Dinner with Mr Good Guy

Why would you choose Mr Good Guy, Hobart’s newest Asian restaurant, from the slather of Asian restaurants in town?

We can think of five good reasons.

  1. New hotel dining

Hotel restaurants might not rate a blip on your radar, but put your preconceptions aside. Some of Australia’s top chefs have taken up residency in hotels. In place of a hotel bistro, you’ll find South East Asian cuisine at Hobart’s new Ibis Style hotel. Mr Good Guy is offering above mid-range, Asian cuisine, with attentive service and a few less common ingredients and combinations. On our visit, the menu boasted jellyfish, wallaby Mussaman and cassava for example.

  1. A Chef with credentials

Executive chef Andy Third has been lured from the Westend Pumphouse to establish the bespoke restaurant at Hobart’s Ibis Styles hotel. Andy became Living Loving Hobart-famous after our yum cha and gin trolley experience. He can’t stake a claim to the heritage but he has travelled extensively in Asia and it has significantly impacted on his approach. He once told us that although he didn’t have a Chinese grandma to show him how to do things he wasn’t bound by the expectations that come with passing a cuisine down through the generations either. Case in point, try his spring rolls with calamari, shitake mushrooms and bacon.

  1. Fun times

Our bubbly table attendant gave us two fluro pens with which to take on the menu. It’s a point of difference. Order once or as often as you like and use a different colour pen each time. Highlight your selection and your menu will be whisked away to the kitchen and your wishes granted.

  1. Culture and community

The restaurant’s launch was presided over by the Tasmanian Chinese Buddhist Academy including a dance to bring fortune and dedication of merit to all sentient beings. Entertainment value aside, it’s a show of strength from the Singaporean backed business – promoting diversity, cultural pride and engagement with the local community.

  1. The food’s delicious

What we ate:

  • Myeolchi bokkeum, complimentary
  • Calamari, bacon and shitake mushroom spring rolls (4), $14
  • Salt and pepper squid, Asian slaw and chilli jam, $20
  • Wallaby Mussaman, pink eye and peanuts, $26
  • Roti with curry sauce, $6 and
  • Bao with chocolate and sriracha ice cream.

At the opening we also tried:

  • Betel leaves, prawns and miang jam
  • Salt and pepper tofu, chilli jam, seaweed and jam and
  • Small fried prawns and daikon radish with XO sauce (not on the menu at the time of posting).

Mr Good Guy has one of those menus that has so much on offer it can make your head spin. After our experience at Bar Wa Izakaya, we took advice on the size of serves. We decided to share the equivalent of two mains, an entrée, a side and in our other stomachs, a dessert each.

Roti might be just about the most delicious bread ever created, and lapped up with curry sauce, it is high up there in the comfort food stakes. We reckon it would be perfect with anything on the menu but next time we might just try it with potato koftas and sriracha mayo.

The Thai wallaby curry was perfectly cooked, holding its form but falling from the bone with the gentlest of nudges. It was noticeably cinnamon-scented and the sauce worked a treat with the roti.

The salt and pepper squid was a simple dish with plenty of colour and texture. It asked only for a little more seasoning.

The spring rolls were tasty morsels thanks to that bacon addition and a combination that was a little bit different. Wrap them up in their lettuce coats to enjoy them best.

We were offered an experimental dessert – an ice cream sandwich – literally. Rich, velvety chocolate ice cream nestled in a warm bao bun. This dessert is still a work in progress. We would have liked to appreciate the hot sauce ingredient more and noted the need for another element to bring the two components together. We pondered about a sprinkling of palm sugar over the bread, Andy told us that he’s thinking on a passionfruit sauce. A much better idea.

Andy sent out salt and spicy fried anchovies and peanuts to snack on while we perused the menu and sipped at our drinks. The canapes we tried at the opening were equally delicious and promised to be fun dishes to share at the start of a meal with a group.

The Two Girls we sufficiently inspired by our eating experience to commit to a return. It’s an interesting place to eat because it’s obviously meeting the needs of its guests but has precincts enough to cater for a cross-section of customers while providing a very nice dining experience. And we do love Andy’s work!

Find Mr Good Guy Bar and Asian Kitchen, 173 Macquarie Street, Hobart, inside the Ibis Style Hotel.

Read more on the restaurant in our previous post – Mr Good Guy Bar and Asian Kitchen.

Here’s our post on ordering too much food – Bar Wa Izakaya

Another restaurant we’ve enjoyed recently – Kosaten Japaense.

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