Monday, April 16, 2018

Iluka Tavern, Coles Bay

31 Esplanade
Coles Bay
Tasmania 7215

The Iluka tavern in Coles Bay is an unprepossessing building, sat across the road from a waterside park amongst a small collection of businesses. Inside the modern furnishings and fit out gave it a more contemporary feel.

The menu included plenty of classic pub dishes...

...with a couple of less typical items.

The specials were more varied.

I went for the Aloo Gobi, a vegetarian mild Indian curry of cauliflower and potato, served with saffron rice, pappadums and raita. The dish was enjoyable and delivered on it's promise, whilst also feeling healthy and satisfying.

The Lamb curry from the specials board delivered pleasant flavours.

Whilst the best views of the sunset came from the park across the road, we could still enjoy some of the spectacular skies while we dined. The two meals came to $46 which felt like good value, and although there isn't too much competition in town the pub certainly didn't seem to be resting on its laurels.

Iluka Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, April 6, 2018

Beachfront Bistro, Bicheno

232 Tasman Highway
Tasmania 7215

The Bistro at the 'Beachfront Bicheno' sits on the Tasman highway just to the north of the centre of town with stunning views across to Waub's Bay and the coast line.

It was busy on the late summer weeknight we dropped by, in fact we'd missed out at our intended destination as it was booked out! We got a window table which maximised our enjoyment of the vista.

The specials list was extensive and offered a variety of dishes to compliment the regular menu.

The Yellow fin Tuna came with roasted sweet potato, a rocket, olive and feta salad and lemon caper butter. The fish got a big thumbs up, although the other components weren't perhaps the ideal compliment.

I went for the Wallaby porterhouse which came with veggies, baked polenta and masala jus. Although I've had a fair bit of kangaroo before, wallaby was new to me, it was a similar meat and in this case maybe a little rarer than the medium advised on the menu. The two generous chunks of meat were lean and flavoursome which kept me happy, while the vegetables and polenta did the job.

The food came to $60 and were ordered at the counter, the service was fine. The atmosphere was fairly subdued even though it was busy. The sunset views made it a memorable meal and it is certainly worth checking out the specials list if you visit.

Beachfront Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Wharf Fish and Chips at Tasmanian Coast Seafoods, Bicheno

48 Waubs Esplanade
Tasmania 7215

The Wharf Fish and Chips is situated at the Gulch or harbour in Bicheno, which is a 10 minute walk from the main street. There was a queue at the small counter area on the road side of the building where we waited to place our order. After selecting the fish box I wandered down the path past the kitchen window to the decking area at the back. The area was fitted out with tables on a deck overlooking the water, another counter offering drinks (alcoholic and non) and a covered eating area with floor to ceiling windows.

The vista is pretty special with a few boats tied up at the jetty, so on a pleasant evening it was no chore to while away twenty minutes for our food to be prepared.

Our box was generously packed with both fish and chips, the shot was taken after a fair share had been removed! Oddly the batter was quite sweet, which was the only quibble with the meal.

The Greek salad featured all the usual content and provided a variation in colour, texture and flavours.

The spectacular views make this a perfect location for fish and chips and probably worth checking out for that reason alone. 

The Gulch Fish & Chips Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Lichen Restaurant, Binalong Bay, Tasmania

Main Road
Binalong Bay
Tasmania 7216

Our first attempt to book a table at Lichen Restaurant didn't work out, we'd left it too late on a late summer Saturday to get a spot and it turned out that a power cut meant that they were going to be late opening, apparently they made it rough in the end though.

We returned on the Sunday to find things humming along smoothly, including the open area of the kitchen with its wood fired pizza oven.

The views across Binalong Bay from our table on the deck were second to none!

The grilled local fish on spinach and a potato nori fritter with ponzu mayo and lemon butter looked great and went down very well.

I had the Bari pizza. The base was super thin in authentic Italian style with the wood oven helping puff up the crust. The prawns had been sliced in half, which given their size made sense and everything came together well.

