The Black Footed Pig Tapas Bar and Kitchen

Licensed $-$$$   Hat iconHat icon   Glass iconGlass icon
8 Brooke Street, Hobart
03) 6224 2222
Open: Tuesday to Saturday 5.00pm to 10.00pm. .

After 11 months of navigating construction and Council hassles, Cheryl and Nasser Daci opened their Black Footed Pig last October. The name refers to the breed of Iberian pig which is the source of Spain’s world-famous hams and the Dacis set the restaurant out to be a Spanish-influenced tapas bar, inspired by Melbourne’s great MoVida restaurant. But a Hobart MoVida it wasn’t and, after a few visits a month or so after their opening, ten months went by before I returned.

As operators of the very successful Daci and Daci Bakers just around the corner in Murray Street, on my visit last week I found they’d turned the restaurant and business around with much improved acoustics, new pictures and wine decorations breaking up the rustic bare brick walls, new professional staff, a revitalised atmosphere and, most importantly, much improved food.

“We both love Spain and Spanish food”, said chef Nasser, “But I’m not Spanish so we’ve morphed to a more Mediterranean-influenced menu still structured around the Spanish-styled and now more widely popular tapas and raciones format”. The menu has travelled so far from Spain as to now include sarmas, traditional pork and veal cabbage rolls in a nostalgic gesture to Nasser’s Kosovan childhood.

But there are plenty of other signature ingredients from around the Mediterranean such as marinated almonds and olives, grilled haloumi and vine leaves in a tahini dressing, freekah and barberry pilaf, za’atar, harissa mayo, skordalia and the like.

And we did a fairly good job of sampling most of the menu, starting with beautifully made and flavoured jamon and chicken croquettes with a red pepper relish and, best of the night, crunchy sesame prawns with harissa, soy, chilli and lime which were fabulous despite their mixed culinary influences.

These were followed by plump, perfectly just-seared scallops on cauliflower skordalia with baby Brussel sprouts and smoked bacon cut by an unusual and sweet/sour caper and raisin vinaigrette.

Crisp bacon-crumbed and deep fried lamb brains was nicely sweetened by shaved apple butter while a little mound of subtly marinated and cured salmon tartare with buffalo curd, peas and beans was one of the most original and enjoyable salmon tartares I’ve had in a long time.

Now to the raciones, the larger plates designed to be shared.

First a nicely grilled dry-aged Black Angus rib eye, the dish lifted above the mainstream by an accompanying side of brightly coloured, al dente broccolini tossed through and wonderfully flavoured with chilli oil, lemon and shallot crumbs.

Then followed light as air, Parisienne herbed gnocchi with so-called ‘wild’ Huon Valley mushrooms deliciously lifted by the faintest background suggestion of blue cheese.

And, the finale – farmed rabbit, slow and tenderly braised with sweet wine, pancetta and carrots and served on herb fritters, a favourite recipe and dish of his mother’s said Nasser.

Finally, the Daci’s enlightened mark-up policy for their wines makes the small Tasmanian/Spanish wine list the most reasonably priced in town.

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