Australia Roadtrip: Tasmania food and cafes

Australia Roadtrip: Tasmania food and cafes

Written by Heather

Topics: Eats & Sweets

This is the 9th post in the “my waist line is expanding while my bank account is decreasing” series.

If there’s anything that can capture my attention more than a cute baby wombat in the wild, it’s the promise of a good meal — and then delivering on that promise.

Cute baby wombat in the wild at Cradle Mountain
Wombats at Cradle Mountain

I’m not alone. I’ve been road tripping with two like-minded friends…we’d rather spend our money on delicious food than activities or a place to stay. Needless to say, we’ve been on a daily mission to find the best eats each town has to offer.

Sometimes Tasmania delivered the goods, sometimes it disappointed, and sadly it gave us a FAIL or two. Let’s review a few of the best and worst, shall we?

Tamar Valley wine region

Brook Eden
We only sampled a few wines here, but the woman who was pouring was friendly and easy to chat with…the same can’t be said for all of the wineries we visited.

Vines at Brook Eden
Tamar Valley wine day

Cradle Mountain

Who would have thought that the Cradle Mountain Cafe would actually serve up quality food? Not me and Adam, that’s for sure. When you’re located at a major tourist destination, you know people will need/want to buy meals, snacks, and drinks, whether the selection is quality or not. This means that you sometimes find run-of-the-mill menu options and the execution is just as average.

Thankfully the cafe won us over and then some…the hot, seasoned chips we had on day one were some of the BEST I’ve ever had, and the lamb pizza we shared on day two was absolutely beautiful. I still think about those chips from time to time. If you’re Cradle Mountain bound, get the chips. Seriously.

Hobart

I learned about Hobart Woodfired Pizza through the Foodspotting iPhone app and figured we should give it a go. Adam and Nicole weren’t as impressed as I was, but I LOVED the pizza Adam and I shared — chicken, brie and asparagus on one half and Tas Seafood (shrimp, crabmeat, fresh fish, calamari, cheese and garlic) on the other. What made this pizza for me was the cheese baked to perfection on top of the other pizza toppings. Unfortunately, that’s what my travel companions didn’t like about it.
Hobart Woodfired Pizza

Smith Street Store
We had high hopes for a solid brekky at this cafe. While Nicole’s pancakes with berry compote rocked, my omelette was dry as a bone and largely inedible. Adam’s egg dish fell somewhere in between.

Noodle House
For a quick dinner, we grabbed a dish at the Noodle House. My “Green Box” (wok tossed chicken fillet pices, pineapple, garden green veg, and spinach noodle in coconut and green curry sauce) was as tasty as I had hopped.

Salamanca Bakehouse
Savory pies are a staple for Aussies, and the scallop pie reigns supreme in Tasmania. Before we even boarded the ferry bound for Devonport, I was looking forward to eating a scallop pie at the Salamanca Bakehouse based on a food blog I’d stumbled upon.

The flavor was nice, but I could have used a few more scallops in the pie. It’s like calling an ice cream flavor “cookie dough” and only having a few, tiny balls of dough in the entire container.

Everyone and their mother seemed to be catching up with friends over a coffee and cake at Jackman & McRoss, so we decided to go too.

Strawberry and pistachio tart
Jackman and McRoss: strawberry & pistachio tart

This place was truly a hit or miss! The tart above was heavenly, they served a perfect hot chocolate (complete with two big marshmallows), and they made the best piccolo latte yet. On the other hand, our first visit was a disaster with a beyond dry and flavorless muffin — so much so that I’m shocked we returned on day two and three. Thankfully we did.

Strahan

After trying my first scallop pie in Hobart, I was determined to have another before leaving Tasmania. Driving up the west coast to Cradle Mountain, we passed through Strahan, and I made a beeline for Banjo’s Bakehouse.

Actual scallop pie — looks so pretty on the outside!
Banjo's Bakehouse scallop pie

Photo of a sign advertising the Bakehouse’s scallop pie
Photo of a poster of scallop pie

See the three scallops in the photo above — the photo that’s on the outside of the bakery, enticing you to come inside and enjoy their superb filling and flaky pastry?! Apparently those are meant to represent the ONLY three scallops you’ll find in your pie, as I only had three in mine. How can you call it a scallop pie with three scallops the size of my pinkie fingernail?!

Launceston

After leaving Paul Heinz at KMart Tyre & Auto, we had some time to kill before our Boags Brewery tour — enter Cafe Rossilli. My scrambled eggs on toast with avocado (a whole one — crazy!) was top notch (simple but delicious), and Adam’s coconut bread with lime marmalade was a winner.

Swansea

We figured Kate’s Berry Farm would warrant a quick pit stop — park, look inside, and get back on the road ASAP. What we found was a great spot to have a meal and slice of pie.

We hadn’t anticipated wanting lunch, but the special of the day (the only option for lunch, in fact!) was calling — a homemade chicken pot pie. The chicken, veggies, and filling was topped with a thin, perfect layer of pastry. For dessert, we somehow mustered some self-control and split a piece of strawberry and rhubarb pie, served with one of the most creamy ice creams I’ve ever had. It was all so impressive that we returned for a piece of pie the next day. This place is a must visit!

Kate's Berry Farm

North coast foodie tour

I was never more disappointed in Tasmania as I was our last couple of days.

