Lunch at The Source, Moorilla.

We took a long  weekend off in Hobart.  Well, we intended to take a weekend off, but I spent most of it doing a job application, as it turned out.  (A successful job application, yay.)  So instead of spending the days relaxing, I spent some part of the days relaxing, other parts working, and in between, got in a couple of very nice meals.  The first of these was a leisurely Friday afternoon lunch at The Source, which is the restaurant at Moorilla Winery.

We took a ferry to get there, and they offered us a wonderful deal, a two course set lunch with our tickets for not much money.  We of course said yes, as the set menu options looked amazing, and we figured we could always branch out if it took our fancy.

The ride out was nice, a pleasant cruise with some colourful local commentary about the good old days of Hobart.  Upon disembarking at the pier, we were met by a lovely staff member in a golf cart, who drove us to the door of the restaurant.  Such service.  We began with some wine (and beer) tasting.  The wines are excellent, although I think both of us preferred the cheaper of the two available Pinot Noirs, a ‘Praxis’ Pinot Noir.  Good wine.  We were paritcularly keen, though, to try the beers, and they didn’t disappoint at all.  While I am a little jaded on both pilsener and IPA, the Moorilla versions were tasty.  The real treats, though, were the Hefeweisen, the Dark ale, and the Stout (this last is only, I am told, on tap, but apparently there is one at Beer Deluxe in Melbourne, well worth getting your hands on a glass of).

That done, we moved to the restaurant for our food.  We were already comfortably impressed by the service and the style of the place, and the restaurant did not disappoint.  Ushered kindly to a pleasant table overlooking the harbour, we began with Goats cheese gnocchi for myself (“Goats Cheese Gnocchi, Jeruslaem Artichoke, Hazelnut”), and a beetroot tart (“Pickled Beetroot tart, Celery Caviar, Lemon Thyme, Creme Fraiche) for M.

The Jerusalem artichoke, both in pureed form and the crispy roasted chunk of it on the right of the photo, was amazing, and the hazelnuts added a nice crunch and textural change to the airy, delicious gnocchi.  The standout part of the beetroot tart was, for me, the celery caviar, and odd texture, but I found them endearing.  Both dishes were delicious.  For the main course, I went for a Cape Grim Angus steak, while M. had the line caught fish of the day with “truffled macaroni, fois gras emulsion and jus.”

Again, the food was delicious, my steak was wonderfully rare, as ordered, and while the fish doesn’t photograph perfectly (probably my fault more than anything else), it tasted incredible.  So much so, that we decided to order a dessert.  In addition to a coffee (good), we had a handmade chocolate each, the jersey caramel being particularly delicious, and we were drawn to a fascinating sounding dessert on the menu, “Chocolate, Olive Oil, Salt.”  Upon asking what exactly this meant, we were told that it was exactly what it said on the tin.  This turned out to be true, but not at all in a bad way.  Pink flakes of Murray River salt on a soft, ganache like chocolate, drizzled with a light and fruity olive oil, and served with crisp bread (which we ate some of, and moved the rest of, before remembering to take a photo of this).  Would definitely get this again, and encourage others to do the same.  Oh, and the glass with the sugar cubes in it made for a nice photo, so that is included here too.

Highly recommend the restaurant and the Winery, excellent food all round, and a wonderful location.  Not crazy prices either.  Website is http://moorilla.com.au/moorilla/

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