Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Picnic Basket, Taroona

Another great little spot to stop at while touring the Channel Highway on a lazy Sunday.  For such a lovely suburb as Taroona, I am continuously surprised that there is very little there, given its demographic and size.  So when Picnic Basket opened, I was relieved to see this place had not been entirely abandoned. Picnic Basket is a quaint and trendy bakery offering a range of pies, artisan breads, slices, sweet treats and breakfast/lunch, including gluten free.  They also stock a modest range of locally produced goods and garden vegetables.  I know someone who sells their organic garlic there.  Its run by vibrant young people who offer great friendly service, and owned by experienced bakers who trained in Europe. Whether you're touring on your bike or driving through, try stopping at this suburban oasis for coffee and lunch. They are open every day and located at the old servo on the corner of Jenkins street on the Channel highway.

The Picnic Basket on Urbanspoon

Jackman and Mcross

Jackman and Mcross is a Hobart institution, having been around for a long time, with three great locations to choose from.  Jackman may have been one of the first trendy bakeries to offer good quality food since super bakery chains slowly gobbled up and bought out smaller competitors. They have a generous reputation, in giving the bread they don't sell to charity, and their employees to take home, always good to know someone who works there! Their bread can be found in most deli style grocers and is often the choice of many cafes and restaurants. All establishments are set out in older stylish places set in picturesque surroundings.  Whether this is on purpose or not, I don't know, but it certainly creates a relaxed and timeless atmosphere. My father was the prior owner of the old bread van Jackman drove around, an old Morris, which we nick named 'Noddy' due to its colouring.  He ended up selling it to Jackman, and I remember being appalled when I saw it in its new get up of black and blue.  However, I have never been disappointed with this place, continuously satisfied with a feeling of bakery decadence when eating anything from the menu.  Apart from bread, they offer a range of breakfast, lunch and sweet items, so be prepared for a little indecisiveness, as it all looks so great. Jackman and Mcross bakeries are located main road New Town, Hampton Rd. Battery Point and Victoria St. Hobart.

Jackman & McRoss Bakeries on Urbanspoon     

Back to my roots- Polish Borscht

Now that winter has set in, with endless grey rainy days determined to bring on the winter sniffles, I was inspired to rekindle my connection to my Polish ancestry and make a hearty beetroot Borscht.  Armed with kilos of yummy organic beetroot purchased from the Melville st. farm-gate market, I set about preparing my soup, using a Jewish recipe that was aired on SBS food by the lovely and rustic chef Ramona Koval.  There are many variations of borscht, clear, thick, beef, but I have found this one easy, and delicious.

Vibrant colours of beetroot and carrot, once boiled

1kg of beetroot, peeled, I also added a couple of large purple carrots, boiled in chicken stock or water with a squeeze of lemon until tender.  Drain beetroot and cut up roughly return to pot with another squeeze of lemon, a bunch of chopped dill, 1 chopped onion, 3 or so potatoes, peeled and diced, 1tsp of sugar, and pepper and salt to taste. Cover with water and cook again for half and hour, season again if needed. Puree.

Now, you can serve borscht chilled or hot, depending on the time of the year, with a dollop of natural yoghurt or sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh dill.  It goes well with heavy Eastern European style breads, such as a dark rye (such as Jackman and Mcross).  Traditionally borscht is also served with boiled potatoes, dumplings or perogies, a stuffed dumpling made from unleavened dough.  Enjoy this hearty and healthy winter's soup and relish in its striking and glorious colour.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Pigeon Hole

A trendy urban cafe in outer West Hobart, what we Hobartian's refer to as 'so Melbourne...', sits at the bottom of Molle street on Goulburn.  Don't worry its not wanky, this place has some of the best baked goods in town, with a focus on using seasonal, and ethically produced products, represented by their constantly changing blackboard menu. Its a great place for something easy and quick without sacrificing the quality of the food.  They have received a lot of acclaim since opening, with many food writers and critics giving them the thumbs up.  Among their delicious range of baked goods are their rustic sourdoughs and baguettes, which are absolutely gorgeous, and also found at Salamanca and Melville Markets among other deli style stores.  Get there, but be prepared for a crowded situation, as this is one of Hobart's favourite spots.

      Pigeon Hole on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Myu Easy Bites

One cold winter's eve, as we perused the icy streets of Hobart for something new to try, we came across a small establishment out in New Town.  Peering through the window we were invited in by a delicious aroma of garlic and ginger. By now you're wondering what the hell is she going on about and cut to the chase!? I'm talking about the cute and cosy Myu Easy Bites, the home of good wholesome Malaysian cuisine.  The place is a small cosy establishment, run by a young couple.  It has a very relaxed and casual vibe brought about by the new young mum with her baby strapped to her back as she serves up bowls of delicious Laksa.  I have tried just about everything on the menu, which is modest but suited to the size of the kitchen. All meals here are served in generous portions and priced appropriately, entrees are big enough to share as well.

To boast about a couple of meals; The Rendang curry is absolutely delicious, served traditionally dry with dried fish and egg garnish, allowing all flavours to melt together beautifully, refreshed with sliced cucumber.  Also my favourite  dish, the Hainanese chicken, is so deliciously infused with garlic and ginger it leaves a flavour imprint in your foody memory, enticing you until your next visit.  The Radish cakes served as an entree come with a delicious spicy sauce infused with five spice, as do the crispy beef spiced pancakes, a must try.  I highly recommend giving this place a try for something a bit different, it has now become one of my favourite places for take away. Located on main road New Town, its a small place, open Wednesday to Saturday for dinner and lunch.

Myu Easy Bites on Urbanspoon       

Sunday, 16 June 2013


The loud chatter of diners squished into the upper-floor of a North Hobart terraced restaurant, brings back memories of my time spent in Japan.  Miyabi aims to bring an 'authentic' Japanese experience to Hobart diners, combining traditional and typical drinking food found in any izakaya with energetic service.  Japanese waiters greet you with Japanese and the establishment is cosily decorated in iconic Japanese symbols and flare.  With dim lighting and busy atmosphere I was caught up in energy, ordering Asahi beer and warm sake with a range of delicious foods.  Japanese drinking establishments like these pride themselves on offering a relaxed environment where one can unwind the stresses of a days work by drinking and eating late into the night.  The selection of food is extensive, including delicious sliced sashimi, nigiri, yakatori, tofu, okonomiyaki and the list of favourites goes on.  The style of eating and drinking here is similar to tapas in Spanish cuisine, ordering different things to experience a range of flavours as you drink your night away.  I was really impressed with this place, enjoying a great start to a night out on the town.  Above all this place is great value for money, located on the restaurant strip of North Hobart under 'sushi and Crepes'. Get there and book ahead for dinner, this place is busy and vibrant.

Miyabi on Urbanspoon


Churros cafe, Island Markets, Moonah

This is a Spanish delight hidden in the suburban warehouse of Island Markets.  This place is by no means comfy, trendy or authentically presented.  However, find the energy to put up with the chilly air and faint smell of fish from the markets, and you will certainly enjoy the cuisine brought to you by the stars of of Hobart's former Spanish restaurant Cisco's. These ladies bring to you sweet treats such as Churros, generously served with chocolate sauce and cinnamon sugar to classics such as Paella.  Also on certain Friday nights the place comes alive with Spanish dancers, bringing to you the experience of eating out in Spain.  If you are inclined to do some shopping out at Island Markets, check out Churros for a no fuss easy meal or sweet treat.  Remember the experience here is in the food.

Churros Cafe and Coffee Shop on Urbanspoon