Hobart, you do a mean breakfast. There are plenty of cafes with rockin’ morning menus.
One of them is the Raincheck Lounge, a NoHo institution.
In the neighbourhood a little while ago, ‘I’m the arty one’ and This Girl checked in. It was so good, The Two Girls chose it for our recent catchup.
Society girls, Emma Davis and Angela Nichols, took over the reigns about a year ago. It’s been at least a year since I was last there and I didn’t notice any material changes when I returned. Sure the blackboard of drinks was different and there was some new staff but the menu was still great and the staff were still awesome.
“Raincheck was an established business that had been operating for over 10 years with the same owners. It is open seven days a week and we never closed.
“So with the help of existing staff we eventually learned the flow of the business,” Angela told us.
“We really hit our stride in January this year, which is when we noticed the business was growing and it has continued to do so throughout winter.
“There is so much competition in Hobart compared to 10, 5 or even 3 years ago,” she said.
“Customers are spoilt for choice with so many great local business offering such high quality food and coffee. Therefore, we know how important it is to evolve with trends and continue to innovate.”
So how are they doing that?
With a blend of classics like Benny eggs and contemporary options like the breakfast stack, which both The Two Girls have now had a go at. On my first visit I was initially going for a bacon butty but swapped at the 11th hour for the stack.
“Why have the bacon butty when I can make it at home?” I despaired trying to decide, ‘I’ll have the stack!”
“Yeah,” said the 16-year-old, “That totally sounds more like you,” she nodded sagely. And so it was.
The breakfast stack is a sweet potato and quinoa hash with sautéed spinach, haloumi, avocado, poached egg and relish, $17.50, which is vegetarian and gluten-free. The Other Girl elected for a side of smoked salmon, $4.50, but you can also go for bacon. It was a delicious breakfast with terrific toppings on a unique base.
“What we try to offer at Raincheck is a simple and smart menu, that caters for everybody including omnivores, vegans and celiacs. It is also very important that we use consistent, fresh, high quality ingredients which is why we work with fantastic local suppliers like Straight Up Coffee Roasters, Summer Kitchen Bakery, Hill Street Grocer and Vermey’s Quality Meats,” Angela said.
‘I’m the arty one’ as per standard practice, had the sweet option, the French cinnamon brioche toast with maple syrup, mascarpone, caramel pecans and banana, $16. It must have been good. The presence of banana made me steer clear of the taste test but I did Hoover-up the abandoned nuts.
“Our head chef is Chris Fidden, former owner/ operator of The Hobart Wharf Cafe who has been a great asset to us,” Angela said.
On my second visit, I had the corn fritters with smoked salmon, smashed avocado, poached eggs, and dukkah, $18.50, which was a simpler meal of discrete tastes and those fritters were fantastic, plump, light and non-greasy. Hooray!
Angela was enthusiastic about the staff and so were we.
“All of our staff are very important to the business and they work hard to provide friendly and efficient service,” she said.
This place is pumping. If you’re after a weekend meal, BOOK.
Raincheck lounge is open Tuesday – Saturday for dinner. There’s a Chef’s Table menu is a shared, six-course set menu priced at $39 per head which changes on a monthly basis. Tuesday evenings offers a $20 hamburger and your choice of wine or beer.
Find a Raincheck Lounge at 392 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart.
Check out their menu online – Raincheck Lounge.
Follow the on Facebook.
More about their Salamanca cocktail bar – Society.