Miss Jane

Licensed $-$$
4 Cascade Road, South Hobart
03) 6224 3194
Open: Tuesday to Saturday 3.00pm to 9.00pm;.

It’s good to see that the suburbs are getting their share of the recent boom in eating places with the likes of the Texas Pantry, St Albi and Bento in Moonah, Salty Dog in Kingston, Smolt Kitchen in West Hobart and, in addition to the well-established Vanidols, Le Provencal and Ginger Brown, the recently opened Miss Jane in South Hobart.

Business partners Ben Morton, of Ginger Brown, and Leigh Frohmader have remodelled what was Flathead into a relaxed, 40¬-seater with a bar where the fish ‘fridge used to be, outside and window seating and a cosy lounge setting upstairs. Opened just over a month ago, Miss Jane is already a crowd favourite, occasionally doing more than 100 covers a night and regularly having to turn people away.

Frohmader says it was the late, great restaurateur, Bertie Tucceri, who taught him how to maximise numbers in a small space while Frohmader was working for him in the late ‘90s. And it’s not the only thing Frohmader’s many years in hospitality taught him. Forgotten your reading glasses? They’ll bring you a pair.

And it’s the same long experience and years of working together that Frohmader and Chef DC have distilled into an unfussy menu that skirts tradition and contemporary style with small and big plates, “tasty tasty sidey things”, kid’s and dessert menus plus a selection of six pizzas. We primed our appetites with a shared garlic pizza which, like no other garlic pizza I’ve seen, consisted of crisp baes topped with a thickish “pillow” of creamed garlic. Delicious.

The menu’s other five pizzas offer one with a classic tomato, basil and prosciutto topping, the others featuring asparagus, eggs and white truffle oil, lamb shoulder with chermoula, smoked salmon with dill and crème fraiche and, finally, prawn, harissa, lime and pickle zucchini.

Then followed one of my tastiest dishes of the year – the chef’s take on prawn toast – with fingers of soft toast thickly topped with smooth, herbed prawn mousse, the whole in turn heightened in taste and visual appeal by a stiff, aerated foam of the sweet, sour, salty and mildly spiced nuoc cham sauce of Vietnam. With a few, thin strips of sweetly vinagered greens it was an elegantly presented knock out.

The thinly sliced beef in the beef carpaccio was darkly aged and partnered with a refreshing kohlrabi remoulade in an unusual and interesting variation of the more satisfying classical version.

A basket of crisp and tender calamari rings nicely spiced and salted with a lime aioli was as good as calamari rings get while a serving of slow-cooked lamb with under-flavoured curry butter, was, for someone who is not keen on slow-cooked meats, better than most around town. From the ‘tasty tasty sidey things’ of the menu, a serving of glazed baby carrots with dukkah, feta and honey was a pleasant accompaniment to the lamb.

The drinks list offers a wide range of beers and cider plus a small but thoughtful selection of well-priced wines, including some good, food-friendly varieties.

There’s nothing tricky or pretentious about any aspect of Miss Jane and, in its range of food and flavours, wines and friendly service, I don’t wonder that it has been an instant hit.

Garlic pizza $12, others $21 to $26, small plates $11.50 to $22.50, big plates $22 to $28.50, sides $9.50, desserts $10 to $13

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