Hands up everyone who wishes they were Latvian!!
How about if I told you you get an extra day of presents, food and good times every year?!
I thought so!
As with a lot of other European cultures, in addition to Christmas and birthdays Latvians also celebrate their Name Day. Back in the day when everyone was named after either a church saint or martyr this was pretty easy to manage, as there weren’t too many names to choose from. These days, the list of official names that qualify for a ‘Name Day’ has grown considerably to account for the move toward more non-traditional names.
It’s also one more reason why it doesn’t pay to be a bogan!
Jayden? Brittany? Taneesha? Sorry, but you get nothing. Get a proper name and try again!
So what does this have to do with breakfast at Pollen Tea Room? It was Karen’s Name Day! While she isn’t a Latvian per se, the fact that she’s put up with Yours Truly for more than 13 years of marriage means she gets some of the perks by association!
The Pollen Tea Room is located in the heart of Hampden Road at Battery Point, one of Hobart’s best suburbs for gourmet foods. Specialising in tea (duh…) they also offer a number of great breakfast options ranging from baked eggs and trifles to the more traditional Bircher Muesli and bruschettas.
We’d heard some very positive reviews of their baked eggs, so for Karen it was the Tasmanian Free Range Baked Green Eggs, while I had the regular Baked Eggs.
After hearing such good things about the eggs we had high hopes. Perhaps we’d built them up a little too high because for both of us they didn’t quite hit the mark. You couldn’t say that either dish was bad by any means, but they didn’t really make the taste buds sing!
It would be reasonable to expect some elevated acidity in the regular baked eggs due to the intensity of the tomatoes in the tomato and basil sauce, but for me it went too far, resulting in each mouthful containing a tiny little hint of disappointment. Such a shame because it had the potential to be amazing!
While I found the baked green eggs to be better, they were let down by the overly oily nature of the dish. I’m not sure if it was a by-product of the egg-cooking process, or perhaps it was from the walnut and basil pesto (I suspect this was the case); either way the texture let the dish down a little.
To accompany the meal, Karen decided to try something a little different to your regular cappuccino, trying the Fresh Chai Coffee instead.
Very nice presentation in the old tea pot, but in Karen’s words this was, “interesting…but probably not something I would try again”. I’m not a coffee drinker at all, so my opinion probably isn’t worth much, but I felt the same. While you could certainly taste both the spice of the chai and the bitterness of the coffee, together it was a rather odd combination!
I was boring and had a plain old hot chocolate.
Besides the food, the service and ambience at Pollen Tea Room were great! Very attentive and the meals arrived at the table in record time.
There is a single room at the front and a small al fresco area out the back, so seating is limited. We ended up sitting adjacent to another couple at a single long table. Not a problem by any means, but if you’re hoping for a table for two then it may be a bit hit or miss.
The room itself is very tastefully decorated, with all sorts of interesting knick-knacks and curios filling the various nooks and crannies. According to their website they’ve actually made all the furniture by hand out of recycled timber! While I found the odd protruding rivet on the table top a little annoying at times, the quality of the furniture is top notch and fits the aesthetic perfectly.
So overall I guess you could say that we left Pollen Tea Room feeling happy and satisfied, but not ecstatic.
Would we return?
I’d say yes, but there are a number of other Hobart cafes that we’ll be trying first.
Taste – 3/5
Coffee – NA
Menu – 3/5
Atmosphere – 4/5
Service – 5/5
Value – 4/5
Overall – 3/5