Brother Mine

To live in the ‘burbs and walk to a great restaurant is a bit fancy-schmancy. The rise in suburban restaurants is a sign of a sophisticated food scene and Hobart continues to outdo itself. The latest edition sees the proprietors of the former Crumb Street Kitchen return. The tired antique store that for decades clung to the New Town junction is now a restaurant.

The pressed tin ceiling sparkles, the shelves are lined with cook books, the window alcoves are casual, cushion-covered seating and it’s serving cocktails and contemporary cuisine. The name ‘Brother Mine’ is in recognition that Zak and Sian are now in the family-way. They wanted to establish a dining option for local people and be part of cementing a community.

“Take me out!” I cried to the Lovely Deputy. “I need an airing.” It can be hard leaving the hearth and couch in August. I promised an early tea and made a reservation. We were returning to our old haunt – CBD to the Northern suburbs and specifically New Town.

We were met by Izzy on the bar who took my coat and groceries from Hill Street (multi-tasking). We started our evening with a glass of Cloverhill sparkling (for the designated driver) and a margarita for me. It had been HOURS since our pearl barley and root vegetable soup for lunch (yum) and we were both STARVING. We chose the crispy pink eyes, creme fraiche and hot sauce, $7, to start. “See you can successfully roast pink eyes,” Lovely exclaimed with a crispy morsel on the end of his fork. “Probably duck fat?” I humphed. Defeated, years ago I decided the only pink eye in my house would be boiled. I still google in front of the potato selection across the road but obviously I’m not trying hard enough.

We chatted with the delightful Izzy and cast our eyes about. The sharp white walls and large windows make for a clean, open space. There’s room for standing or sitting in the windows or at the shared bar table without interfering with the diners.

There are two precincts to the restaurant demarcated by a step down level. A large table dominates the area closest the bar. A continuous booth-style seat and tables for couples or which can be joined for larger groups features on the lower level along with a couple of two seater cocktail tables. Casablanca was projected on the rear wall.

We took our seats at a window table and observed how we could watch the world go by and equally, how everyone we knew could watch us too. There’s the Man in the Big Chair heading for takeaway around the corner,  Writer Pete and Tanya lament we beat them to the newest place by an hour, and Lovely Lucy arrived with friends. Oh Hobart.

For entrees we had the duck rilette, $12, confit duck, house sourdough, salsa verde and the Lovely Deputy who loves an occie, had the smoked octopus, $16, occie from Eaglehawk Neck and smoked labneh. The sourdough was cut and toasted as a crisp bread and piled with the duck. This evening the mild tasting duck was befriended by a lilly pilly pickle of sorts. If you like octopus you will enjoy Brother Mine’s succulent tentacles.

For mains, Lovely, who’s also a mushroom man and prides himself on his annual daikon radish crop, chose just that, served with roasted zucchini and pickled seasonal vegetables, $20. This Girl devoured the Striped Trumpeter served with clams, burnt cos and lemon butter, $28. We also shared a side of cauliflower, almond crumb and salsa verde, $7. The fish was top notch simplicity. A delicious, firm fleshed, sweet fish with a crispy skin, with my favourite lettuce, clams for character and all off-set by the tangy lemon butter. A real winner.

I cocked my eyebrow when he ordered the mushroom radish mish mosh but a beautiful plate arrived of shaved radish, oyster mushrooms and kale, perfect for a vegetarian who can’t face another bowl of risotto or just about anyone. This Girl enjoyed the Chardonnay by the glass and Lovely slowly sipped a Kilkenny red ale.

Did we want dessert? We’d have to use our second stomach. I committed. Lovely Deputy oscillated. ‘Okay sure bring two spoons but make his a small one.” As a peanut butter and chocolate fan I was heading for the smore but our gorgeous table attendant advised it was BIG and RICH. She recommended the mousse and I’m so happy we chose it, caramelised white chocolate, apple and rye crumb, $14. The dessert’s foundation is a biscuit base, there’s some delicious apple compote buried inside the white chocolate mousse and a sliver of dehydrated apple wave on top. It’s a bit glamourous, sweet and clever without being overwhelming.

Brother Mine is good food at affordable prices. There are cocktails which you can enjoy with or without food and the service is terrific, young and professional. Can’t wait to try the breakfast menu. Good work guys!

They’re located at 31-33a New Town Road, New Town.

Find them on Facebook including opening times – Brother Mine.

When we discovered Zak and Sian were back with more casual eating just around the corner in Wilson Street for smoked meats, salads, bread and pastries – Crumb Street Diner.

Other suburban haunts – Smolt Kitchen in West Hobart, Miss Jane in South Hobart, Luma in Cambridge, St Albi in Moonah, just to take a few.

 

 

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