Even more than the scallop pie, I’d been looking forward to a visit to Christmas Hill Raspberry Farm. The promise of a raspberry latte (complete with “lust dust”, whatever that was!) and a menu bursting with raspberry meals had me chatting this place up like it would be the promised land.

We arrived to an empty parking lot. We walked inside and immediately Adam’s foodie radar set off a warning. I told him to keep the faith.

First, my raspberry latte arrived. It tasted nothing like raspberry. And the “lust dust” (dried raspberry) was just barely sprinkled on top. Sigh. At least our french toast with raspberry jam and chocolate would be better. Right?

Very sad little coffeePhoto by Nicole
Raspberry Latte, Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm, Elizabethtown, Tasmania

What we were served was nearly tasteless bread that had been toasted — and it wasn’t french toast by any means. The jam and chocolate made it go down a bit easier, but it was a massive let down. Maybe I just had high expectations and the reality couldn’t compare? My two comrades felt similarly.

There are several other food stops (cheese, chocolate, fruit, etc.) in and around this same area. The only one I think was worth the stop was the Melita Honey Farm in Chudleigh. Sample heaps of flavors and then buy a scoop of honey ice cream!

Photo by Nicole
Melita Honey Farm, Chudleigh, Tasmania

It’s hard to believe, but as I’m writing this, I’ve been back on the main land for a month! We’ve driven from Melbourne to south west Western Australia, and there’s HEAPS to share…mice, locusts, and crickets attacking Paul Heinz; beautiful beaches in South Australia and Western Australia; interesting fellow campers (from folks doing it cheaper than us to “gray nomads”); and of course, a few good eats.

If you just can’t wait for another post and are missing me terribly (play along if you’re not), visit our 1Yank1Aussie YouTube channel and the daily videos we’ve taken since day one. Adam is sure to amuse you, you’ll hear me more often than you’ll see me, and if you’re lucky, you may get a glimpse of the elusive Nicole.

Featured image by xb3.

27 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Mom says:

    The strawberry dessert left me salivating!!! I had to stare at it for a few moments…..

  2. Megan says:

    This is just plain mean. I want to eat all of that!

  3. Nicole says:

    Hahaha – elusive is right! I guess I’m a little camera shy. 0;-)

    That scallop pie from Banjo’s was indeed the saddest little pie ever! Good thing we’ve had some good eats to make up for the disappointments . . . and hopefully more yummy food to come over our next few days in Perth – yay! :)

  4. Zablon says:

    scallop pie looks very tasty

  5. Hi Heather! So happy that Foodspotting led you to such delicious-looking pizza. Hope you’ll continue to use the app on your travels, and feel free to share your food pics too! You definitely have a knack for sharing good dish recommendations :)

    • Heather says:

      Thanks Amy! Used the app quite a few times now and hope to start using it myself as I get more into blogging about my food adventures — the interest sprung up somewhat unexpectedly :-)

  6. Annie says:

    Can’t believe you’ve been back for a month, totally thought you were still in Tazzie! Your food posts are killing me but I totally love them, that pizza looks fan-tastic! YUM!

  7. Wow Heather,
    Fantastic images, what wonderful food you tried in Tasmania! We always breakfast (and often lunch) at Jackman & McRoss, usually great quality.

    BUT, I want some of that Scallops pie, finished off with a piece of the strawberry and rhubarb pie, please!
    Great post
    Frank

  8. Your first line is priceless. Wombats and food porn — you know how to draw a reader’s attention. ;)

  9. Kyle says:

    Mouth. Watering.

    The strawberry pistachio dish sounds like a winner to me!

    And I’m loving the food porn pics, keep ‘em coming!

  10. So disappointed to read how the scallop pie at the Salamanca Bakery has changed since I was there a few years ago. The scallops at the time were massive and took up the majority of the space within the pie. The other place looked even worse!

    I’m a cooked cheese kind of person too. Had too many pizzas with limp, barely melted cheese.

  11. Camille says:

    Your food and dessert posts are great. You are certainly capturing the presentation in your photos, and the taste in your description!

    We are really enjoying all of your blogs as you experience new things every single day – friends, food, drink, cities and towns, cute animals (and the not so cute annoying critters) that you encounter also. Love -love – love the videos and we are so happy for you that you are having such an amazing time.

    Stay safe and continue to enjoy the rest of your time in Oz.

  12. Claire says:

    This was about the worst thing to read on a Friday afternoon at work… Now I’m HUNGRY!

    I’ve heard good things about Kate’s Berry Farm, and had a couple of goodies brought back for me.

    Neeed to get myself back to Tassie sometime. Thanks for the great post!

  13. Sally says:

    Omigod. That pizza looks a-mazing. I haven’t had pizza in MONTHS. So want.

  14. Tijmen says:

    Not good reading this while having my breakfast, the strawberry pie and pizza look great :)

  15. Ebony says:

    I am at Cradle Mountain right now, and had the chips yesterday. I am STILL thinking about them. I wanted them again, but couldn’t justify chips as dinner to my husband (we ate at the lovely Grey Gum Restaurant at Cradle Mountain Chalet last night) so I hit the net to see if the pizza or pasta was any good so we can stay in and watch the footy. And of course, so I can have some more of those chips!!! We leave tomorrow. Thank you for your blog, it helped me convince him :)

    • Heather says:

      Ebony, I’m so glad you had the chips!! I relied on food blogs or food posts on travel blogs to help me find good eats throughout Australia. So cool that you found my post and used it to check out the cafe again ;-)

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