A whale of a holiday

The Whaler

39 Salamanca Place Battery Point Hobart

(Visited August ’18)

It was our last night in Hobart, and somehow again, the struggle was real.It continued, because again we were at a loss as to where to eat on the apple aisle.

Only we didn’t want fruit… we wanted DINNER.Most of the bars/eateries in Salamanca Place were geared for friends and locals, not so much for families. We were brought inside places and showed where we would sit… at a table with high-stools… it just wouldn’t work! Baby girl would fall off it, damn it!

Baby girl would fall off it, damn it!

At first we were reluctant to head into The Whaler, with that younger just-out-of-high-school crowd, a bouncer out front, and of course it was also that the building looked like it had been picked up out of Brunswick Melbourne and plopped down at the corner of Salamanca Place.

We were wary. Was it appropriate with a child in tow?

But once we went inside to check out the menu, we found out that not only was there a kids menu (shock horror!), but we were allowed to eat inside with her if we wanted… something about kids being in a licensed venue, I don’t know. I mean I wasn’t going to order her a beer… I’ll wait ‘til she’s about 9 for that.

(Totally joking).

It didn’t matter though, because we chose to sit outside. We had fresh air and lo and behold, no stools. Just benches. Inside seemed rowdier and we were just happy to have a meal and drink on our last night on this most interesting of holiday locations.

I ordered all of our drinks and food up at the bar (a la inner city Melbs pub style!) and then we proceeded to sit back, relax, take in the Saturday night Salamanca vibe and reminisce on what the last 5 days had been like.

Our drinks helped us think back over the past week.

A ’16 Beautiful Isle Pinot Noir for me, and a Cascade Lager for Hubbie

Searching for parking on Davey street along Salamanca Place…

Getting lost on the highways and looping right on Tasman hwy instead of turning right on Domain highway…. REPEATEDLY…

Struggling to find decent takeaway food…

Dealing with a sick baby girl for a day and a half…

Having the sunrise wake us nice and early at 7am if we were lucky, due to the non-existent blinds…

The hills…

The water…

The views from our rental in Lutana…

The fact that everything was cheaper!

Port Arthur, lookout points, meeting real-life animals up close at ZooDoo…

Discovering art and everything deep and dark at Mona.

Nah, yeah. The verdict was clear. We loved Hobart. 💖🥰

Baby girl watched youtube with her recently acquired fairy doll in fairy shop (an absolute must for fairy girls!) and glittery lip balm. Because as a 5 year-old you just don’t know who you will see in Hobart City on a Saturday night. 😉

We were happy when the food finally arrived. Happy because it looked great and also tasted just as good.

I had the special of Fair Market Fish, which was Silver Warehou from Tasmania, with fries and aioli

Hubbie had the 250g Cape Grim Scotch Fillet, with thick cut chips, charred greens, and single malt mushroom sauce

While baby girl had the ½ serve Fish and Chips

We were actually really impressed with the quality of baby girl’s fish pieces, more so since it wasn’t the classic family-catering place, despite the small kids menu on offer. She enjoyed it too as she nibbled while watching Elsia and Anya on youtube. Ahh kid life.

My fish fillets were also delicious accompanied by the chips and aioli, and although at the end of the day it was still your simple fish and chips, tasting the quality of the product like in baby girl’s meal, was impressive.

Hubbie enjoyed his steak. He said for a pub meal it was what he’d expected, but still, he was satisfied.

We felt relieved and happy once our tummies were full, glad we had made the right choice… Yeah! Since we had already paid, all we had to do was walk over to the rental, and then go back to start thinking about packing… 😬

Food: 7.5/10. It was surprisingly good for a pub-style place like that, bringing us memories of our inner-city town back home.

Coffee: N/A.

Ambience: Actually really quiet outside, surprisingly for a Saturday night. Wonder how the place fares in the warmer months. A couple of groups of friends, mostly teens and 20-somethings, were gathered outside at one stage but that was it. It was happening inside though, everyone seemed to be there.

