Quartermasters Arms – Bar and Eatery

Licensed $-$$
132-134 Elizabeth Street, Hobart
03) 6236 9119
Open: Dinner Tuesday to Saturday, Lunch Thursday to Saturday noon – 3.00, Bar Tuesday/Wednesday 5.00 - !0.00, Thursday to Saturday from noon.

I was recently told that there were 26 eating establishments in the North Hobart strip. I would have thought there were more. Whatever the number however, another hot dining spot is emerging in the CBD. For two blocks from Bathurst Street north along Elizabeth, there are now 13 restaurants and cafes including Japanese, Korean, Dutch and Chinese offerings, the new Beans and Treats and The Stag cafes, the recently opened Ettie’s Bar/Bottleshop/Dining where the sadly lamented Ethos Eat Drink used to be and the revamped Quartermasters Arms. When UTAS’ construction works in the area are completed, all those inner city students occupying them will have a plethora of choice of dining, coffee and watering holes right on their doorstep.

When it opened around three years ago as TQ, Stuart Addison’s Quartermasters Arms was part of the slow-cooked-pulled meats-sliders-and-burger invasion of the city straight out of downtown America. After the breakup of the original business partnership, Addison says he’s taken the opportunity to redesign the interior furnishings and styling as well as doing away with most of the menu’s Americana to make QA more the sort of place he’s always wanted – a bar serving good contemporary food.

And that’s exactly what it now is with the dark timbered interior providing an intimate, laid-back atmosphere with a scattering of leather lounges and small tables upstairs, a large polished timber communal table downstairs and smaller window and street side tables. Addison himself has left his blow torch in the kitchen and moved out front with Blair Grognewege, formerly chef at the New Sydney, now in charge of the stoves.

Grognewege has put together a menu of 19 dishes divided in the modern style into “Small plates and sharing”, “Larger plates to share (or not)”, “Classics” and “On the sweeter side” with plenty of gluten free and vegan options.

From the small plates options that included the likes of mushroom and truffle pate, crispy sweet and sour pork and a Tour of Tassie tempura vegie plate, we chose the pan-seared scallops their crisp tanginess offset against a sweet and deliciously smooth pumpkin puree and a generous serving of grilled asparagus with coddled egg and a confetti of shaved parmesan, an old classic combination that couldn’t have been done better.

Fish ‘n chips from the larger plates selection was disappointing, one of the three pieces of pink ling not properly cooked through and with a roasted spud on the plate in place of the chips.

That let down however was more than made up for by the best – no, let’s say almost the only – slow-cooked meat dish I’ve enjoyed in Hobart. A shoulder of new-season lamb that was perfectly tender and still carve-able opposed to the usual dry, stringy, gummy meats with their juiciness and texture cooked out of them that are the bane of so many similar slow-cooked dishes around the city.

So far as the bar side of TQ goes, there are wide-ranging and interesting selections of beers, ciders, local, mainland and international wines and an array of top top-shelf numbers. Add a few of these to the food, energy and vibe of the place and it’s little surprise that Addison’s re-invented TQ is a winner with a younger hipster crowd.

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