Avast ye! Spooning’s Cap’n ‘ere to talk to ye about the fine landlubbing oceanic establishment known as the DRUNKEN ADMIRAL. One of the most famous restaurants in the entire of the Australian wenches’ private bits island below Bass Straight. DRUNKEN ADMIRAL is more than a restaurant, it’s an institution that has been running since 1979 by the same family. That’s nearly 40yrs, longer than most pirates live!! If you are in Hobart and don’t do a meal at DRUNKEN ADMIRAL then you deserve a keel haul, savvy?
DRUNKEN ADMIRAL HISTORY:
There is no chance I can keep pirate talk up for the entire article! The Godfrey family has ran this institution since I was 7yrs old and the first ever Star Wars movie released. During this time they have amassed more ocean bound paraphernalia than most museums.
The present day building was constructed in 1825-26 on the northwest shore of Hunter Island, partly on reclaimed land. It was built for the Leith Australian Company which was initially established to encourage Scottish families to migrate to Australia. The company imported rum, gin, wine, ale, pork, herrings, hams, tea, coffee, mustard, stationery, saddlery, snuff, and hardware such as paint, whitening, tar, chalk, nails, implements, iron and cedar.
The building was considered one of the finest in the colony, built of brick with a stone façade and roofing slate imported from Scotland, which was considered quite an extravagance at the time. The building included four store rooms, two offices, a sample room and a three-bedroom residence.
They built them good back then – not bad for a 192yr old harbour front building. Still looks as amazing and as grand as it did back then.
DRUNKEN ADMIRAL VENUE:
It is hands down one of the best venues I have ever walked into. Every place you look, every nook and cranny, every spare iota of space is taken up with something nautically themed. They really need to open it during the day for high oceanic tea and a history tour of all their memorabilia. I spent as much time walking around other diners looking at cool things as I did enjoying the meal with mother dearest.
You truly get the feel you are in the hold of a pirate ship. You want to get as sloshed as Jack Sparrow and show yer true colours to Will Turner. I am still blown away at how much like a kid I felt in DRUNKEN ADMIRAL. If you have kids make sure you take them – they will love this place like a theme park. I would return to Hobart just to visit here again.
DRUKEN ADMIRAL DRINKS:
Abundant local and international wines, beers, spirits and so on. You will not go unhappy. Mum went a local white and I went some local beers. If I return I promise to drink rum from a flask and get on some yo ho ho.
The menu at DRUNKEN ADMIRAL is a vast masterclass in seafood worship. You won’t get much seafood this fresh and fantastic around the world. Mostly everything is locally sourced and if it hasn’t jumped out of the water straight into the front door it’s bloody close. They serve oysters prepped seven ways and while I am not a huge oysters fan I have never eaten them better in my life than in Tassie. The rest is seafood platters, hot pots, the hot rock salmon looked very popular and seafood every which way to make you squee in delight.
THAT FAMOUS CHOWDER:
There is one dish I was told by friends in Sydney that I HAD TO EAT if visiting DRUNKEN ADMIRAL. Their seafood chowder recipe has been going since they opened in 1979 and is considered one of the best chowders in the world. The chowder comes served on piece of paper that has the entire recipe. It is no secret, it is the best and it is proud. I would never have even considered this to order if I was not told and now I would consider it worthy of its own flights from Sydney to order. It was superb. Rich, creamy, hearty but not heavy and easily one of the best things I have eaten in 2017.
FISH MARKET TASTING PLATE:
Mum and I had been pigging out all day, we did a culinary tour of Bruney Island for most of the day and returned for dinner at DRUNKEN ADMIRAL. Mum is also not a seasoned food wench like myself so we didn’t order big. To be honest we were stuffed when we arrived so we shared two mains and an dessert – a perfect choice for us. I am sad we didn’t have the space to devour the biggest seafood basket for two I have ever seen but I will be returning to this place. We went a little smaller than the entire platter and had the Fish Market Tasting Plate.
Queensland tiger prawns, fresh mussels, pickled calamari, hot smoked Macquarie Harbour ocean trout, marinated Pirate’s Bay Octopus, freshly shucked natural oysters and salmon gravlax all served chilled with fresh lemon cocktail sauce and twists of baked grissini. HEAVEN!! Everything was flawless, the trout was my fave and the freshness just emanated from the plate, this is food you could live a long life on.
The hollow legs came into play for this wonderful treat. Tuscan Lemon Orchard Panna Cotta married to a molten blueberry jam, vanilla persian fairy floss and baby meringues. I squealed. That fine citrus burst was delightfully licked by the sharp sweet jam. The only thing bad about this dessert was sharing it with someone. DRUNKEN ADMIRAL offers a lot of amazing desserts and if sweets aren’t your thing, I pity you ya scurvy dog. I would also suggest the abundant cheese platter options as an alternative.
And when you are too full to move just have a nap in the giant fish stew pot outside the entry – just look at that strapping young pirate below.
Oh me hearties, DRUNKEN ADMIRAL is one of ye finer joints to wet ye pipe. X marks the spot for this thirty eight year old treasure of Hobart and the greater Australia. A seafood institution worthy of rum addled shanties.
SCORE BREAKDOWN: 3/3 food, 2/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 1/1 venue & ambience, 1/1 cost, 1/1 toilets and 1/1 bonus
Drunken Admiral Deets:
PH: (03) 62 341 903
17-19 Hunter St. Old Wharf, Hobart Town, Tasmania
HOURS: Dinner 7 Days
LOCAL DELIVERY: I doubt it
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes
KID FRIENDLY: Definitely
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) were invited guests of the establishment and/or any PR agencies representing them. However, as always, if it was shite I would happily tell you as such ***