Don’t get me wrong, Vietnamese food is insanely good!
Considering it took me 30 years to evolve from 2-minute chicken-flavoured Maggi noodles (often dry out of the packet…great playground snack!!) to ‘gourmet’ Mi-Goreng from the Asian food aisle at Woolies, I feel like over the last 30 days I’ve levelled up to the big time in all things noodle!!
You know what though? Just like that feeling you get after destroying a child-sized chocolate rabbit for Easter, sometimes you CAN have too much of a good thing and it’s simply time for a plain old cup of tea and a lie down.
Our first dinner on arrival back on these fair shores? A good old Aussie steak and a glass of red.
Our first breakfast in Tasmania? An ‘MV Big Breakfast’ (Nonna’s eggs, MV beans, sourdough toast, bacon,
mushrooms & chipolatas) and a ‘Breakfast Panini’ (bacon, Nonna’s eggs, house relish on panini) from Rosny’s Moto Vecchia Cafe!
Natalina, the creator and cook behind Moto Vecchia, brings a wealth of Calabrian cooking tradition and knowledge to every dish they serve up to their hungry guests. I can just imagine the children of Vietnamese migrants suffering the same playground lunch critiques as those from Italy back in the post-war era for having the gall to bring anything other than vegemite on white bread to school!!
While a big breakfast isn’t exactly steeped in Italian tradition, Natalina introduces a little bit of Italian flair via the nicely spiced bean and chickpea mix. She did mention that the chipolata’s aren’t house made, and that’s a shame because I didn’t get the same depth of flavour in these that I got throughout the rest of the dish. I’d love to see some of her homemade sausage on the side instead, as they sound sensational! Despite this, the bacon they use is an absolute stand out, with a delicious smokiness I’ve not encountered in other breakfasts across Hobart.
A bit like myself, a panini is never a complicated affair, but it too was thankful for the fantastic bacon nestled inside the two lightly floured pillows of fluffy bread!
Just what the doctor ordered for post-holiday food recalibration!
If the great food (and coffee!) wasn’t enough, it is simply impossible to walk through the doors at Moto Vecchia (‘Old Motorcycle’) without noticing the motorcycle related paraphernalia and full sized bikes strategically positioned around the front and rear sections of the cafe.
While I’m not a rider, and our travels through Vietnam leave me thinking that only those with a serious death wish would ever mount such a flimsy and unreliable steed on those manic and ill-constructed roads…as a photographer I can appreciate the clean lines and artistic Italian flair that have gone into the design of each of these beautiful machines.
Whether it’s a Vespa or a Moto Guzzi, from an aesthetic perspective those classic creations are sublime!
On their business card is an image of Natalina’s grand father seated on an old Moto Guzzi. It’s been a long time coming, but Natalina has finally been successful in securing one of these gorgeous bikes and it is now proudly on display in the main room (see photo directly above). In the very short chat we had with Natalina the excitement was palpable, with this mechanical addition to the family clearly meaning a lot to them all!
At Natalina’s urging we spent a few minutes exploring the posters, bikes and other collectibles. It was through these explorations that we realised there is a large outdoor section at the rear also available to patrons. The joint was fairly jumping when we arrived at 11am on a Saturday morning, securing the very last table for two, and by all accounts they were quieter than usual!!
We didn’t try their sweets or biscuits, but the range is comprehensive (assuming you’re early enough and they haven’t sold out!) and again borrows a lot from Natalina’s heritage.
There are some real gems opening up on Hobart’s eastern shore, and Moto Vecchia is up there with the best. Not content with offering cafe staples, they have made a significant effort to put a little bit of their heart and heritage on display to the paying public.
Other meals on offer from the breakfast menu include a macadamia muesli or that delicious bean mix on toast, while for lunch you can try their calzone, eggplant fritters or spinach and ricotta cannelloni at around $16 per dish. Nearly half the menu is vegetarian (not that you’d notice!), however there are only a couple of basic gluten free options.
You’ll find Moto Vecchia in Rosny at 35 Gordons Hill Road, near the roundabout out the back of Eastlands and the Council Chambers. They are contactable on (03) 62443434.
Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8am – 4pm, while on Saturday they are open from 9:30am to 2:30pm. Closed Sunday.