If there was a personality contest for cafes, Raincheck Lounge would be crowned in glory. It’s the life of the North Hobart party.
A casual glance inside always reveals a life-full café, always comfortably occupied, always humming with the energy of its customers.
Raincheck’s success relies on its informal setting, its style of menu, the extended opening hours and its consistency.
Not since the old days of Kaos Cafe (now Marmalade) have Hobartians enjoyed such a chilled café space. You won’t feel rushed here. Here you can dwell and enjoy the social occasion of eating and hanging out.
It’s something about the combination of the wall art, furnishings and low lighting, but it makes for a groovy café without pretenses. You can’t help feel just a little cooler, a little hipper, a little more happening, just for taking a seat at one of their tables.
Raincheck is largely tapas style eating during lunch and dinner. You’re encouraged to mull over a decent list of small plates. Tapas are priced between $3.50 - $18. They have larger plates and they also offer the Chef’s Table, $75 for two people, with wine for $120, or each plate sold separately. The cost of the Chef's Table includes sourdough with oil and balsamic and a side of kipflers.
The Two Girls chose the four course Chef’s Table on our visit including:
Spiced lamb cutlets with cayenne and paprika celeriac puree ($15)
Wild mushroom salad with hazelnuts and shallot vinaigrette ($15.50)
Prosciutto wrapped flathead, asparagus and caper butter ($27). The Two Girls traded the side of kipflers for chippies. Deconstruction: lemon, meringue, pie ($12.50).
And a little extra when we realised we'd missed the bus (see below).
We went with the 2012 Milton Pinot Gris for $42, an excellent East Coast vineyard.
The lunch menu also focuses on tapas but you can choose a roll or burger with chips and salad, or one of a small number of other plates. All for under $20.
For breakfast you’ll find the standards including loads of eggs in various shapes and forms, and for something a little more different, sardines or corn fritters. The breakfast menu is extended over brunch with the inclusion of burger options.
Raincheck is open seven days and has long hours. It’s a great stand by for any meal and with its tapas and cakes, it caters for snacks and morning and afternoon tea too. It’s a great alternative to a drink at a pub because of its solid wine list.
The food and service are reliably good which leads us to its final vantage point. As the charismatic manager, Juppy reckons, consistency is their cornerstone.
Juppy’s been managing Raincheck for over two years now and Raincheck has been open almost ten years. And like him, service is friendly and fun and the quality of meals can be anticipated. It’s food they love and want to share with others.
We like to excite ourselves with what we serve. We’re confident in what we’re providing and we’re trying to provide food we love to eat, prepare and food that we’re happy to deliver to somebody else.
Juppy is formerly of Gondwana. His head chef is Andrew Lax apprenticed at the Elbowroom years ago (when it was an awesome fancy-pants French restaurant) and he has worked at Panache and T42. Raincheck is owned by Carl Windsor.
For more information, check out their webpage here.
Find them at 392 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart.
If you want a table, it’s safest to book although walk-ins can get lucky. Call them on 03 6234 5975.