People: As mentioned, the younger crowd, think out of high school teens and uni students, 20-somethings and those looking for a good meal with their pint of locally brewed beer. There was a kid in the bar with family though (shock horror, I know!)

Staff: The lady I ordered with and then subsequent waiters who brought us our food were all super lovely.

Price: $95. What? Under $100? For alcoholic drinks and 3 meals? They’ve broken away from mainland Aus not just in shared territory but in prices too…

Advice: This is a great place to hang out with friends, a cas night where you can enjoy some drinks, as well as know for sure the food quality will match.

In a nutshell: This one was the surprise underdog for me. It impressed with its great drink and food options, the major plus being baby girl’s food was better than your usual frozen nuggets on a plate – in fact nothing like it at all! And to end our Hobart visit like this, to be positively influenced and stunned all in one…

Well it kind of was the overall theme of our trip there. Pleasantly surprised, as we’ve found a new place to love.

We can’t wait to come back. 😊

The Whaler Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hippy Miss hangs with kids

Miss Marmalade
126 Union Street Brunswick

This wasn’t the first time my friends and I had ventured down Union Street. No, we had attempted to eat at Miss’ many many months earlier. Then, my friend had been told on the phone that we could come down and just be seated on that Sunday morning mid-Winter – however upon arrival the staff discovered there weren’t only 5 girls in tow, but 3 babies and 3 prams too. We learnt that there was going to be no space for us that day.

They were all very nice about it, and very apologetic. The wires had gotten crossed over the phone, something to do with renovations, and not realising how big of a group it was. We ventured down the street and ordered at a café where you pay at the front and then some greasy eggs get plonked on your plate in front of you while you and your friends scavenge for chairs and make the place your own. We were hungry so we were satisfied, and we were happy, as all friends in good company always are. You don’t need a special venue. You just want the people around you to make you smile.

However it is human nature to always want it ALL.

I’m a bit of an elephant. I don’t forget. I didn’t forget that Miss Marmalade was rated decently on the Urbanspoon brekkie list, I didn’t forget how lovely the staff were in their apologies, and I didn’t forget that they surely would have renovated by now.

8 months later, and the same group of girls were due to catch up again, once again with 3 prams, but this time requiring high chairs, and hopefully some kind of play area to keep these cheeky toddlers busy. I’d read about something for kids at Miss Marmalade’s, and unfinished business had me calling up and booking a table for us on a late Saturday morning in mid-March.

I was very happy to hear they took bookings. 5 girls and 3 prams and 3 kiddies needing 3 highchairs can’t just rock up anywhere. Establishments that take no bookings frustrate me. I realise they may have unreliable clientele, but really, if that is the case…. piss them off, or something. Lucky for me, on the several occasions I called Missy (1st to find ascertain if they did take bookings; 2nd time to actually book; and then 3rd to add high chairs) I had really lovely, welcoming, accommodating people on the other line. It was all too easy. I was secretly apprehensive that somehow, something would fall through and we’d be left stranded again heading for the greasy eggs, but fortunately for us that didn’t happen.

We had a nice venue this time. I don’t know how it looked like before its renovation, but it was cosy inside, a typical upmarket-hipster Brunswick café. We were seated in the back room via the long corridor running alongside the kitchen. There were a few tables in there allowing for more seating away from the front room, with a little play nook in one corner for the kids to (sit and) play. This room was not as done-up as the front room, looking a bit plainer, but it would have to do for us lot.

We had a great big spacious long table which was positioned at one end of the room, which meant we could take up all the corners surrounding us and the back wall with all our prams and bags and accessories and crap. This was good. Every so often a woman would walk by us heading towards a door at the back of this room, and confirm that we were doing well. She was totally loving our kids, and engaging with them and making sure every single one of them was getting her attention. She wasn’t fake either, she was totally into them, and very obviously loves kids, as well as her job. She was really lovely.