The service was friendly and speedy, if slightly haphazard at times. With a glass of wine and pale ale the bill came to $83.60 including a 10% service charge, which came as a bit of a surprise. The restaurant is the only option in town and has a superb location, but doesn't rely on those factors alone and is certainly worth a visit.

Lichen Restaurant and Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Bridport Cafe

97 Main Street
Tasmania 7262

As a foodblogger I probably shouldn't admit that I hadn't known that the Bridport Cafe had won the Australian Cafe of the Year Award in 2014, or maybe we should just be happy that we sniffed it out anyway!

It is set up in an old cottage on the top end of the main street, with a tree emerging from the decking outside. It was pretty busy outside so we ended up inside on one of the eclectic mix of tables. The breakfast menu covered the standard offerings...

I went for the poached eggs on toasted sourdough which came topped with rocket. I was very happy with the eggs which had lovely runny yolks.

The scrambled eggs also turned out well along with a side of mushrooms.

The long black hit the spot and set us up for a stroll around town before hitting the road again!

From the deck the view extends to the beach through the trees.

The staff were friendly and efficient, with ours meals coming quickly enough to stave off our hunger. The bill came in at $37.40 with a couple of coffees, which seemed fair giving the quality of the meals. We could certainly see why it had won its award!
The Bridport Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, February 23, 2018

The renovated Victoria Hotel, Footscray

43 Victoria Street
VIC 3011

Although we visited the old Harts Hotel a few times we were happy to see a change and a move on from the TAB and pokies dominated vibe. The new Victoria Hotel is quite different with a new central bar dominating the main space along with some high tables and booths. There is a seperate dining area and a small courtyard with more tables outside.

The menu features some Aussie pub classics with a few other options. We ended up paying a couple of visits with family over the last couple of weeks and got to check out several dishes.

Stu was expecting Black Pudding with a Pork Scotch Egg, but  got a Scotch Egg featuring an egg coated in minced Black Pudding and Pork, served with water cress and apple chutney. He was pretty happy with the result and combination of meats had that distinctive black pudding flavour.

The Scallop and Prawn ravioli with cauliflower, burnt butter and bottarga got high praise.

The steak was ordered medium rare and came slightly under by our estimation, but was otherwise a success.

I reverted to type and had the beer battered Blue Grenadier and triple cooked fries with salad and tartar sauce. The batter on the fish was a little dark and I was a little worried it was over cooked, but it tasted good and was appropriately crunchy and surrounded a moist piece of fish. The chips and salad were fine too.

The double cheese burger looked a little small but was packed with kimchi mayonnaise, burger relish and came with triple cooked fries.

On our second visit we shared the Garlic Bread which was a substantial looking loaf and came dripping with butter with the strong flavours from the garlic along with tarragon, chervil and parsley.

The fish pie was on the specials list for this visit, which had changed in the interim, we were warned it would mean a 25 minute wait. The mashed potato and cheese topping was nicely browned, below was a melange of fish and a light creamy sauce packed with flavour.

I nervously ordered the tandoori spiced and roasted cauliflower being concerned about how substantial it would be. As I was assured when I ordered, the half head of cauliflower along with the brown lentils, mango chutney and coriander was a good sized dish. The combination of flavours, especially those from the chutney was great.

The spectacular salt and vinegar onion rings stole the visual show atop the bangers and mash with red wine jus. The sausages themselves were heavily packed with meat, the rings crunchy and light.

The service from the bar and wait staff was all friendly and the meals came out at a good pace. On both a weekend and weekday evenings the place was pretty full with limited tables remaining and a decent buzz around. The meals were good, perhaps the only gripe were that the prices for teh overall meals seemed a tad high in comparison with other similar options locally, with four of us and a couple of drinks the bill was $180ish, for three with a drink each just over $100. As we live just down the road I'm sure we will continue to drop in from time to time, and more often than the once every year or two pre-reno!

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