Quirky? Clever? Fun? All of the above. A big welcome to this new kid on the block. One of our dinner crew, and a new recruit to Tassie, had tried the Quartermasters the week before our visit, and was busting to go back. We found out why.
We’d been schmoozing and boozing at Captain Bligh’s celebrating a book launch and the monthly visit to the Captain. More of him in another post, this one is about a bar that stocks some of Bligh’s brews and much else besides.
Set in an old house that could have come from Peter Pan, the Arms is an odd mix of rooms and dining choices that put simply, works. With beautiful big coffee-table cookbooks scattered around, dim lamps and eclectic furniture, one feels at home, sort of.
And the staff? Friendly, knowledgeable and happy to serve. This place is fast becoming a favourite local with more than a few of my friends. We are warned on the website that both menus – food and drink – are changed regularly and this night, we choose a couple of bottled drinks with very ‘out-there’ labels. The beers range from $8 – $12, so we try an “Oxymoron” or Dark Pale Ale. Of course! And someone has a lemon squash, with the most incredible artistic label I’ve seen.
We coo and admire, as the small and sharing plates we order slip quickly onto our bar. Chilli cheese potatoes at $12 come in a mound of starchy, smokey flavourful spuds that hit the spot. We move on to share the King Island Scallops, perfectly cooked, seasoned and presented. $16.
Tour of Tassie tempura vegie plate is inspired, and $15. Fresh, crisp, delicious, and the larger plates? New season’s spring lamb shoulder with peas and greens at $26 is delicious. I wonder, how do they turn out such super food in that shoebox of a kitchen? I make a note to follow that up.
The slow roast Cape Grim Steak Plate, at $35, is worth every cent. Perfectly cooked, seasoned, and presented. These guys know what they’re doing, and do it well.
They only list one sweet – and tonight it is Royal Gala divorced apple pie with rum custard. Oh, well, another deconstruction that sets my teeth on edge no matter how they put it and we’re too full anyway – the sweets will have to be next time.
We wind up a great night with another boutique beer brew, and head out into the wind whipped stretch of Elizabeth Street that the Arms calls home. If I weren’t so dedicated to bringing you guys the newest and best, I would spend a lot more time at the Arms. Trust me!
134 Elizabeth Street, Hobart, 7000 Tel: 03 6236 9119
Open Tuesday to Saturday.
Have you been to the Arms? Loving the whole Tasmanian locavore focus? What’s your take on this funny, quirky place?