sashimi bar to try and nab a barside seat. Well recommended by a couple we met in Dover so quite excited about it all.
But no. Bar seat was reserved – by one man in a suit it seemed so we were relegated to the more distant orbit of a table and I think think this is where things went wrong, largely with the waitstaff who pushed a few buttons. First thing, speaking Japanese is not reserved for Japanese customers*. If I notice a bottle of Yebisu at the bar but there isn’t any, the solution is not instant revisionism by coming back as if the last drinks order never happened. When I said yes to having our dishes at the same time this meant not as entree, main not all within seconds of eachother. The food. The food was OK. I think Shige in Perth manages the small local Japanese restaurant much better. Orizuru seems to be anticipating people wanting the framework of a western dining experience. The kaki furai (fried oysters was the best), followed by the gyunotataki (sashimi beef) and it’s piquant dipping sauce, then the tempura, and finally the sashimi which I’d had greater expectations of but was put off a little by the heaped in a bottom of the bowl idea with the lettuce and parsley garnish. It had the potential to be exceptional and I’ve great faith in the recommenders but it may have been a case of the Mondays.
*this sounds a petty thing to say but it’s really bloody annoying – can I have some backup here? Mr Goat? Heech?
Drinks. First to the Bar Colona in the old/new Salamanca the Tigris Pinot Gris was just the tonic. Five stars. Looks clear and weak but has a hugh amount going on in there to busy to explain but it managed to be oily and sharp and I liked it.
Off then to the T42 for a Ninth Island Pinot Noir. [reads from notes] Dark like the black heart of satan, announces itself with a vaguely socky note, smooth berry entry filling mid palate with custardy (?) raisins and a good sharp finish. Ahm yes then.
If we don’t find a whiskey bar I fear that we might… oh there’s Lark Distilllery. A single straight up of Talisker (from the Isle of Skye). The initial “gah! it’s whiskey” and then enjoy. Have a moan with the barman about why spirits are so expensive in Australia and the typical experience is Bundy rum or the worst of the bourbons with a bottle of coke with the sole intention of being munted an unlocking a deep seated need to be an agro dickhead. Suave dickhead people, suave.
Wander around, it’s a Monday, and find a student pub with a $1.20 drinks deal for a few nightcaps then back to our room and then, in the morning, away back to the flatlands.