Warm weather and the water, it’s quintessential Tasmanian summer, and it’s what makes the Taste of Tasmania a quintessential Tasmanian event: our iconic, food festival on Hobart’s waterfront.
Summer in the south is short and late, when the bell rings we’re the first out and the last to come back inside. We love the summer (provided the temperature gauge doesn’t reach over 25 degrees) and we love our food.
Each year, the Taste of Tasmania delivers new food and drink options and entertainment. It is the perfect place to spend warm days and slightly cooler evenings, lazing around, enjoying Tasmanian produce and each other’s company.
The #Blissfarm crew took to the Taste for this year’s New Year’s Eve. Crowds are not everyone’s cup of tea. If that’s you, then seriously consider a NYE ticket next year. Numbers are limited which means the event is relaxed, with enough space for everyone and few queues.
We also enjoyed a couple of days at the Taste in the reserved seating area which is another great option if you want to avoid crowds and carve off a little space to yourself. It’s perfect for a group because you are guaranteed seating.
Tasmania’s reputation for craft gin is showcased at this year’s Taste. You can enjoy cocktails from a select handful of our makers – Forty Spotted Gin, Knocklofty Spirits, Splendid, Lawrenny Estate Distillery and McHenry for example – all with their own selection of speciality cocktails. Forty Spotted sported a special Christmas citrus and rosewater mix and Splendid Gin was prepared for a heat wave with their G&T slushie.
Craft beers and ciders are there in the fistfuls and there’s some terrific boutique wine options including a few of This Girl’s personal favourites – Clover Hill, Springvale, Nocton and Lake Barrington. We enjoyed the Lake Barrington Pinot Gris during today’s lunch.
The Two Girls are always on the look out for what’s new at food festivals but This Girl can never go past one old favourite – fried calamari with chilli and palm sugar dressing by Waji Food. Waji won’t be offended when we say he’s been around the block a couple of times. Well he has. He’s done his 10 000 hours. Waji’s seafood is ALWAYS reliable and enjoyable. This plate is popular with a massive staying power.
Taste of Ethiopia
This Girl is also a huge fan of the Taste of Ethiopia. Those fermented grain pancakes (Injera) are the bomb and these women don’t suppress the spices for the Western palate (well if they do the traditional version would literally blow my head off). This Taste I chose the chicken with egg and it was hot and spicy and delicious. There are beef and vego options too.
Mr Korea BBQ and Food
No one should be allowed to go past Korean fried chicken. At Mr Korea you can enjoy your fried chicken sitting in lettuce cups and topped with traditional sauces. Healthy and a cultural experience to boot.
Please let me introduce you to the kubba (aka kibbeh) – traditionally made with beef, bulgur and spices. This version was a fried pastry of rice and potato stuffed with mince and seven spices, drizzled with a traditional lemon juice and garlic sauce and scattered with sumac. In a sea of large plates, this is a great starter at $6 each and there’s an option that comes with salad.
Kaki Lima Indonesian Street Food
The other dish we discovered that was big on spice was the Nasi Rames. We chose the largest beef dish on offer – beef and bean rendang, vegetable curry (with jackfruit), egg salad and spicy chutney, garlic crackers and jasmine rice ($25). A big serve which was even bigger on flavour and just like the Iraq Cuisine stall holders, the women running the show were 100% personality. This was a vibrant and tasty plate that I would easily enjoy again and again. My pick of meals this Taste of Tasmania.
Yeastie Beastie Doughnuts
Boozy Friday Lunch Friend (we’re flexible on weekdays during the Taste) chose the doughnut with crème patisserie and berry topping and declared it a success. My tomorrow choice. Or the Circle of Life doughnut stuffed with goodies I saw walking past me at some stage today. Decisions decisions.
Liggabuff was a new introduction to This Girl. Their stall is a wonderful display of colourful cupcakes which are great for kids but no good when you’re wearing lipstick (unless you want to end up looking like the Joker). They are serving a sundae with brownie, cream, ice cream and meringue. Much easier to eat when wearing makeup. Boom! NYE dessert ordered!
Miam French Crepes
To the casual observer, it might seem that desserts were over-represented in our food choices. That might be so. But there were some good options to consider. Another was Miam French Crepes where our teenager chose the salted caramel crepes with a resounding thumbs up.
I once heard a Minister of religion say that a one-off experience was an event, twice was a coincidence and three times, a tradition. For at least three Taste festivals in a row, I literally can’t go past the Amy Winehouse. Amy is a sundae with sherbet, brownie, salted caramel and chocolate sauce, peanuts and ice cream. Inexplicably, sans-vodka. It’s an all-rounder that should be enjoyed by one generation and then the next.
This was a selection of the plates we enjoyed. There’s plenty more options to suit different taste and price points. And of course, along with the food and drinkies, the Taste is a terrific place to pass some time over the Christmas/New Year in the company of friends and family. Get in quick, last day is tomorrow!! There’s still some reserved seating left too, to ensure your experience is comfortable and relaxed.
The Two Girls enjoyed NYE and reserved waterfront seating courtesy of the Taste of Tasmania.
For more information on the Taste visit their webpage – here.