It’s been almost 12 months to the day since we first sat down and enjoyed a couple of delicious burgers at Tasman Quartermasters (third best white collar burger in town, but only by the barest of margins!).
Our latest visit came about purely by accident, but in a particularly serendipitous manner. Brat Time was on our radar as the perfect venue for post-work Friday night drinks and a cheeky snack or three later in the evening, but on finding that you could only get their $7 pints when ordered with a meal, we decided to move on and see what was on offer up at TQ.
What a fantastic decision! Not only did they have a great new menu, but we managed to time our visit perfectly, walking in on a Spanish wine fiesta! (is that even a thing?)
Proprietor and bon vivant, Stuart Addison, was working his magic on the masses, pouring red and white wines in a frenzy, while good mate and fellow sommelier, Joseph Burton (ex-The Source!), spruiked the benefits of the various Spanish drops they had on offer (purely medicinal of course) to the heaving alcoholics desperate to forget the week that was.
The best thing of all was that we didn’t have to pay a cent if we weren’t that impressed. You taste, you like, you buy a bottle, or not. Whatever takes your fancy. Judging by the number of punters leaving with their hands full I’d say the latter were in the minority!
Not surprising either, as the quality of wine was quite decent indeed. We were keen for something to accompany a couple of thick steaks later in the weekend, and were recommended the 1999 Cune Crianza from the Rioja wine region. Made from 100% tempranillo grapes I was expecting a heavy and intense red, similar to a number of South Australian tempranillos I’d tried previously. With Josephs expert tutelage this ended up being a real education. It turns out that tempranillo grown at higher altitudes actually produces a much lighter, elegant and refined wine than those to which I’ve become accustomed. It was delicious and we packed one away for later!
Moving next door into the main room we sat ourselves down at the long table and perused the drinks list. I’m a sucker for a G&T and of course they just had to have a selection of three on offer! By the time our meals had arrived I’d consumed two (one with Lark Pepperberry, and one with the Scottish ‘Small Batch’ gin), while Karen had cleaned up a Royal Gillespie and made a start on a sensational glass of a 2006 Morningside Cabernet (Stu is a very canny operator, offering us a couple of tastings of the Morningside straight after we sat down…it obviously made enough of an impression on Karen for her to put an order in!). The gins weren’t bad, but I’ve recently grown very fond of Plymouth gin as the base for a good G&T and didn’t think either tasted quite as good. Just add a slice of lime and I’m in heaven!
We thought we’d start with an entrée to share, ordering the Bruny Island Game Plate ($9). I’m sure I’m preaching to the converted, but fried wallaby and possum kransky have long been renowned as an essential and wildly popular kickstarter for any night out on the town…
The carnivore that I am, I loved this dish. Salty, fatty and cooked perfectly! Very moreish.
Dinner was the ‘mini Beast’ for myself, consisting of a 300g porterhouse fillet, mushrooms, jus, house slaw and a serve of sumac dusted fries ($25).
They claim it’s ‘slow-cooked’ and unlike similar claims from other dubious Hobart eateries, this was clearly the real deal. I did find the layer of fat just a tad thick for my liking, but other than that it was the perfect steak; delicate in texture, yet full of robust flavour.
Karen tried the TQ Steak Sanga with Bacon and Pickles ($14).
All I can say is that this was one very special dish and I wish I had ordered it! The steak was just as tender as the one in front of me, but throw in the crispy bacon, incredibly flavoursome pickles and a blanket of cheese and you had an absolute triumph on a platter. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a burger, but if it was, it would rocket straight to the top of the leaderboard!
Señor Addison, thank you for a wonderful evening that we’re not going to forget in a long, long time! We’re very happy to hear that the wine tasting evenings are going to become a much more regular fixture, and look forward to joining you, and your gorgeous border collie, again sometime soon.
For more info regarding TQ, including their wine sessions, drop by their Facebook page here.