Last week we arrived in Tasmania for a couple of weeks holiday, beginning with Festivale in Launceston. We’ve had a lots fun and great experiences (and some not so great) since we got here and I’ll blog about as many as I can. Tasmania is a food-lovers wonderland and I absolutely enjoy it every time I come here.
To get things started, here’s the view from the verandah at the place where we are staying in Binalong Bay. Beautiful isn’t it?
Another mood of the bay:
Last Sunday we enjoyed lunch at Wise and Tilley, a lovely casual cafe recently opened by one half of the former Angasi team, Darren and Anita Lewis. Now, I am a little bit sorry that Angasi closed down because it was situated no more than 20 metres from the house where we are staying. Last year we enjoyed many fine meals there, but not this year. Oh well.
Wise and Tilley is located at Scamander in the Pelican Sands Resort. I have to say calling Pelican Sands a resort really is a bit of a stretch, asthe site has a forlorn 70s look about it and was a little deserted. Maybe the atmosphere is better at the height of the summer holiday. I wonder how long the cafe will be there for though, as there were several ‘for sale’ signs up around the site and it looks like it is being broken up into separate blocks.
This aside, our lunch at Wise and Tilley has been one of the highlights of our trip. With a smart and sophisticated interior with some vintage touches, and a modern cafe menu that takes advantage of local produce and wine, it delivered on all our expectations.
I ordered the tuna with a soy and sake dressing to start with and S. ordered the lemon and thyme roasted quail.
This salad made me swoon with delight. Then it made me GREEDY! I wanted more, more, more. The finely sliced, crisp iceberg lettuce provided the perfect contrast to the meltingly tender tuna and intense soy and sake dressing. A perfect summer dish. One more please?
The roasted quail dish was another delight. The lemon and thyme flavours proved be a great complement to the succulent roasted quail meat. Tomato and roasted capsicum provided a nice sweet tang and toasted chunks of bread the crunchy texture
For our mains, I chose the hand rolled parmesan gnocchi. This was served with a tomato confit, peas and marinated olives.
I am a bit of a gnocchi connoisseur, with very high standards when it comes to this rustic Italian dish. I was not disappointed by these. They were light as clouds, coated in a flavoursome tomato sauce. And the sweet, green peas were freshly shelled. I can’t remember the last time I had freshly shelled peas. What a treat!
S. ordered the confit chicken pizza with bacon, spanish onions and mozzarella. What a depth of flavour confiting the chicken provided. This pizza was rich without being stodgy, had a nice crisp crust and the classic chicken and bacon combination worked very well. The tomato paste was applied with a light touch so it didn’t drown out the other flavours and was augmented by the little yellow ‘pear’ tomatoes, while the cheese was used sparingly. It was very satisfying. We both really enjoyed this pizza.
The menu at Wise and Tilley is not long but really does offer some lovely options, such as fish of the day with parmesan an lemon croquettes, cured gravalax, cured pork belly, fish and chips and roasted rib-eye. Sides such as salad and chips are available and are reasonably priced between $5-8. Vegetarian options are also available. It has a good wine and beer list, with lots of Tasmanian options. Wine by the glass is also available, although more limited. I enjoyed a pinot noir with my meal with S. had a pinot grigio.
We really enjoyed our lunch at Wise and Tilley and hope to go there again before we leave.
What we had:
Tuna with soy & sake dressing $15
Lemon & thyme roasted quail $16
Parmesan gnocchi $24
Confit chicken & bacon pizza $19
Wise and Tilley
157 Scamander Avenue
(03) 6372 5234