Hand me a never ending packet of Tim Tams and a bottomless tube of Pringles and I could quite easily spend the rest of my days on the couch, 2008 NRL grand final on repeat, alternating between sweet and savoury until either my belly moulded itself to the shape of the coffee table or I succumbed to the inevitable coronary!
Surely Cheryl and Naser Daci must be of the same ilk? Why else would you establish a temple to all things savoury only metres away from one of Hobart’s most popular bakeries, Daci & Daci, if not with the intent to wear a concrete furrow between the doors of each?
The Black Footed Pig. Jamón ibérico. Holy grail for porcine appreciators and Pavlovian poster child for quality, Spanish tapas!
Where many venues have appropriated the term ‘tapas’ (certainly more marketable than ‘small portions’), the team behind The Black Footed Pig are actually serving up the real deal. The menu is extensive, offering a variety of interesting little dishes ranging in both size and price.
There is no doubt that tapas are best enjoyed with a group of like minded foodies! Where Karen and I would work our way through perhaps a half dozen dishes, bring along a handful of friends and all of a sudden we’ve got up to a dozen different opportunities to try something new (as an added bonus they just so happen to offer scintillating conversation, pithy quotes and all, in an environment of much bonhomie…winning!).
Our evening began with a selection of smaller dishes, with prices for each ranging between $14 and $18.
Another great aspect of eating out with friends is the range of opinions on the pros and cons of each dish!
The stand out for most was the crispy sesame prawns, with one diner even proclaiming them with much gusto as, “Best prawns EVA!!”; followed closely by the rich, velvety flavours of the duck parfait.
The ceviche was perhaps the biggest let down for all of us, bar one. Unfortunately the sharp and super tangy citrus wedges were far too overpowering for the delicately flavoured fish, to the point that the fish was barely noticeable at times. Gorgeous presentation, but some work needed on getting the balance right.
“Anyone still hungry?”
Up next was one more dish off the ‘Small plates’ page, and two dishes from their ‘Large plates’ page, ranging in price from $22 up to $32.
Here is where things got really interesting!
That steak tartare was a mouth watering revelation of truly epic proportions. We love a good tartare and have eaten quite a few in our time, but this one topped the lot. On noticing how coarsely it had been chopped I was a little worried about the texture, yet the quality of the eye fillet shone through revealing itself to be pillow soft, tender and full of flavour. The herbs and mustard were in perfect balance, accentuating the fillet without being overpowering and the croutons a deliciously crunchy counterpoint.
The pork belly. Hmmm…where do I start? So, so close in some ways, yet in others so far away.
It’s time for another criticism sandwich!
On the upside, the crackle was delicious. Crispy, crunchy and sticky underneath. Not perfect, but really nice all the same.
On the downside, it was tragic to find that the pork had been overdone. My suspicions were raised on noticing one of my companions taking an inordinate amount of time to get through her first mouthful. An anomaly? Unfortunately not, as both pieces of pork belly proved to be overcooked and tough. So much potential, as the flavour was sensational, yet ultimately such a disappointment.
On the upside, the pickled quince!
If I was on death row and they asked me what I would not liked to be served as my last meal, at the top of that list would be anything involving meat and fruit. I’ve never liked it and I would have sworn until I tried that pickled quince and pork belly combination that I never would. How wrong could I be? It was a match made in heaven and was one of those moments that forced me to re-evaluate all my previous prejudices against such a combination. If only for the pork…
It’s worth noting that we did notify our waiter who responded well to the feedback.
When it came to desserts it suddenly seemed as though sharing was no longer an option!!
Wow, wow, wow!
Judging by the mumbles, grunts and lack of conversation, dessert was a winner on all fronts!
Stunning presentation, immaculate balance of flavour without being overly sweet, and the perfect way to cap off a great evening!
The Black Footed Pig is a welcome addition to the ‘tapas’ scene in Hobart.
We loved the variety in the menu, and while not all the dishes rose to such lofty heights as the beef tartare, almost all were of a very decent standard.
Those that weren’t so good? At this point in time I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt as it’s still early days for the team and the potential in those dishes is quite clear, yet currently unrealised.
One aspect of the meal that must be mentioned is the quality of the service we received all evening. Considering that two late and unexpected staff withdrawals had left the single waiter with the whole floor as her responsibility, she performed admirably under what must have been very trying circumstances. The smile never left her face all evening and, despite the pressure, she made us feel right at home.
I’m sure we’ll return to The Black Footed Pig, but first things first, can someone help me off the couch…?
To find out more, drop by their Facebook page here – The Black Footed Pig on Facebook
They’ve also got a very classy looking web page under development here – The Black Footed Pig
Lunch: Fri-Sat, 12pm-2:30pm
Dinner: Tue-Thurs, 5pm – 10pm | Fri-Sat, 5pm-10pm
You’ll find them at 8 Brooke St., Hobart, behind The Telegraph Hotel.
And by special request (thanks Kate :D), here’s an ‘artsy’ photo of the lighting…