The Point

Licensed $$$   Glass iconGlass iconGlass icon
Wrest Point Casino, 410 Sandy Bay Rd, Sandy Bay
03) 6221 1700
Open: Lunch Fri; Dinner daily from 6.30pm.

The Point has been providing a 360-degree revolving view of Hobart for over 30 years. For most of that time, the city skyline changed more than the food. The floor staff was also largely unchanging, slowly growing older along with their regulars. The smiling face and knowledgeable, attentive service of Ricky, the menu’s flambéed prawns and classic crepes Suzette cooked at your table are reminders of those earlier days.

But chef Kent Sullivan has brought a more contemporary feel and more modern touches to the menu while the very recent appointment of an experienced career restaurant manager in David Bloom promises to lift the general level of service. I believe a re-decoration job on the rather tired décor is also on the cards.

One of the biggest and most welcome changes since my last visit is in the pricing of the wines. Gone are the old 300 percent-plus across the board mark-ups and you can now enjoy, for example, any vintage of Penfolds’ Grange from 1981 to 2004 as well as a string of vintage Hill of Graces and three mature 1998 First Growth Bordeaux – Chateaux Margaux, Latour and Mouton Rothschild – for less than this weekend’s $550 release-price of the new 2005 Grange. Still not cheap, I know, and you’d still need a good night on the tables downstairs to afford them. But, in restaurant terms, they’re bargains, about half or a third of what you’d pay for them on the mainland. And much the same, if not quite so generous prices apply to the rest of the list, the many Tasmanian wines included.

Now to our dinner. Freshly shucked oysters with horseradish pearls, celery shoots and a squeeze of lemon was one of the much better oyster combinations of the many available around town. While I was less impressed with an over-elaborated and soupy fricassee of wild mushrooms, a quail and foie gras terrine was everything it should be and you’d have to go a long way before you had a meatier, more beautifully cooked duck breast than chef Sullivan served here accompanied by a complex sweet/savoury sauce of semi-dried cherries and fennel. Fresh, nicely-crunchy green beans with sheep fetta and toasted pine nuts were a very pleasing side dish to tender, pink-roasted Aurora lamb with artichoke puree, pea vol-au-vent in a rich and limpid rosemary sauce. And the crepes Suzette? Well they’re a bit of nostalgic fun that even Gordon Ramsay says are making a come back.

An altogether very pleasant dinner, nothing excitingly cutting edge about it but the menu is perfectly tailored to the restaurant’s mixed regulars, special-occasionalist and tourist market and is much better than many that have disappointed at The Point before.

Oysters $3.50 to $5.00 each; entrees $20 to $32 (lobster cocktail); mains $38 to $46; sides $10; desserts $18

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