There’s a certain light in my bedroom early on a summer afternoon when the sun streams in muted by the 1950s voile curtains. It’s life-full. A corner store on one of West Hobart’s busiest streets has been opened up and the light that streams into the modern Smolt Kitchen is just the same.
Some people can’t help being fabulous. They’ve got everything going on. The Smolt folk are part of the fabulous people set. Seriously. You want to hang around these guys and hope some of their mojo rubs off.
It’s brightened teeth white and at random intervals, a retro 70s colour palate. A flash of red here, a bathroom of baby pink, yellow and gold, a menu covered in multi-coloured spirals. It’s not psychedelic, but it sort of wants to be.
The presence of food establishments in the suburbs is a sign of a maturing community. Paesano Pizza was West Hobart’s first mover over twenty years ago. Lansdowne Crescent Café followed. Then everything pretty much went quiet. Sprawling over a suburb of hills, West Hobart’s food scene is now evolving.
This Girl dusted off Boozy Friday Lunch Friend and drove to middle-class suburbia for the new Smolt Kitchen experience.
On day two the menu was modest. It’s early days. They’re clearly testing us to see how the first wave of offerings will go down. It’s a modern menu with some new wave eating like sprouted lentils and coconut yoghurt.
Breakfast is house-made pastries (no mean feat), raw granola ($13.50), seasonal fruit ($11.90), dukkah spiced free-range eggs, avocado and rice salad ($14.90) or fried eggs, smoked rainbow trout, rye and lemon, mint, cucumber and rocket ($16.90).
The lunch and dinner menu is served from 12 noon. There are two mains sized plates – Smolt Kitchen corned beef ($26.90) and whole-grilled baby trout ($28.90).
We chose the Smolt crisp Tasmanian white ($10/$48), a 40:40 Chardonnay and Riesling blend with ‘..some Sauvignon Blanc chucked in’. The latter was surprisingly dominant.
We shared the sprouted Mount Zero lentils, spiced eggplant ($16.90), lamb and raisin meatballs, yoghurt and harissa ($16.90) and a side of potatoes, lemon, garlic and sea salt ($6.90). We had both desserts on offer too: Persian love cake with rhubarb ($12) and the rich chocolate mousse and grilled peach with mint ($12).
The absolute stand out in this visit was the Persian love cake – soul-warming spices with a brulee sugar topping the uncooked rhubarb. The sprouted lentils were accompanied by a delightful concasse and spiced eggplant more eggplant than spice. The meatballs were beautifully presented. Both dishes would be enhanced with just a little more seasoning. The mousse and peaches were not a natural match. I chose not to finish my half. I wondered if a white chocolate mouse would have worked better or a little sugar syrup on the roasted fruit.
We left not wanting for more but also not overwhelmed with unnecessary volume. Plating size is circumspect.
Parents will no doubt be pleased that they have a menu for the young’uns with a little pizazz – soft boiled egg and soldiers, a grazing plate of ham, cheese, fresh veggies and hummus ($9) and a house fish and chips ($12.90). I don’t know much about these things but that beats chicken nuggets hands down.
There’s no reservations unless you’re a big group who will share a long bar table.
The space is already busy and bustling.
They’re located on the corner of Pine and Hill Streets, West Hobart.
Open 7 days.
They’ve got a Facebook presence you can check out through this link.
Here’s the last time Boozy Friday Lunch Friend and This Girl went out to play, Property of Pilgrim.