Winter Feast Opening Night Hits

The celebration of Tasmania’s dark winter and our abundance of food and wine has commenced with the opening of Winter Feast last night.

The Two Girls went early to grab seating and explore before the hoards arrived. In other words, we were there 15 minutes after opening with several other thousand people.

I’d argue we took a conservative approach given the circumstances but we gave the taste testing a red hot go. Here are the five things we enjoyed the most.

  1. Gin cocktails

Gin, like Hobart, is very now. Mostly because it’s a spirit that doesn’t take 10 years to make aka whiskey. There’s plenty of gin tasting this year, at stalls and in special enclaves new to the Feast, cordoned off retreats to enjoy a tipple and a lounge seat…sweet. We enjoyed a mandarin and yuzu gin cocktail. STOP IT! Too good.

2. Adane – Ethiopian

Ethiopian food is spicy curries of lentils, split peas, meat, chicken and vegetables all served with the super-delicious, fermented dahl pancake, injera, and yoghurt sauce on the side. We went for two curries for $15, spinach and lamb. The curry had a delicious heat and it was a good value meal for the price. Must discover the secret of those spice combinations.

3. Formosa Bites – Taiwanese

Taiwanese street food who knew? We’ve never been and we’ve never encountered Formosa Bites, so we didn’t. But we do know. These guys were fabulous. The stand out/up dish of the Feast (it’s a tough call, keep reading) was the baby octopus BBQ skewers marinated in satay and upright on their skewers they were a statement dish and a meal in themselves. We abstained because we were already full at that time in the evening we discovered their existence. We did have the more modest, pan-fried bun filled with wild sustainable wallaby and winter vegetables, $5. The bun is a dumpling shell and it’s a jam-packed little treat. We’re also definitely going back for the octopus.

They’re on Facebook – Formosa Bites and they do the market circuit like Bream Creek once a month.

4. Crickets by Pacha Mama

Pacha Mama are well known in the market circuit too and they’ve done their fair share of Winter Feasts. They always have excellent vegetarian options so seek them out if you’re that way inclined for good value, tasty meals. But all I could hear was crickets. Actually, it was Winter Feast food curator, Jo Cook, being interviewed yesterday morning on 936 ABC. She said crickets so I made a beeline to the stall to try their little blue corn tostada with turtle beans, topped with, you guessed it, little crunchy critters. They won’t overwhelm your taste buds but they do provide a little more protein and a textual crunch to the dish. I guess insects taste exactly how you expect them too. Anyway and more importantly, insects are the food of the future. The Other Girl said that for the record. She’s called it and you head it hear first. Just don’t eat slugs, those little turnips are deadly.

They’re on Facebook – Pacha Mama Burritos.

5. Macarons by Ruby

A rainbow of macarons and layers of layered cakes, filled domes of cream and jelly, and eclairs, Ruby is to die for. There’s almost enough pleasure in the looking. No that’s not serious. Eat something. I defy the dessert lover disappointed by any of their offerings. We chose the chocolate salted caramel eclair and the raspberry white chocolate, thingy who knows, it doesn’t matter, like I said, you can’t go wrong. Wish the photo was better. Go check out their goods on their Facebook page or just go check out their goods in the flesh and worship those cakes.

They’re on Facebook – Macarons by Ruby.

Tip: Buy a season pass, even if you share it with a friend, you’ll skip the queues.

It’s free if you’re a child or after 8 pm. Daily tickets either $10 or $20 (next Friday and Saturday night) per person.

Find Winter Feast at Princes Wharf 1.

For more information visit the official website – Winter Feast.

Well done Jo, Dark Mofo and Hobart City Council, another awesome event we intend to enjoy more of before last drinks.

And p.s they’re aiming for zero waste so get on board and take your time to read the signs and do the right thing. Thanks!

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