Landscape Restaurant and Grill

Licensed $-$$$   Hat iconHat icon   Glass iconGlass iconGlass icon
Henry Jones Art Hotel, 25 Hunter Street, Hobart
Bookings on 1800 436 797 or through www.opentable.com.au
Open: Dinner daily from 6.00pm.

Opened last October, Landscape is a very stylish replacement for the Henry Jones Art Hotel’s original showcase restaurant, Henry’s.

With exposed timber beams, a collection of strikingly beautiful John Glover landscapes spot lit against rustic sandstone walls and an atmosphere that is darkly moody, Landscape is one of the most intimate and classically chic dining spaces in the city. Add in handcrafted leather place mats, deer antler knife handles, a chef’s table, music by the TSO, a well-stocked, walk-in wine cellar display and a menu of “re-imagined classics” from an “ingredient-focused kitchen” and Executive Chef Ollie Mellers says the restaurant’s “sole purpose is to present a most memorable dining experience”.

Mellers returned to Hobart to head up the kitchens at Blundstone Arena after years working in Michelin-starred European restaurants under chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal and Jason Atherton.

Under the general guidance of Hugh Whitehouse, formerly Executive Chef at Saffire and now Federal Group Tourism Executive Food and Beverage Manager, and with input from Tetsuya Wakuda, Meller’s menu of ‘reimagined classics’ consists of three oyster dishes – but no oysters natural – eight salads and starters, five steaks from the grill, seven mains, eight side dishes, cheese and four desserts.

At the heart of the kitchen is the adjustable Assado Etxbarri-style grill fired by a mix of Tasmanian hardwood and off cuts from old port, sherry and bourbon barrels from the Tasmanian Cooper Company which, Mellers says, “gives the dishes a flavour that you just won’t find anywhere else”.

And the kitchen uses the grill extensively, not only to char and flavour the meats and seafood, but also to smoke almonds as an accompaniment to a delightful checkerboard of octopus carpaccio; to fill a bell cloche with smoke covering a delicious smoked beef tartare at service; to subtly smoke Mooloolaba king prawns; and to add a dimension of smoky, char savouriness to the natural sweetness of the baby gem lettuces accompanying the steaks. Playing with flames and smoke are the latest things for trendy, up-to-the-minute chefs and Mellers’ judicious and creative use of them is one of the things that sets Landscape apart from our city’s other grills and steakhouses.

Another feature to distinguish the restaurant is the quite wonderful composition and presentation of such non-meat dishes as the pale pinkness of king fish sashimi sitting on white creamed tofu with sculptured puffs of black tapioca offset against finger lime. Another was the simple yet wow-factor presentation of the king prawns.

My dish of the 300g Angus scotch fillet from Smithton was nicely cross-hatch charred and blue as requested but seemed a bit lonely with just a half of a grilled gem lettuce by its side. My wife was more sensible and ordered a side of broccolini, ricotta, almond and mint which she said was the perfect partner to what she rated a ‘superb’ 36-hour braised short rib with a reduction sauce that included juice from this winter’s preserved fresh truffles.

Dessert was a wonderfully smooth and comforting crème caramel while from the extensive selection of Tasmanian, mainland and international wines, we skipped the ’95 Henschke Hill of Grace at $1500 and settled instead on two, very reasonably priced 375ml wines each at $50 from Burgundy and Rioja.

Half dozen oysters with Champagne, chives and lemon $24, sashimi $26, steaks $40 to $66, sides $6 to $10; desserts $14/$15, bombe Alaska for two $20

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