“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “to speak of many things,“ and in a wink, the oysters that had been naively listening to the Walrus, had been eaten, every one.
As we turn into the gorgeous landscape where the Bangor Wine & Oyster Shed sits like a proud peacock, admiring the view, I feel an oyster binge coming on.
Without missing a beat, my monkey brain flits to Lewis Carroll’s wonderful poem, and the sly way he describes the Walrus and Carpenter’s delicious feast.
Why do the oysters wear shoes, when they have no feet? So they can follow the gourmands to their deaths of course.
Tasmania punches above its weight in a few things, and oyster supply is one of them. More than a quarter of all oysters sold in Australia now, are Tasmanian, and premium among the brands are the Pacific oysters grown in the cool, clear waters of Breaknock Bay, near Port Arthur, simply called Lease 170.
Being adaptable, and doing a sharp right turn on the rural road of business, Tom Gray flipped the sheep he farmed when wool prices crashed in the 90s, and dived into oysters. Lucky for us he did.
Lochie, our designated driver for the day, directed us to a table at the window, and seated on bar stools, we admire the view. A band plays jazz out in the paddock, kids run in and out of a playhouse, and a slow-smoked pork carcass sends its aromas up and around us like a warm blanket.
“The oyster tasting plate’s the go here,” says our bearded friend, and we follow, happily, his lead. For $28 the dozen, we slurp down 2 natural, 2 Thai lime, 2 soy and ginger, 2 mignonette, 2 Kilpatrick, and 2 topped with macadamia pesto.
“The Walrus and the Carpenter missed out!” I muse, and the oysters are everything and more that we expect. Rich, fresh, juicy, tasty, the toppings are inspired and only serve to complement a premium product.
There’s abalone, scallops, salmon, chowder and on goes the menu. All dishes read well, would tempt even the tiredest of taste buds, but the pull of the pig is too much, and we all plump for the pulled pork and slaw burger that is served lovingly outside.
On the menu as “Conchinta Pilba” pulled pork and apple slaw, which for ten bucks is a good buy. I can’t help it, and Googling the dish, I see it is really Cochinita Pibil, which has orange skins on the bottom of the meat, and achiote puree is added to the mix. Well, it’s damn good, however they choose to spell it!
The Bangor’s Jimmy’s Hill Pinot Gris at $9.50 is these days, good value, and we eat and drink overlooking the water, the oyster beds, and the vines that produce their wine, right here, right now.
Feeling particularly piggish, we share a cheese platter ($29 for two people) of Pyengana, Grandvewe and King Island cheeses they’ve matched with a fruit and nut sourdough, fruit paste, nuts and spiced cherries. And a lemon tart, $10! Woah!
Replete, nay, delighted with the day, the journey, the venue and the entire experience, we groove home to Lochie’s music and vow to return.
Dunalley, on the way to Port Arthur.
Open 10am to 5pm every day. Phone: 03 62535 558
This island has so many parts to it, and Bangor is one that has spread its wings without losing traction or speed. Have you been, dear readers? Did we miss something??