Michael and I were drawn to MONA FOMA for the third consecutive year, and managed to fit a little Hobart dining around all the aaaaaart. We had extra time for dinner on our first night and decided to spend it at Ethos.
Ethos has evolved a little since our last visit. It hasn't backed off on its upcycled, home-grown, local, seasonal M.O.; actually it's stronger than ever with an edible garden replacing the outdoor seating we'd previously known.
When we first inspected their menu a couple of years ago they were offering shared plates but now Ethos have shifted entirely to a degustation-style menu of six ($70pp) or eight ($90pp) courses. They offer a list of their latest favourite ingredients so you can eliminate anything you can't or won't eat, then they make up the rest from there.
We hadn't booked a table, since our plan was simply to wander in early on a weeknight and share a couple of dishes, but the staff hinted that they prefer reservations and warnings about special dietary requirements. Nevertheless, they put together a lovely banquet for us.
potato crisps & creme fraiche
a negroni (left) and a cocktail of passionfruit, mint, lime & rum ($18ea)
cauliflower & asparagus compressed with olive oil
plus puffed rice & a preserved lemon dressing
almond milk & garlic sauce, slow roasted almonds, black garlic,
radishes, borage flowers
carrots (roasted, fresh & pickled in chardonnay vinegar & caraway seeds)
on a carrot purée with toasted breadcrumbs, Angelica flowers & garlic
roasted, fresh and pickled parsnips,
daikon radish pickled in rice wine vinegar & coriander seed,
roasted butternut pumpkin & summer greens with a miso sauce
pickled hen egg, kohlrabi sous vide, courgette sautéed on one side,
raw golden peas, baby basil, labne, and pickled rhubarb
apricots in mirin, nectarines in gin, plums in more unidentified alcohol,
rhubarb champagne jelly, brown butter shortbread,
rum parfait & black sesame meringue
Everything tasted as good as it looks here, and we couldn't help noticing that a lot of it was vegan. The Ethos chefs are clearly having a pickling frenzy, and though we enjoyed most of their preserved veges we were overwhelmed by vinegar flavours as the savoury courses concluded. They definitely won us back with dessert, a boozy shared hodge-podge of stonefruit, icecream, jelly and shortbread.
Ethos' dinner set-up has shifted a good deal closer to Garagistes' in the past year, and thankfully the restaurant hasn't lost any of its past charms in the process.
You can read about our dinner at Ethos a year ago here. Since then their vegetarian options have got the tick on Veggies and Me, and the omni menu has been covered by Gluten Free Gourmet Traveller, FeedMeUpScotty and Two Clowns Tripping. However, Lynnnnn wasn't into it.
Ethos Eat Drink
100 Elizabeth St, Hobart
six courses $70pp, eight courses $90pp
Accessibility: Looks great to my eyes - flat all the way through with relatively spacious tables and full table service. There's a disability-access toilet and all toilets are unisex.