Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tapas at Grape Wine Bar

Grape Wine Bar has opened up a new way of eating for Salamanca Place. Cargo is well know for its pizzas and there are several good restaurants in Salamanca Square but when you are hungry but just want small plates with a drink, up until now you would have had to go to Ethos in Elizabeth Street in the Hobart CBD. Not any longer - Grape chef Ivan Haynes has commenced a really very good tapas menu and it's a must try.

After the magnificent West Australian sardines and the bacalao croquetas came marinated mushrooms - all pictured above.

Then some freshly shucked Barilla Bay oysters which had been in the water just two hours earlier.

The trilogy above was next - grilled local octopus, more of those magnificent mushrooms (which speaks for itself), and a tasty chickpea, roast capsicum and fetta salad.

Then came a spectacularly fresh ceviche of blue - eye with lime, red chilli and basil. Next to them for the meat eaters was a dish of fried sliced chorizo.

The ceviche was so good I thought it warranted a close up. You can sense the exquisite freshness from the photo. The dish was really sensational.

And to finish, a plate of garlic prawns cooked with quintessential Spanish simplicity. So what are you waiting for?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Philippe Jacques Leban - Chef Extraordinaire

Last Easter the idea was born for a Web 2 lunch for Twitter and Facebook friends who had never met. Well this year it continued with a ferry ride, another visit to the MONA gallery and a late lunch for 10 at Philippe Leban's table at the Source. Philippe's chocolate dessert pictured above typifies his devotion to perfection.

Marc Bester, seated in the foreground above, was last year our master Easter chocolate maker but this year he became our very talented photographer using his (and my), favourite little camera, the Panasonic Lumix LX5 with a Leica lens with amazing macro capacity. The entrees - first below is my artichoke with slightly aerated goat's Tongola goat's cheese

Marc Bester's snow egg, with grated bacon.

Mary's green Spanner crab meat with PX jelly and foie gras.

Nathan's prawn bisque.

Sid's roast duck with Hassleback turnips.

My Yellowfin tuna with leeks and foie gras.

Veronica's John Dory with Tasmanian vongole and parsley foam.

Diane's roasted vegetables with powdered walnuts.

Marc's grassfed Cape Grim ribeye with bean shoots and Hassleback potatoes and green salad.

The wines - Gosset Excellence NV champagne, Francois Raveneaux 2008 Montee de Tonnerre premiere cru Chablis, Bruno Desaunay - Bissey 2005 Vosne Romaneee and a Philip Bouchard 2005 Gevrey Chambertin.

Fromage. Fou fou.

A Domaine de la Pigeade Beaumes de Venise muscat with the dessert course.

And the maestro himself who very kindly gave me a tour of his new lavish self designed kitchen. All modern high work benches and induction stovetops - not a gas ring to be seen and only one small sous vide bath. It was just amazing to see ducks slow roasting - resting on two wooden spoons in a pan atop the induction plates. A very lucky man and a very happy one.

Thanks Philippe. We'll be back - again and again. Merci beaucoup.