Before we delve into the world of Garagistes, I’m just going to start by saying, “Man are we backlogged!”
We visited Tasmania last year in June (Her Majesty’s birthday if you must know) with Az and Al and we are only getting around to blogging on one of the meals now.
If we were to be doing this for a living, The Boy and I would be fired. It’s a good thing we are not and this is just perfect for Flashback Friday (See what I did there?)
We only had two items on our hit list for our weekend in Tassie. One was to visit MONA (Museum of Old and New Art)* and two was to dine at Garagistes.
One we can’t share with you for fear of losing the element of surprise and awe and the second we are sharing with you a few months late. But late is better than never!
When we visited last winter, Garagistes had a no booking policy. Which resulted in the four of us turning up just before 6pm and not getting a table until 9pm. It turned out that the whole of Melbourne and Sydney were in Tasmania that weekend doing the same thing. Upon speaking to others, we discovered that the wait time is not usually that ridiculous. However, from then until now, it seems that Garagistes is now open to customers making reservations (so the novelty must have worn off).
*I really think that it should be renamed to Musuem of OMG and NFI Amazing**
** I am now adding what seems to be footnotes to posts
Now before I go into how much I loved the food and how Az felt most of the dishes were “interesting”, I will have to say, that because of the long wait, I didn’t feel that the food was worth it at the end of the day. If I had been able to make a reservation (as you can now) and had a different experience, I think I would have been pretty wowed and blown away.
For $85 per person to complete a degustation, all four of us were expecting amazing dishes. Though I appreciated the technicalities in presenting each of the dishes and the thought process that went behind each dish, I can’t say that I was completely bowled over. It may have been the two bowls of chips which the four of us consumed whilst abating our hunger in the spot next door.
Would I go back again? I think so. The Boy definitely would. He out of the four of us appreciated the dishes the most and if I were to be fair, I would give them another go provided I didn’t have to wait nearly 3 hours to enjoy my meal.
Egg, Leek Ash, Sea Blight, Oyster and Puffed Brown Rice
Now on to the meal in itself. As a precursor to our meal, we were given this warm starter.
I really liked the different interplays of texture in this dish and liked the creaminess of the egg.
Periwinkles, Ham Hock Bouillon, Smoked Eel, Sea Herbs, Oca Root
I am a sucker for smoked eel and definitely loved that element in the dish. The broth was very light and delicate as well.
Octopus cooked over coals, Stinging Nettle Sauce, Heirloom Radish, Lebanese Cress
I’ll have to admit that this was a spectacular looking dish and similar to what The Boy might plate up in one of his Playground dishes. So pretty.
Taste wise, I guess I was hoping for a strong flavour to go with the octopus. Stinging Nettle on its own is quite bland and I’m not sure if it was paired well with such a strong textured meat. However, this was one of the dishes that inspired The Boy to create another Playground dish, so he must have appreciated it.
Baked Potato Puree, Prune Essence, Dried Olive, Garagistes Plum Kernel Oil, Black Garlic
I find it ironic that we would have had to travel far and wide to a reputable restaurant and pay good money to really appreciate the earthiness of potatoes.
Man, this for us four was the winning dish. It reminded me of summer and winter in one dish. Even now, nine months on, I can still remember the essence of this dish.
I love potatoes a lot (I swear I was Irish in my past life) and this has got to be my favourite potato dish ever***
Milk-fed Flinders Island Lamb, Fresh Curds, Turnips, Cimi di Rapa
It would have been sinful if we didn’t get served Flinders Island Lamb dining here. Luckily, we were all angels that night and were served this beautifully tender piece of baby sheep.
The most exciting part of this dish was the cold fresh curd which made me instantly think of the Asian dessert known as tau foo fah (soy bean curd). So wobbly and creamy and good.
Parsnip Burnt Cream, Walnut Ice Cream, Salted Walnuts, Dried Blackberry & Saltbush
I have a new-found love with Parsnip in desserts and now as I reminisce on this dish, I wished I had been able to have it over again. I loved that this was more suited to my savoury palate as I don’t have much of a sweet tooth (I may bake a lot of cakes, but that don’t mean I eat desserts or my cakes).
All in all, you can see that the food indeed was good. I may have been a bit harsh when I started the post but I think it was a fair point that I had to make.
One day, we will return to Hobart, Tasmania and when we do, you can count on us making a reservation to dine at Garagistes.
*Disclaimer: All food ratings & review are purely based on my own experiences and how I feel about the service, food and quality at the time of visit
Food/ Cuisine: Modern Australian
Dining Style: Restaurant
Wednesday to Saturday, from 6:00pm
103 Murray Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: (03) 6231 0558
How to get there: