It was a rare treat in Hobart, at Garagistes for a Sunday lunch. A four hours six courses degustation with matching wines, selected and imported from France by Sue Dyson and Roger McShane.
The very talented chef, Luke Burgess and his partner, Katrina, owners of Garagistes with a third partner first opened the one of a kind restaurant in Hobart seven months ago. It is different with an open, industrial ambiance – casual, yet very smart at 103, Murray Street, Hobart. The place was an old Volkswagen garage converted into an open and slick restaurant with custom designed long communal tables and chairs, open bar and kitchen. It is the type of restaurant that you will find in any great cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and SOHO in London.
I have meant to go there many times since it was opened but never make it until this Sunday. Thanks to our friends who live in the Huon Valley. We have not seen them for over a year. They asked if we like to go for lunch at The Garagistes, a special event organised by Sue and Roger, importers of the most exquisites French wines in Australia. Sue and Roger organised this special event with Luke and Katrina to showcase the wines from Domaine Saint Nicolas, a 39 hectares family vineyard run by Thierry Michon, with the most incredible and creative dishes I ever had in Tasmania.
The place was packed with some familiar faces, including Dirk Meure, owner of D’meure Wine, Rodney and Severine Dunn of The Agrarian Kitchen, and of course, Sue Dyson and Roger McShane of Terroir Wines.
This was the most exquisite sanguinaccio I ever had. It was heaven in my mouth when mixed with a bit of the green tomato conserva. Absolutely beautiful.
The fourth course was caramelised lamb breast plus grade 8 wagyu sirloin, bouillon, salsify, purple top turnips, kale with matching wine Domain St Nicolas Feifs VendeensCuvee Le Poire 2007.
The fifth and second last course was a Garagistes’ washed rind with carrot jam with matching wine, Domain St Nicolas Feifs Vendeens Le Haut des Claus Blanc 2007. This was really, really good. A cheese to die for.
The last and sixth course was a caraway and goat ice cream with buttermilk mousse, lachlan pears, marcona almond praline with matching wine, Domain St Nicolas Vin de Table Soleil de Chine Blanc 2009.
The dishes were served in a nice, earthy custom designed stoneware, or on a black granite tablet. It was a special and nice touch from a conventional round, rectangular or square white plate.
Garagistes is rated as one of the best and innovative restaurant in Tasmania. It is unique and interesting. Luke’s food is new, creative and exciting. The feeling that went through my mind and the sensation of the fine food inside the restaurant transformed me back to Sydney. It was hard to imagine that I was in the centre of Hobart CBD.
It was the entire experience at Garagistes – the food, the wine, the service, the ambiance, the communal tables and chairs, the dish’s stoneware, the wine glasses – that made my Sunday lunch one of the best I ever had in Tasmania.