Berta in the City

Writing the hit ‘Adore’, Amy Shark contemplated semantic saturation. Was the word ‘love’ so overused that it had lost its meaning? And was love enough anyway? What about deep respect and veneration?

This Girl cannot tell a lie, I love a lot of places to eat but I think I adore the work of Alisha Wilson and Alex Jovanovic. The adoration began in NoHo, first with the fine dining of Piccolo about ten years ago. Piccolo later evolved into the more palatable business hours of breakfast and lunch and that came with the change of name. When the former Kafe Kara site becoming available, Berta cafe moved to their new CBD location (aka up the road from work).

The Liverpool Street cafe has a completely different look and feel. The current menu is European rather than the Asian-fusion of the NoHo Berta. Whereas the former Kafe Kara was dark and sultry, Wilson and Jovanovic have designed a light and open space, with emerald walls, exposed lightbulbs and greenery and timber floors. The view into the kitchen has been replaced with retro-fluted glass that complements the continental bistro food and feel. There are two long share tables and some bar stool seating around the front counter area. With plates varying in size, either a light or substantial meal is possible to choose. There’s a variety of sweet treats in the front counter for dessert or to accompany a hot drink. In fact they have advertised morning coffee and biscuit specials so you might get lucky. There’s a modest selection of brioche rolls and sandwiches if you fancy a little something gorgeous but don’t have time to eat in.

On our visit we, like the people next to us, we decided to share our plates and were supplied with the crockery to achieve our desired results.

We ate:

  • Free range pork schnitzel, roast organic sugarloaf cabbage, capers, almond and lemon butter
  • chickpea pancake, roast and pickled Huon mushrooms, parmesan, Jerusalem artichoke, leaves, comte and
  • side of chips (naturally) which were made from kennebec potatoes, twice cooked and served with aioli.

The chickpea pancake is a smaller plate. The legume flour gives the pancake a unique flavour and the comte provides some creamy moisture to the dish. The schnitzel was true to form and a very large meal. Served as a giant crumbed pork chop, thinned to the bone, it was crisp and pink-fleshed. Lovers of the massive pub schnitzel, try a gourmand version here.

I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. So I’m a chip-tart (hmm, now that’s an idea) but I do solemnly declare that these are the best chips in the city limits. Sure any suburban takeaway can fry a piece of potato, but these are really, really good, long, crisp, perfect.

If past experience is anything to go by we can expect an evolving menu at the new Berta.

I have a breakfast with friends booked in real soon and I can’t wait to return.

Find them at 119 Liverpool St, Hobart. They take reservations 6234 4844 which is a good idea particularly at lunch time.

At the time of writing they were open 7 am – 4 pm, except Saturdays when they open at 8am and they’re closed Sundays.

Other yummy European-bistro places close by – Cultura and Etties for lunch and dinner.

For more on what they’re capable of, here’s a little trip down memory lane – Berta.

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