It’s exciting travelling to somewhere you’ve never been before. While I’m yet to explore what the rest of the world has to offer (yes, I will get my passport before the end of the year!), I really believe that Australia is filled with some truly amazing places to see and so much to discover, without having to worry about foreign currency and global roaming. At the beginning of March, the boy and I spent a few lovely days in Tasmania. The rugged, unspoiled scenery was quite different from anything I’ve seen on the mainland (about 40% of Tasmania is protected national parks), with picturesque mountains as the backdrop pretty much wherever you look.
We did the stunning (but challenging) 2 hour walk to Wineglass Bay, one of the world’s best-preserved beaches (#4 on the 100 Things to do in Australia Before you Die list, check!) and met a cute and inquisitive wallaby on the way. While I thought I was going to die at the time, it ended up being a highlight of the whole trip. There is also a great food culture in Tasmania, with their climate being perfect for producing fine cheese and dairy, cool-climate wines, hops for beer, honey, mushrooms and seafood amongst many others. I had a fabulous time. This appreciation for food is apparent in their blossoming restaurant scene.
Our first stop, literally straight from the airport, before even checking in to our Launceston hotel was Ut Si Café, in a quaint little town called Perth. I had been stalking their Twitter feed for a few weeks leading up to the trip and drooling over every photo. The café is housed in a refurbished old church that feels more like someone’s kitchen table than a restaurant. There’s a garden out the back to provide fresh, organic produce for the kitchen. They bake their own bread, make their own insanely delicious pastries and run a Growers Market on the weekends.
I started with a coffee while we perused the blackboard menu and settled on the delicious sounding Mt Gnomon pulled pork and provolone pizza with pear, walnuts, rocket and wasabi honey dressing ($21). I’d seen this recipe in Gourmet Traveller a few months back using peaches instead of pears and loved the sound of it. The real thing tasted even better than I imagined and was beautifully presented. I especially liked the earthy taste of pear and the crunch of the walnuts.
The other dish that caught our eye was the Panzanella, using their very own home-grown heirloom tomatoes and torn bread ($15). The tomatoes were so sweet and full of flavour. The salad was dressed simply with olive oil, and a few shavings of Parmesan.
After a nice long chat to the lovely owner, Colette about places to eat in Hobart with some great suggestions (thanks Colette!) We decided to indulge in a piece of the Dutch chocolate tarte with double cream and poached peaches. It was absolutely delicious, a nice chocolate hit but not too sweet or rich, and the peaches were a lovely match. I absolutely loved Ut Si, from the great food and the passionate staff, to the way that the customers are treated like good friends. If you’re ever around Launceston, this is one place you should definitely go for a beautiful meal that is definitely made with love.
Ut Si Cafe – 86 Main Rd, Perth, Tasmania