Chef Tom Westcott has an impressive resume. I first developed a crush on his food when he was heading the kitchen at Westend Pumphouse before leaving at the end of 2015 but his mark has also been made on many of my other favourites including Garagistes, Franklin and MONA. Upon hearing he’d taken up residency at a seemingly nondescript pub in the CBD we had to investigate.
I had, of course, visited the premises before. I imagine much of Hobart over the age of 30 knows the name Montgomery’s. My first visit was in the 90’s where I sang bad Karaoke in the exact same spot we dined tonight. My most recent was soon after the name change for a lunch that was enjoyable but unremarkable. The space feels familiar but different. Solid, polished wood is dominant and lighting is used to great effect. Oddly out of place are some scattered electric heaters but they provide some necessary warmth in a dining area with only one other table taken.
And it’s very odd how quiet the venue is. Because this is a truly excellent find. Sweetcorn arrived first up, simply charred with lashings of herbed butter. It’s been a great season for corn this year and this dish really showed it off.
The dedication to seasonality continued and was actually successful and not forced as can often be the case. Beetroot with quince was a wonderful pairing that I’m surprised isn’t more wide spread. A really beautiful and balanced assortment of flavours.
The carrots were a bit more challenging and the only food not finished. Delicious to taste but perhaps either too generous a serve or needed something else to balance things. Nevermind, it’s a sign that things are good when my only quibble is with a $5 side.
And it’d be hard to find fault if prices were doubled. A Chicken Parmigiana at $12 is everything it should be, tender and fresh. A glass of the fantastic Frogmore Chardonnay only $8. A wine list is hard to find but the taps are ever changing with a strong local focus.
The lamb came covered in leaves but underneath was the highlight of the menu for me, some oh so tender and well seasoned meat in a rich sauce with creamy mash. Pretty much perfect on a cold autumn night.
Service was an order at the bar sort of affair but the staff really did go a step above this, catering for even a small request without a problem and with a smile.
It’s a great menu, compact but with plenty of choices and allowing room for changes of the season. I admit to being envious. Go here if you want a great meal. Go here if you want a cheap feed. Just go here.