Life has swamped me so much the last six months. I keep going back through the multitude of albums and being reminded of how epic the meals are and then kicking myself in the bumholio to get them posted. I visited The Glass House in Hobart back in February and was spellbound by the views, the decor, the food and the entire experience. The Glass House doesn’t have a set menu, it changes daily based on availability, freshness and what the chef thinks will work best so regardless of my visit time all the meals are relevant and the place is so marvellous it needs me to shout about it from atop mountains.
THE GLASS HOUSE VENUE:
The Glass House is simply one of the best venues I have ever been to. It is elegantly appointed and has an upper class atmosphere suited to the wealthy but at an affordable price. It sits at the end of the wharf where you catch the ferry to MONA and during the day has expansive harbour views while at night it has dazzling views. The venue is three walls of glass with uninterrupted views of Sullivan’s Cove and the Derwent River and then the entry from the pier.
The venue is designed by Circa and Robert Morris-Nunn and really has no expense spared. It is the same owners of the venue and designers who created The Islington Hotel, Hobart’s only Five Star Hotel.
The venue is split into balanced but unique sections. Arm chairs in frosted green Jim Thompson fabric against beaten silver tables balance the light encompassed front Dining Lounge. House of Hackney covered settees with prints of marsupials having a party worthy of the Mad Hatter occupy ‘The Keep’, which also houses their exclusive Whisky Locker. This section is more suited to lounging and drinking some of the marvellous local and international cocktails, whiskeys, gins and wines.
There are larger tabled sections that are slightly more private – these would be ideal for groups of any kind. There is the bar with mirrored ceiling and bar stools for some pre drink heaven and finally there is the glass section. Not actually a dining area – cabinets housing their remarkable glass collection. There are a lot of personal items in the cabinets and a lot of glassware purchased from auctions from the local area. It is impressive.
THE TITLE ARTWORK:
As you enter you will be greeted but the most beautiful Miss Fish Fingers. The muse of The Glass House, Miss Fish Fingers is the subject of a painting born of local artist Michael McWilliams. The venue itself is designed to compliment her colours and she is a heavy influence over THE GLASS HOUSE. She is also so bloody marvellous I wanted to steal her but I would imagine a very nasty fishy cursing coming from that.
THE GLASS HOUSE FOOD:
The food is fit for royalty. You here for quality and not quantity. Do not be expecting a massive pasta, or a hearty stew. Everything at The Glass House is about showing off the marvellous local food in a truly decadent style. Executive Chef David Ball rules and Ikuei Arakane is the Global Brand Ambassador. Ball has an established career to make most chefs quiver. He honed his skills at Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, a two star Michelin restaurant in Oxford and has since worked at venues through Europe and Sydney. Arakane is best known from his Iron Chef fame and together they champion The Glass House on the International restaurant market and promote local produce and Tasmania itself as a bespoke destination.
THERE ARE NO STARTERS OR MAINS REALLY:
The menu itself is a daily affair. It is a love letter to local produce and one of the great restaurants to highlight the best of Australian food. It is delicate, it is decadent and it is refined. The front of the menu explains where all the local produce in the dishes comes from and the next two pages of our menu showed us the twelve meals we could order plus the two desserts and cheese platter for afters. The impressive thing is that the most expensive dish is only $28-.
This is not the place you will get a lobster from, in fact we couldn’t find any lobster in the Hobart area at all but you get my point. The Glass House menu is more tapas styled dishes, all designed to be shared and designed for you to order many. Some dishes, like the Mixed Oysters may appear more entree like but all the dishes are fairly small. Speaking of the oysters – make sure you indulge in many when in Tasmania – they are the best in the world.
WHAT WE INDULGED IN:
Mum kicked it off with a delightful white wine from the marvellous wine menu while I went a little more indulgent and whored myself to the Lavender and Rosemary Bellini. It was heaven. Our first dish scared the hell out of mum. Due to some health complications over the years mum’s diet has had to be reigned in to more simple fair and the Cured Wallaby Tartare wasn’t a simplified dish. The wallaby was served with egg puree, onions and kunzea emulsion. Kunzea is a shrub actually native to Australasia. I had never heard of it but it tasted like a divine gourmet prawn cracker. The tartare itself let me know I was dining somewhere special. Wallaby on it’s own is a terrible meat to eat. The combinations of flavours in this tartare balanced and flavoured that wallaby to the next level. This dish was sublime.
TROUT THAT LOOKS LIKE WATERMELON:
We then moved on to an Ocean Trout served with apples, watercress and pickled mustard seeds. It was a refreshing and delightful dish with the local trout looking more like watermelon circles. The apple ball’s citrus was a beautiful partner to the trout that was all brought together with the mildly peppery watercress. Call this a top tier palate cleanser dish that makes your eyes roll back into your head.
Following this was a dish mum couldn’t eat. She can’t do mushrooms, so the oyster mushrooms, onsen egg, amaranth black garlic and slivers of nori was all mine. This was easily one of my favourite dishes. I have an egg worship issue and the flavours in this dish scream the name of the talented Executive Chef, David Ball. Onsen eggs are slow cooked at about 70 degrees for 35mins. In the modern world this is known as the 63 degree egg but traditionally they were eggs cooked in nets in the Onsen Hot Springs in Japan. The hot springs were usually at about 70 degrees.
This was probably mum’s favourite dish. A flaky crispy pork shoulder tonkatsu served with a sesame slaw. This visually simple dish was perfectly matched with it’s accompaniment.
THAT SHORT RIB THOUGH:
Short rib cubes served with master stock braised daikon, green onion and fermented chilli labnah. Not only the most visual dish of the night but my favourite dish of the night. This was a masterpiece in every way. It fell apart in the mouth and like the other dishes basically had my toes curling and my eyes rolling back into my head with each bite.
I don’t know what we were thinking – we were pretty stuffed to the brim by this stage and I was drinking some gin specialty the venue made for me on ice that was melting my face off. I wish I could remember the drink – it was sublime. But we went two desserts. One a sweet and the other a cheeseboard. I am pretty sure we took half the cheese back with us to the AirBNB. The cheeses we selected were the Bay of Fires Cloth Bound Cheddar and for me always the blue, a Grandewe Sapphire Blue. If I was on an empty stomach with a bottle of wine cracked the cheese would have been perfection and nothing would be left.
The sweet dessert was next level genus. It basically looked like a plate of white stuff but was so refined and delightful I will have this again when I return to Tassie. Ground white chocolate over coconut sorbet and yuzu curd. I am obsessed with yuzu so was in heaven with this and there’s always room for sweets right?
If you are after a high end dining experience on a fairly decent price tag that offers some of the best views in Hobart then The Glass House is a must. I recommend a minimum of two dishes per person to get the most out of it and most definitely indulge in cocktails. You won’t be disappointed.
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
THE GLASS HOUSE DEETS:
PH: (03) 6223 1032
Brooke Street Pier, Franklin Wharf, Hobart TAS 7000
12pm – 10pm Every Day
BAR: Fully Licensed
LOCAL DELIVERY: No
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes
KID FRIENDLY: Yes – if well behaved
*** The majority of this meal was paid for however the venue brought us a few sample dishes to extend our order ***