Perth – a small town outside of Launceston, Tasmania. It is a historical town with many buildings dating back in the early 1800s. It is located on Midland Highway en-route between Launceston and Hobart, closer to Launceston about 20 km south.
I was driving up to Launceston from Hobart last Thursday for work. The main highway that connects the two major cities in Tasmania is known as “The Midlands Highway”, also known in recent time as the “The Heritage Highway” for all the historical towns and buildings along the highway. The first record of movement between the two cities was in 1821 when then Governor Lachlan Macquarie selected sites for towns to be built along the highway. My favourite towns to stop for a short break on the journey between the two cities (traveling from South) are Oatland (to browse at the antique shops), Ross (for the scenery, tree-scape and shops) and Perth for “Ut Si”.
Ut Si is a lovely cafe in a renovated 1838 historical church building with a beautiful cottage garden and self-sustainable herbs and vegetable compound. It is quaint, neat and well kept. The cafe is a mum and son team. Colette runs the cafe with her son, Julian, as the Chef. If you are lucky, you will get to spot their resident chook!
The first time I have been to Ut Si was few months ago. Our friends introduced us to the cafe and food after a nice Sunday morning market day at Evandale. I still remember vividly the food, service and place. It was an enjoyable experience and a great way to wrap-up our weekend roadtrip with our friends to the North.
On this recent trip which was work related, I decided to stop at Ut Si for a light lunch before arriving at my office in Launceston. I was very excited about the prospect of being able to eat at Ut Si again. The garden which graces the church compound is as neat as before (even in the slightly wet and damp day). There is something about the place – not sure what? Maybe it is the church – I felt relax, calm as I walked up the footpath towards the main entrance of the building. At the entrance, I was graciously welcomed by their resident chook (oh, I was told by Colette that the chook is not supposed to be standing there).
I entered the building. It has a lovely country charm and appeal to the building, which was cleverly renovated over a period of 9 months! Even the long timber table was hand crafted. I met Colette, Julian and their staff, Fiona. Colette is a fellow food blogger with her own blogspot, Utsicafe. We had a nice chat before other customers arrived. I ordered Julian’s special of the day – risotto with Huon mushroom flavoured in thyme.
The risotto was cooked perfectly. It was light, not too creamy and not too wet. There were plenty of mushrooms to enjoy in this dish. I love it and felt satisfied after the meal, just right and not over eaten as I had to continue with my drive to Launceston and conduct a training class for my client.
Thanks, Colette and Julian for a wonderful meal. 🙂
Oops, I forgot to mention. You can also buy freshly baked bread.