AAAAH! Sunday brunch! A favourite time of the week for me and my friends, and obviously a lot of other people around Australia. And in Hobart, as in any other largish town here in Oz, we’re spoilt for choice. Ginger Brown has been quietly doing its thing for a while now, and wow! They’re still kicking those food goals with oomph.
Brunch has its own food lore, and rules. And at Ginger Brown’s, in Macquarie Street South Hobart, one has to come with an empty tummy. Otherwise, what’s the point? Donna and I rocked up on a recent Sunday with the requisite space in the abdomen, and we weren’t disappointed.
And it’s busy. Busy, bustly, yet there’s always a seat somewhere – at a bar, on a couch, and the fast professional waiters had us sat on a couch, with fresh water poured before I even noticed! Too busy looking at the sweets menu chalked up on one wall, and the dishes sailing out under our noses.
The house made crumpets looked amazing, with blackberry, lime butter and coconut at $15, crowned by a large dollop of fresh cream. Coffee? Lickety split. A perfect long black for me, with lemon (no trouble!) and a superior flat white for Donna. By this time, I was getting into serious eating mode, so we shifted to the communal table, holding court in the centre of the room.
Do you love or hate communal tables? I love them. The opportunity to sticky beak at everyone else’s food, in particular, then there’s the side pleasure of hearing random conversations, and eagerly joining in if the appropriate eye contact is made. New BFF’s over brunch. Everyone’s happy, and the world looks good from these food coloured glasses.
We plough through the menu and agonise over the choice. There’s a page for eggs anyway you like, and sides – at $4 – so it’s a sort of build your own. Which certainly suits the millennials. But it’s the house specials that we choose, and I head for the Braised Beef Brisket omelette, with whipped feta, sweet chilli, crispy shallots, pickled red onion, toast. $18.
Donna has similar dilemmas, and finally plumps for the baked eggs, which are: “62Deg slow-cooked eggs, fried speck, red peppers, tomato sugo, paprika, gruyere, toast. $18 also.
And they arrive in about 10 or so minutes, and considering the busyness of the place, is amazing. You want to know what mine was like? Incredible. Quite honestly, one of the best omelettes I’ve ever had. The combination of the egg, the beef, fresh sprouts and the vinegary slap of onion made a match from heaven.
Donna soldiered on with her eggs – which was served in a small pan reminiscent of the Spanish favourite, “Huevos Rancheros” and she loved every morsel. But by the time she’d finished, she was done, and so was I. Two girls opposite us had come in for coffee and were vowing to revisit, and as impressed as we were with the food.
Apparently there are 3 chefs in the kitchen, and while I would have loved to try the crumpets among other delicacies, I had to bow to the messages my insides were telling me: ‘enough!’ Such a shame. So many delicious things had to stay, and we had to go. But we’ll return. That’s for sure.
Slick service, great food, reasonable prices, and trendy, funky vibe. Ginger is hot right now, and hopefully, has taken deep roots. It’s a great add on to the city, and the locals? They love it. If you haven’t gone yet. Just go.