Tasty Tassie Treats

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from Kate's Berry Farm

Family & friends who have seen photos of my previous trips have always commented on how many pictures I take of food, as well as the fact that my descriptions of food pictures are so much more detailed than my descriptions of any other pictures I take. I guess that’s because I usually make a concerted effort to scribble down the full menu description of any treat I deem worthy of possible later mention on my flickr account and/or blog. Since I’m not exactly a food critic, these notes serve to help me recall the flavors & textures of the many foods I taste over the course of my culinary adventures. The fact that this particular post is all about sweets is just a coincidence . . . I’ve had a few healthy meals too, I swear! 0:-)

Anyway, Heather, Adam & I recently concluded our nearly two-week long road trip around Tasmania & we were fortunate to have a number of delicious treats. Here are some food-related highlights, as well as a few of the disappointments we experienced on this leg of our trip.

One of my first meals of note in Tassie was at Pipers Brook Vineyard (no, we didn’t do any wine tasting here, but that’s only because we had already done two that morning – one at Brook Eden & one at Jansz). The Belgium Style Brunch called to me & my picture unfortunately doesn’t do it justice. The honey tied the dish together beautifully & the combination of all of the flavors on the plate was just perfect.

Raisin, walnut & apricot loaf sliced thick, served with banana & warm blue gum Miellerie honey

Another highlight for me was the Ross Village Bakery, which is also a B&B! Before we arrived in Ross we had discussed the possibility of spending a night here, but their backpacker room (which would have cost $80 for the three of us) was already booked up for the entire week we were going to be on the east coast of Tasmania. 😦 At one point I considered possibly trying to get a job here, but I’m not sure I’d want to live in the small town of Ross for any length of time. Nevertheless, I may try to search for similar establishments in other parts of Australia – could be a fun gig for a few months! Anyway, the vanilla slice we shared was quite good & the sourdough roll I bought to eat with my veggie burger that night was delicious. I’d definitely go back to sample more bread (& a number of other baked goods of course!) if I had the opportunity.

On the same day we visited Ross, we also had the pleasure of stopping by Kate’s Berry Farm in Swansea. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I experienced. The cafe is super cute & the food was superb!

Kate's Berry Farm

We opted to split a meal & dessert in order to accommodate both our wallets & our waistlines. The only savory item on the menu was their pot pie of the day, which turned out to be Italian chicken with toasted ciabatta bread (good thing for me it was chicken & not wallaby or something like that! LOL) The pastry on top was light & flaky & the soup was piping hot & very flavorful – so nice! A few pies were available & we opted for the strawberry rhubarb with whipped cream & vanilla bean ice cream (see picture at the top of this post). Of course I couldn’t resist purchasing a chocolate as well (I needed a dessert after my dessert ;)) & the dark chocolate salted caramel looked (& tasted) divine. Kate’s was a big win for all three of us, so much so that we returned the next day to share one more piece of pie!!

As we neared the end of our time in Tassie, we were delighted to check out the Melita Honey Farm in Chudleigh where I enjoyed a double scoop of honey ice cream – specifically the blue gum & coffee flavors. The blue gum had a mild honey taste & the coffee flavor really came through in my second scoop. This was a great way to end the day, especially as we finally started to enter some warmer temperatures back up in the northern part of the state.

Melita Honey Farm

On our final day in Tasmania we braced ourselves for our Everest of eating extravaganzas. We would start with a mouth-watering breakfast at the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm in Elizabethtown & then work our way back up to Devonport, stopping for free tastings of cheese, chocolate and cherries at several locations along the way. Like a child waiting for Santa Claus, I could hardly sleep the night before in anticipation of what was to come! What an amazing food tour we had planned! It was a well-deserved reward after all the walking & hiking we had done over the past couple of weeks (I promise to write about that too! Separate post to come.)

So the next morning we woke up early & geared ourselves up for our big feast. Heather & I could hardly contain our excitement as we drove off to the raspberry farm. She had previously read about the place & we had seen multiple advertisements for it around Tassie; surely it had to be good. We reviewed the menu ahead of time online & had some ideas already in mind before we arrived. After all, big decisions like what to eat for brekkie take time! When we pulled up to the cafe the exterior left something to be desired, but I hoped the inside would be more inviting. I was wrong. Despite the lack of ambiance, perhaps the food would simply speak for itself. Wrong again. All three of us settled on the Raspberry Chocolate French Toast: “French toast sandwich with raspberry jam & chocolate. Served with Meander Valley double cream.” It sounded amazing but unfortunately did not deliver in either taste or appearance.

Raspberry Chocolate French Toast

Just compare the above picture with the pancakes I got from Smith St. Store in Hobart (see below). The comparison with the number of berries is laughable.

Pancakes with berry compote & maple syrup with natural yoghurt

Similarly disappointing was the Raspberry Latte with raspberry syrup and “lust dust” that Heather & I both ordered. Neither of us could taste much, if any, raspberry flavor & the lust dust (freeze-dried raspberries ground into a fine powder with some sugar added) was very scantly sprinkled on Heather’s coffee. $15.80 for the french toast & $4 for the latte = not a very good value for the money. 😦

Raspberry Latte

Finally, to add insult to injury, we had seen six raspberry muffins sitting on the counter up front marked $1 each. Before we had even received our meal we decided we would buy up all six muffins between the three of us – what a steal! We figured perhaps the low price was because they were day-old, but our waitress informed us that they were freshly baked. Seemed like a win! Alas, before we could complete our purchase another waitress approached & informed us that unfortunately they only sell the muffins for $1 at the end of the day. They promptly took down the sign & refused to honor the deal, so we left muffin-less. 😦

Still, we hoped for better luck with the three additional foodie sites we planned to visit next. With free tastings, how could we go wrong? We promptly made our way to the Ashgrove Cheese Farm, Anvers Chocolate Factory & finally to The Cherry Shed. All were OK, but nothing really wowed us. I preferred the cheese we got with our beer on the Boag’s Brewery Tour in Launceston to the samples we tasted at Ashgrove. And of course after a sugary breakfast & a number of free samples our tummies were not very happy with us. Ah well, we still had some great treats in Tassie & I’m sure there will be many more to come throughout the rest of my year in Oz . . . I must remember to pace myself!! 😉

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. camille
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 03:33:22

    I gained 10 pounds just looking at the photos! Somehow my frozen blueberrie picked last summer and tucked away in the freezer just don’t fit the bill anymore. You are quite the tasty treat critic and photographer. Have a feeling you will end up working somewhere that tasty treats are involved. Enjoyed the blog! Love mom


  2. Heather
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 10:07:18

    I can just close my eyes and find myself back at Kate’s…I’d take us back there in a heart beat if I could!!! Perfectly charming setting and really delicious food. *happy sigh*

    Contrast that with the fail at Christmas Hill — just typing those words makes me want to shed a tear. Harsh? Yes. But I really can’t say happy things about it.

    Here’s to more foodie adventures together!


  3. Tijmen
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 10:04:39

    O wow, that looks amazing. I woud have a hard time having to choose between the pancake the french toast and the pie. All of them look awesome 🙂


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