Miss Jane / 4 Cascade Rd, South Hobart TAS 7004 / $$ / Open lunch Tues-Fri / Dinner Tues-Sat / Ph: 03 6224 3194 www.missjanehobart.com.au
“Buckle up those shoes Miss Jane, pizza’s heading your way…”
There’s an algorithm now for the perfect pizza. Really. In a restaurant review, I’m always looking to learn something. Sure, we can read about food endlessly, good or bad, but give me something I didn’t know. Maybe that’s the price I pay for being endlessly curious.
And because of the way PhD students must acquire their qualifications, the pickings must be slim these days to find a subject that hasn’t been mined to death. It was Dr. Eugenia Cheng, a mathematician in the U.K. who came up with her topic, “On the perfect size for a pizza”.
Dr. Cheng informs us that, “… it is not only the overall thickness of the pizza that is affected by its size, but also this topping-to-base ratio.” Well, we knew that, didn’t we? Or did we? It seems the medium pizza’s thicker crust will have a thicker base – and? Soggy pizza. Yuck. But, add more dough, spread it out, and with a thin topping (as the Italians have always known) and voila! Perfecto.
“There are a few places in Hobart these days that are absolutely nailing those pizzas. But unfortunately, Miss Jane wasn’t one of them the night we were there.”
When it’s owned by the same crew who pump at Ginger Brown, you’d expect nothing less. And the rest of the dishes? The pork belly – $32.50 – with carrot, pickled cucumber and tamarind, was delicious, soft with a crackling crunch. The miso cured salmon, with orange mascarpone, and confit balsamic shallots at $24, was a generous serve, and a lovely take on our favourite fish.
Confit duck with apple, witlof, potato and green peppercorn – $34? Tender, well cooked with a balance that worked in most dishes. In fact, the chef is obviously in a good space. Rocket salad with almond, pecorino and lemon dressing – $9.50? A really good side that was light yet tasty, and sharp.
And that was a shame, because everything else was pretty much on the money. The décor is fine – stylish, comfortable, and the service? Terrific.
Then, desserts. Again, well done, and accomplished. The coconut panna cotta, with pineapple and ginger crumble, at $14.50, was outstanding. Melt in the mouth. The house made sorbets at $12.50 were fruity, fresh and quality.
And if you’re waiting for the uh-uh, here it is. We ordered the dessert special, which was ‘apple and goats’ cheese’, because why not? But it missed. The puff pasty shard on top was dry, and I doubt house made. It just didn’t have that buttery goodness that a fresh in-house pastry delivers. And the poached apple with a good dose of cinnamon and goat’s cheese was just – well, underwhelming.
And so back to the pizzas. Which feature large on the Miss Jane menu. We tried “Miss Jane’s very fluffy, cheesy, Garlic Pizza – $12.50” and the “Salami, chilli, olives, capsicum, anchovy dressing – $25”. And with both pizzas, the dough was way undercooked, soggy, and the toppings? Way, way too much sugo, really. And that was the disappointment.
We did start early, and thought that maybe the pizza oven simply had been not hot enough. Could be. But that wouldn’t have changed the toppings, and the dough which lacked that crisp texture that says “I’ve been cooked in a really hot oven for a short time, because that’s what I like!”.
However, overall? A lovely night, with some really good food at good prices too. Attentive, smart service, and we did comment on the pizza, and our waiter took that on board. Miss Jane is a great addition to what used to be a desert in the dining scene in South Hobart, and judging by the crowd that was there, is pulling in the punters. How have you found our lady?