Salty Dog

Licensed $   Hat icon
2 Beach Road, Kingston Beach
03) 6229 6185
Open: daily from 10am to late.

It’s not quite yet Los Angeles’ Venice Beach, but our own Kingston Beach has had a recent injection of style and sophistication and is rapidly becoming a thriving swimming, eating and drinking destination. But the really good news is that each of the new places is run by experienced operators delivering top-notch service and food.

Dharmendra Kumar has taken his famous pizzas from North Hobart’s Casablanca to his newly built ‘Aquatini’ a few blocks back from the beach on the corner of Windsor Street and Beach Road.

Niall Maurici, formerly the mixologist at Ethos, opened the small and wonderfully atmospheric bar called Robbie Brown’s a few months ago. With a top-shelf selection of whiskies, gins and other spirits, a great range of classic cocktails and a small menu offering interesting bar food, Robbie Brown is already a popular hit.

In addition, Aaron Brasondale, Fabio di Tomaso and Ken Chong, the can’t¬keep-them-down boys responsible for Burger Haus, Capital, Regazzi and Co and Pancho Villa – all recent and highly successful additions to the North Hobart scene – are working on plans for a modern eatery under a new surf club just along the beachfront from Robbie Brown’s

And the most recent addition to the Kingston beachfront scene is Salty Dog, a very stylishly make-over of the old hotel on the corner of Beach Road and Osborne Esplanade. That it’s been an instant success since opening a month ago is little wonder given that the new lessees are such multi-talented people as MONA GM and experienced restaurateur, Mark Wilsdon, his designer and artist partner, Pippa Dixon, and their business partner, James Polanowski. Dixon is the current Chair of Design Tasmania and Director of the National Association for Visual Artists and is responsible for the Hotel’s very attractive white, mod-minimalist, almost Spartan décor which contrasts beautifully with the colours and views of the surf from the dining room and in mirrored reflections behind the long bar.

Then, for good measure, you can add in chef David Nethery who trained under Sydney restaurant supremo, Peter Doyle, before becoming the opening chef at Roaring Grill in North Hobart.
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Whether you pull up a stool at the bar or grab one of the tables, it’s hard not to feel laid back and in the mood to eat and drink well and be a little bit spoilt. And that’s exactly what we got at a busy mid-week lunch with Netherby’s food and the attentive service from well-known front of house manager, Alex Beaumont, and two delightful young ladies, Myra Mackey and Alice Kelly.

The menu is an appealing mix of American-inspired, beachside casual – hot dogs, toasted jaffles, spiced broad bean burger – and more serious options such as pepper-crusted porterhouse, chicken supreme, cider-braised pork belly and good old fish ‘n chips.

Our hot dog was excellent with a superior frankfurter made by Huon Valley Meats topped with caramelised onion, cheese, sauerkraut, chilli beef crumbs, tomato relish and mustard. .And the bean burger was also nicely spiced and enjoyable as was the deliciously refreshing date and roast almond salad with a sweet/sour pomegranate molasses dressing. And the crisp-skinned pork belly braised in cider with heirloom vegetables was one of the better examples of this ubiquitous dish around town.

However, a panzanella salad that was a long way from the classic it should be was a serious disappointment – and I’m still in search of an authentic and properly assembled and caramelised tarte tatin.

Nevertheless, with a good list of beverages to choose from it was a very enjoyable lunch in a fabulous setting, an opinion shared by a large group of women in for coffee and dessert after their morning fitness walk.

Hot dog $12, date salad $15, broad bean burger $18, mains $23 to $29, desserts $12/$13

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