TASMANIA’S WILD, FRESH FOOD SCENE
It’s the peak of Tasmanian winter and get lost has me on a barge …
hauling up an oyster crate from below the wild waves of the Tasman Sea. Tom is an oyster farmer of 24 years and he teaches me how to shuck one. As he’s calmly flicking his knife with the precision of a chef, I notice he’s missing a finger on one hand.
Nevertheless I heed his advice and manage to pry one open and give it a taste. It’s a salty delight, as fresh as fresh could possibly be. I eat it while rocking wildly on the choppiest of days, sea spray soaking us consistently. Tom’s wholesaler tells me there’s a once in a five year swell due on the weekend.
“I can’t wait mate,” he says, with wild eyes.
This offers a prism of the food scene down here; a little wild, a lot delicious, quintessentially Tasmanian.
Dark Mofo, the world’s best golf courses, massive surf and epic hiking are things we’ve associated with Tasmania for a long time.
But Ben Milbourne, Culinary Curator at the slick, slightly unhinged Tassie restaurant Peacock and Jones, says food is now number one on people’s list.
“I would say the food tourism has become Tasmania’s biggest drawcard,” he says.
“We’re seeing the crest of this wave that is a real change in food culture. We’ve got this young generation coming through now, and they’ve got such a pride in Tasmania and travelling to Tassie.”
“There’s some real creative energy coming out of here and it’s translating to food.”
Straight off the boat: the oysters you eat at a restaurant in Hobart have probably come out of the water earlier that day.
Click to watch
Ben Milbourne (left) and Julian Volkmer, Culinary Curator and Head Chef at Peacock and Jones restaurant, Hobart.
Peacock and Jones do things a little differently. They barely source produce outside of Tasmania, except for German Head Chef Julian Volkmer.
They are also taking a novel approach to, and I quote Milbourne, “eating the problem”, when it comes to dealing with an over-abundance of certain resources.
Wallaby tartare is on the menu, due to the wallaby population reaching unprecedented numbers, posing a danger on the roads and elsewhere.
Sea urchins – which are those spiky, colourfully ugly creatures that cause a heap of angst when you step on one – are way oversupplied in numbers down south. How do you combat this? By eating them, obviously.
“Going out and catching some urchin was to show a true Tasmanian experience. Most Tasmanians have been out in the water, have had access to urchins, abalone, crayfish, scallops,” he tells me.
“Urchin is an invasive species, which is impacting crayfish stocks. It has a sweet, salty sort of flavour. It’s a great, non-commercial catch which is starting to become a really viable option for people to put on their menu.”
Fortunately, this isn’t too difficult a proposition to sell because urchins are surprisingly delicious.
Sea urchins are way oversupplied in numbers down south. How do you combat this? By eating them, obviously.
Milbourne takes us out on a boat to near Bruny Island, just out of Hobart, and plunges bravely into the chill of the 7-degree water to fish for urchin.
Sure, you have to work hard for it – Tassie’s water is cold most of the year, and from one urchin you only get about enough to spread across a biscuit – but they are everywhere, and there’s a salty sweetness to this slimy delicacy that makes get lost hanker for more.
You can get it on the menu at Peacock at Jones: East Coast Sea Urchin on Toast, where it is served with brioche, burnt broccoli, fennel and radish.
Peacock and Jones offers an ever changing a la carte menu that celebrates the beauty of Tasmanian food. It is located within the confines of the Henry Jones Art Hotel.
PEACOCK AND JONES 33 Hunter St, Hobart TAS 7000
Urchins on brioche – a little sweet, a little salty.
THE NEW NEGRONI
get lost are asking the world’s best mixologists to give some insider secrets...
on how to make some of their favourite cocktails.
If you’re going to get someone to show you how to make a cocktail, the Head Bartender at the world’s best bar probably isn’t the worst place to start.
Liana Oster was a bartender at Dante’s when the legendary, circa-1915 New York City spot won Best Bar in the World in 2019.
Her spell in NYC is sandwiched between time at Melbourne’s Bar Americano, and NoMad Bar in London, where she is currently Bar Director.
“At the NoMad our philosophy to drink-making is collaboration, and using fresh and seasonal produce in both our kitchens and bars.
“Often we will collaborate with our pastry and kitchen teams to use by-products or similar ingredients within our menus.
“The Pandan Negroni is such a delicate take on the classic. Coffee and bitters have always been a wonderful match but the addition of pandan and coconut really brighten the drink. Here we choose to use coconut water as a diluting agent as well which keeps the richness of the flavors intact throughout the whole cocktail experience.”
Pour into glass over Party Ice
MUDDLER → MIXOLOGIST
BIT OF A SQUARE → CRUSHING IT
5ml Cold Brew
15ml Unfiltered Coconut Water
22.5ml Cocchi di Torino Vermouth
30ml Pandan infused Taptio Reposado Tequila (recipe below)
PANDAN INFUSION RECIPE
Chinois sealed Bags & Labels
Tapatio Tequila 500ml
Pandan Leaves x 2
Cryovac pandan and tequila together.
Steam at 70C at 100% humidity for 30 minutes.
Pass through chinois.
Rebottle and label.
THE ABSENT EAR
Don’t you hate it when you walk down some stairs into a dodgy looking underground haunt in the red-light district...
and it turns out to be a really cool, hidden cocktail bar?
We don't! This is get lost’s bread and butter, and it’s the scenario at The Absent Ear, where the entry appears much more like somewhere you’d find in Amsterdam.
The bar was inspired by the artist Vincent van Gogh (hence the name) and is a little crazy, as you’d expect a bar in his honour to be. It’s also shrouded in mystery because you only find out the location once you book. Once you do manage to find it, there’s a wild collection of cocktails on offer, including the unbelievably delicious sounding (and looking) Tiramisu Flip: Diplomatico dark rum, cherry, coffee, chocolate, biscoff and an egg.
It’s dark and dingy with red lighting, it’s a little unhinged, and we love it.
THE ABSENT EAR 10 John Street, Glasgow
RAMEN MASAHIRO EMOTO
As a food writer, and a former get lost editor, Carrie Hutchinson knows a thing or two about both food and travelling.
Here she lets us in on a little secret when it comes to ramen in Tokyo.
"In Japan, ramen is comfort food. In Tokyo alone there are more than 20,000 places where you can eat it, and everyone has a favourite.
"You can smell why Ramen Masahiro Emoto in Meguro City is different even before you enter. It’s all about niboshi ramen, where the broth is flavoured with dried sardines. Chef Masahiro Emoto apparently went through more than 200 iterations of the soup before he was happy, but he’s always looking for ways to improve it.
"The rich broth, over a portion of bouncy noodles, is full of fish flakes and topped with a slice of pork, bamboo shoots, chopped onion, grated ginger and nori."
SHARE THIS ARTICLE