The other woman tending to us, our more regular waitress, wasn’t so smiley. She was ok, she just seemed very serious, maybe overwhelmed by us lot? Don’t know. I much preferred happy-baby lady.

To the damn food, you say. From the kid’s menu, with the omission of the bacon, I got egg on toast for baby girl

2015-03-14 12.18.25

Two problems with the above. The camera on my phone was playing up and the flash above kept going off so that by the time I got a half decent photo I was in the midst of buttering her bread. Many shit photos of late, I know, I’m sorry. Have an impatient and hungry toddler at your side and see how you go.

Second. First I had asked for the egg to be fried, then I changed my mind and said “give me scrambled.” I got a poached egg. That’s fine, but yeah. Okay. I realise I may have confused the waitress by changing my order and all, and our table and all the commotion may have been freaking her out, but at the end of the day, that’s what I wanted.

I think baby girl’s brekkie was fine, nothing amaze-balls, it was just egg on toast after all. It was a fairly large plate for such a small kids meal, it would have looked so much better on a smaller plate. Just sayin.’ It was my rad camera skills that made the above look so huge.

To my meal! This really was brunch for me, and the thought of doing a sweet dish felt really naughty especially since it was lunchtime, but when I saw the special of

Sweet brioche French toast with vanilla bean, mascarpone, caramelised banana and praline crumbs

2015-03-14 12.19.17

I just had to go there.

It looked great. I was pleased that it was sweet, but didn’t leave me with that sickly sweet feeling I get from many sweet brekkie options. And of course, as suspected I did wonder whether I should have just stuck to my regular savoury route and gone the green fritters, but I was still really happy with the meal. I didn’t get any caramelisation from the bananas, but I loved the crunch of the praline crumbs, and the vanilla bean and mascarpone… well, you can imagine. Specials don’t often hang around. I can always go back for the fritters. This dish left me feeling happy.

The cappuccino I’d ordered looked great.

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I love coffee art. It’s just rad. I would say that a chocolate-sprinkled image floating on your cup of caffeinated beverage makes the beverage taste better, and this coffee did taste nice and smooth, but I’ve had better. Maybe my expectations of having this much-ado’d-about 5 senses coffee made me expect too much, I don’t know. Much like the whole brunch. I’d been happy with certain aspects, but I left feeling like ‘just another Brunswick café,’ rather than ‘Wow, Miss Marmalade’s was awesome!’

Food: 7.5/10. Presentation of my food was great, baby girl’s not so much. Loved the flavours and contrasting textures in my brioche too.

Coffee: 7.5/10. Smooth, just maybe not my style to taste.

Ambience: Just think Brunswick café. Busy on a Saturday morning.

Staff: Baby waitress was great, the other one a tad serious. I think the majority are really lovely though, as the guy at the register putting through my bill said to me “have a lovely day” with sincerity, and I left thinking ‘that was really nice.’ You can separate the real ones from the fake ones, always.

People: Younger crowd, 20-ish dominated our room, groups of these ones were everywhere. A few older family-oriented groups were in the front room, but all-in-all, there were no people goo-ing at babies here. They kind of just stared and watched, not really knowing how to react. LOL. Baby waitress was the exception.

Price: I paid upwards of mid-$20s for my meal. On par for that side of town.

Advice: Book if you’re going on the weekend, most definitely if you have a bit of a group going with you. It is kid-friendly with the play area in the back room, which I was very happy with as it kept baby girl slightly occupied (note, slightly).

In a nutshell: Despite feeling the very smallest amount of dismay due to over-expectancy, I do want to try this place again to understand what all the fuss is about. Staff were lovely, food presentation was great, and their fancy cupcakes up against the cash register looked appealing. There is no reason why you shouldn’t try this place.

Miss Marmalade on Urbanspoon