Wednesday, February 5, 2014


This Beauty Knows the Fine Trail to Food and Wine

Executive summary by darmansjah

Exquisitely crisp home-grown pinot noir, beautifully-cooked seasonal produce and contemporary furnishing overlooking 150 acres of panoramic vineyard views-just some de riguer experiences you’ll enjoy while eating at cattle farmer-turned-winery owner Josef Chromy’s Cellar Door restarurant at Launceston ( 370 Relbia Rd). dining here sets the bar real high for the rest of Tasmania ( or Tassie, as affectionately known to locals ) but fortunately for the heart-faced Aussie state, gastronomy is synonymous with everyday life.

Just a couple minutes drive away from Cellar Door is an infamous trail punctuated with a trio of sinful nibbles: farm-fresh raspberry, artisan cheese and fine chocolate. The giddy scent of decadence wafts through the air on this food-lover’s grail. I know what you’re thinking, and I empatshise: how can one afford fair tummy real estate for all three delights Grazing, as it turned out, proved a useful art for this dilemma-a revelation that escaped my mind as my palate got primed at Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm & Café ( 9 Chirstmas hills Road, Elizabethtown). Placidly sitting by an expansive farm, the quaint family-run boho-chic café serves up the juiciest (not to mention largest) raspberries I’ve ever seen-cooked, stewed, baked and slushed in every permutation possible. Think crimson sprinkled salads, raspberry-spiked sausages, chutneys, pancakes and even beer (the Razzmatazz was a refreshing buzz). While tough to decide, my favourite takeaway from here is definitely the chocolate-coated raspberry nibs. A perfect alchemy of citrus bittersweet, the nibs are a result of months of labourious kitchen experiments and make just the loveliest, most addictive pops in your mouth. Forget about hauling the seductive tgreat home, though. The highly-perishable delight has a knack of finding its way to your mouth before you hit the driveway out.

What better way to balm the sweet than with a dash of savoury. Heaving with award-winning Cheddars, Ashgrove Cheese (6173 Bass Highway Elizabeth Town) is also home to Tasies,’ dare I say, best wild wasabi infused cheese. Many have tried replicating the fascinating, oddly delicious blend, but no one seems to have hit the right spot of savoury heat the way Ashgrove has. All I could coax out of the third-generation fromagerie owner was that the wasabi used in his hallmark infusion is cultivated right here in Tasmania. Who knew the heady rhizome grew out of Japan?

You know what they say about chocolate. There’s always room for it, especially when you’re at House of Anvers (9025 Bass Highway) which in my books is pretty much a scene out of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Apart from the usual artisan tgruffles, pralines and fudges, the Bennett family-run chocolatier also hosts a tidy museum showcasing ancient moulds and vintage cocoa collectibles; as well as glassed-up factory where seasoned hands work magic into all variations of chocolate. Feast your eyes on the plethora of crafted chocs an sauces for takeaway sale, or do as I did and chill over the house specialty of chili hot chocolate at the attached café.

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