South Hobart is buzzing at the moment with a number of exciting new food ventures in the works and the refurbishment of one of Hobart’s longest running and most popular pubs. It had been some time since we last popped in to The Cascade, and how things have changed!
The dining room is warm and inviting on a wet Sunday evening, nice design touches abound with heritage brick, timber and leadlight features. There’s a view into the kitchen where a brigade are working amongst shiny, spotless new equipment. A solitary Keno screen in the corner is out of place but not too intrusive.
The menu is also very inviting. There’s a lot of pub classics to be found as well as some newer style dishes, a specials board including the vegan and vegetarian specials of the day. Game is well represented here with Venison Shanks, Rabbit Pie and BBQ Duck making appearances.
Meals are hearty and extremely generous, entrées are the size of mains in a lot of other places so bring your appetites! The Lambs Fry was a fantastic first taste, warming and flavoursome, the meats cooked in brandy atop a rich and creamy mash, the advertised ciabatta missing but really not missed. The Deep Fried Calamari tender, seasoned with salt and (perhaps not enough) Szechwan pepper. The chips turned it into more of a meal than a starter although the squid was good enough to be presented on its own at that price.
The wine list is sadly small without much to recommend by the glass but they do have some more interesting bottles on offer. Predictably the beer range has a strong Cascade focus. It kind of feels like they upgraded the kitchen but not the bar, nothing wrong with it but Id like to see a few more drinks of interest to match the quality of the food.
The mains take things up a notch. Included is the famous “Sicey’s Super Schnitzel”, a Cascade Hotel tradition that is giant in size and advertised as not for the faint hearted. Steaks are plentiful and take up about the half the menu. Wonderfully charred and cooked as ordered with excellent sauces. The side salad was an unexpected highlight, not an afterthought, being very fresh with a tasty dressing.
Ribs are everywhere these days and these ones are an example of why they deserve to be when done right. Tender, tender meat falling off the bones with much finger lickin’ stickiness. To be picky they were a bit sweet for my liking but that’s personal preference and didn’t stop me gnawing up every last bit with the chips an excellent vehicle to mop up the sauce.
The Crème Brûlée was the only disappointment of the evening in terms of the food, being just a regular stirred custard in a pot and very overcooked. Good flavours and presentation but not a Crème Brûlée. It was on the specials board and they have a lot of other great sounding options in the regular menu to come back and try though.
There were a number of hiccups service wise but nothing serious and mostly to be expected from a “new” establishment so not worth mentioning. Except for a sizzle plate setting off the fire alarms and sending the staff in to a panic, but that was most humorous.
Under new owners The Cascade Hotel is continuing to do what it is famous for but doing it better: Serving up hearty, generous and delicious pub fare. It’s definitely worth a trip out to and an excellent addition for the locals. Plans are afoot for a beer garden to be open before Summer hits and an all day pizza menu.