Tasmania’s largest city is filled with foodie delights. (The Asian French fusion food at A Tiny Place and Small-fry‘s whimsical breakfast goodies are just a few of our favorite Tassie treats in Hobart.) If you drive just 30 minutes north east of Hobart and decide to explore the Apple Isle, you’ll end up a culinary world away. Most people venture out to vineyards for the wine, but we came to Frogmore Creek primarily because of its haute cuisine.
We arrived at Frogmore Creek’s cellar door on a dreary cloudy afternoon, but that changed as soon as we started ordering from the restaurant menu. Talented chef Ruben Koopman‘s dishes are as delectable as they are pretty to look at. The vineyard is the perfect place to get a taste of Tasmania’s diverse produce while also quaffing a glass of the Coal River Valley’s delicious wine.
Once our first dish arrived, a drop dead gorgeous plate of chargrilled scallops and spanner crab salad surrounded by a few spears of asparagus, some avocado, crispy serrano and a dollop of vanilla cream made with 42 Degrees South Sparkling, the clouds parted and the sun began shinning. (Frogmore Creek is family owned and along with its namesake label, it also produces the Forty Two Degrees South and the Storm Bay wines.) Perhaps the sun was as happy to see this brightly colored plate as we were.
We paired our lunch (the restaurant is only open in the afternoon) with a glass of Frogmore Creek’s 2015 Riesling. The wine had a refreshing tinge of lime that worked perfectly with our seafood starter. The wine making team, led by Alain Rousseau and John Bown know their grapes.
Next up we dove into a plate of roasted prawns and spicy Thai fish cakes that arrived with a potato and lemon puree, crispy sourdough, cos and tom yum mayonnaise.
Midway through the meal we ventured away from the sea and taste tested a dish from Frogmore Creek’s from the land menu. Our slow cooked pork belly was divine. Also on the plate was a pulled pork croquette (scrumptious) potato crisps, rhubarb compote, pickled cabbage, apple puree and a piccadilly mayonnaise.
Clearly Frogmore Creek saved the best for last. We were completely wowed by the last dish. Our crispy feta, spinach and sun dried tomato wontons arrived dressed to the nines with a wakame and cabbage salad. The compressed watermelon and basil snow were the coup de grâce of this lovely plate. If you can, try to get a seat beside the windows in Frogmore Creek’s restaurant, so you can get a view of the vineyards.
Once your belly is full, we highly recommend popping upstairs to the second floor of the winery which has a rather unique and eyecatching floor.
The wood inlaid second story of Frogmore Creek is known as, “A Flawed History of Tasmanian Wine.”
Helpful Hint: Since the floor is sculpted and has an uneven surface, you may want to remove high heels. There’s a shoe rack for taking care of precarious footwear near the exhibit entrance.
The art installation is definitely one of a kind and it’s free to visit.
Local artist Tom Samek (who hails from Czechoslovakia, but currently resides in Tasmania) designed the inlaid wooden floor.
Samek hand selected each piece of timber and picked pieces with the best grain, figure and character to suit the design.
Upstairs there are also interactive exhibits that help you recognize the scent of lime blossoms, peaches, melon and hay all of which feature in Frogmore Creek’s wines.
Another neat thing you’ll find at Frogmore Creek is a glass case containing a cache of hand blown bottles of Tasmanian sparkling wine. The bottles date all the way back to the 1840s. (A family discovered the wine under their house back in 1979.)
Frogmore Creek is the only place we know of where you can get a humorous take on the history of wine while staring at the floor. Whether you pop in for a $5.00 wine tasting or indulge in a beautiful lunch, Frogmore Creek’s restaurant and winery is worth a visit.
699 Richmond Road
Cambridge, Tasmania 7170
Hours: Restaurant – Monday Through Sunday 11:30am to 3:00pm, Winery – Monday Through Sunday 10:00am to 5:00pm
Phone: +(03) 6274 5844
Pricing (All in Australian Dollars or AUD): From the Sea $18.00 to $34.00, From the Land $19.00 to $23.00, From the Garden $17.00 to $20.00, Desserts $16.00 to $36.00