We skipped MOFO this year, but Hobart still called us down for a visit - a quick long weekend to see the excellent On the Origin of Art exhibition at MONA and to spend some time in one of our favourite cities. We did a day tour out to Bruny Island on the Friday, but had more time on Saturday to get into the local food. We started out with a visit to Hamlet, a cafe that's popped up in the year since our last visit to Hobart. It's a community enterprise, that provides employment and training opportunities for people who face barriers to employment. It's tucked away off the beaten track a bit, behind Molle Street near the start of the Hobart Rivulet track - on a Saturday morning it's a serene escape from the hectic bustle of Salamanca and surrounds.
The menu is super veg-friendly, with just a couple of meaty dishes. The options range from simple toasts and smashed avos through to more interesting options like the Buddha bowl (brown rice, shiitake, kimchi, pickled white beans, sweet corn, toasted nori, $17). Cindy wanted to save some room for our trip to the Salamanca Markets, so she just ordered one of their fancy scones (corn, spring onion and sage, $6) and an apricot and honey smoothie ($8). The scone arrived huge, flat, cheesy and warm, with a dab of butter on the side. The smoothie had a light, milky consistency and its fresh feature ingredients shone through.
I was a bit more adventurous, ordering the autumn veg curry with fried eggs from the specials board ($17). This came topped with crispy fried onions and fresh herbs and was an excellent start to the day - fried eggs and curry is a brilliant combination. The curry itself was mild but richly flavoured with a few different kinds of potatoes making up the autumn veggies. I'm a big fan of curry for breakfast - more places should offer it.
Service was friendly and efficient on our visit and the coffee was great. Hamlet is a welcome addition to Hobart's brekkie scene - good food and a good cause.
There are a couple of positive reviews of Hamlet at Living Loving Hobart and Yippee Pie Yay.
40 Molle St, Hobart
Accessibility: Hamlet is super accessible, with table service, accessible bathrooms and an accessible entry.
After a stroll around the markets and a few op shops, we headed up to North Hobart to meet a friend and check out the brand new Veg Bar on Elizabeth Street. It's very on trend, with neon highlights, indoor plants and bench seating. The menu has the same well-researched vibe, a mix of 'clean eating' alongside burgers, nachos and the like. There are fancy cocktails sit alongside kale and acai smoothies, cold pressed juices and tricked-up lattes. It's all vegan.
Cindy and S both braved fancy drinks - a turmeric latte ($5.50) and a 'Sugar High' smoothie ($10). This was the first time any of us had tried a turmeric latte, and nobody was entirely won over - I was expecting at least some coffee in there somewhere. Cindy's smoothie was more successful, overflowing with garnishes and combining coconut water, mango, raspberries and passionfruit to good effect.
I was weirdly compelled by the promise of a vegan egg, so I ordered the kim chi fried rice ($24), which came with tofu, spring onion, burnt pickled onion, nori slivers, sesame and a big ol' vegan egg dropped right in the middle. The egg doesn't really taste anything like actual egg - the white is made out of coconut somehow, while the yolk is a sweet potato paste that's been jellied up somehow. It looks great though, and there was something spicy in the 'yolk' that added to the solid kim chi kick in the rest of the fried rice. I was really happy with the whole dish - a extra few bits of tofu would have made me feel better about the price, but that's just being grumpy.
Cindy decided to try one of the burgers, intrigued by the promise of a southern-fried cauliflower pattie ($15.50). The pattie came on a weird-looking matcha bun, along with house made slaw and agave mustard.
The bun was basically a novelty, with the matcha adding nothing exciting to the mix beyond colour. The filling got a thumbs up though. While the cauliflower-based burger wasn't fooling anyone for chicken, but it a neat spiced crumbing that held together the soft interior (although I really think they should throw a few mock meat products on the menu even if it doesn't quite fit their health-oriented vibe).
S ordered off the specials board, trying the tofu pad Thai. It looked great, and her only complaint was that they hadn't used the proper thick noodles - otherwise it did the job nicely.
Veg Bar is a fantastic new option in Hobart. It's run by people who have a handful of other (non-veg) restaurants around the place, and it's clear that they know what they're doing. It's a lovely setup, with a menu that's sure to please vegans, vegetarians and omnis. Fingers crossed it's a success so we can revisit next year.
___________Living Loving Hobart have already written up their visit to Veg Bar.
346 Elizabeth St, North Hobart
0498 708 561
Accessibility: Veg Bar has a flat entryway and a pretty spacious interior. Seating is a mix of regular tables, high bar stools and more restrictive benches. The toilets are a mix of gendered and unisex with some fully accessible options. We ordered and pay at a high bar.