Hobart’s food scene has had a growth spurt of epic proportions.
Fashion and food is fickle. So obviously are The Two Girls.
We might have declared the next big thing in restaurants and bars earlier so consider this the retraction.
Frank Restaurant and Bar is now Hobart’s ‘IT girl’.
Housed on Franklin Wharf with water views one side and leafy green Morrison Street on the other, Frank Restaurant and Bar is the place you will want to be.
Self-professed modern Australian with Southern American influences, Frank plays hosts to asado and Latino flavours in MONA-esque architecture. A central cage, floor to ceiling windows, themed with South American deities, black, pink and red; graffiti, and decent sized slabs of Tasmanian timber. The design is gorgeous and just a little bit Melbourne, but better, because it’s here. Created by the gorgeous Smolt owners, their signature style is on display.
Hobart’s wharf area had its heyday and since then it has plodded along. Which is sort of crazy because why wouldn’t you want to enjoy a drink, a good meal and the view of Constitution Dock? Not since Marque IV has anyone made the most of this setting. My thoughts go to Fish Frenzy, a Hobart icon, but there are other ways prime waterfront real estate could be used.
In Friday night’s twilight, half of Hobart was there, Mr Underbelly, a former Premier and us. Booked out the night before, The Lovely Deputy and I decided to stop in for a drink and a look and managed to grab a bar table and share a meal.
A BIG fan of South American cuisine, last year we tried San Telmo in Melbourne, The Lovely Deputy declared the grilled butterflied rabbit the best meal he’s ever had. Apart from what I cook…of course. Frank is all about the grilled meat.
There’s something earthy about the barbeque grill, smoky flavours, meat. Add the piquancy of chipotle, peppers, onions, the sweetness of apples and pineapple and Cucurbitas, and the sour of limes. Here you’ll find tastes that have not been a regular part of Hobart’s cuisine.
This is what we ate:
Mushroom, cheese and spinach empanadas, $4.50 each (perfect pastry)
Hanger steak, $21.50 (small)
Charred vegetables, tomatillo and apple salsa, goat curd, $10
Crisp potatoes, salsa criolla, $8
Tip: Asado is national dish but it also means grill. In true Argentinian style, it’s cooked on a parilla.
The servings were enough to share as a light meal.
A really good bar and grill is a special addition to what’s available in Hobart and it is made oh so much better for its location.
Try it for small plates and a drink or for a meal. It is fabulous.