Temporary @ Templo – Excellent Japanese Food

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Temporary @ Templo – Introduction

Sometimes there can be hidden benefits from the current pandemic. In this case, the talented chef, and formerly peripatetic Lilly Trewartha has been confined to Hobart over the recent months following her return from London where she had teamed up with William Gleave who has been incredibly successful with his restaurants Bright and Peg in that city following his time in Hobart working with Luke Burgess.

And now she has temporarily (hence the name) opened an Izakaya of her own in the tiny Templo space on the nights that they are not open. We don’t normally include “pop-ups” on this site, but this looks and feels more substantial than a pop-up and will be running for longer than most pop-ups.

So, after reading this story, we hope you will be inspired to book a table at Temporary. However, don’t even think about turning up unannounced as it is packed every night!

We should add that in order for Lilly to concentrate on the food she has co-opted Luke Burgess to help her in the background to locate and source the best produce (on the night we were there some of the vegetables had even been grown by Luke) and to put together the short drinks list of natural wines and sakes both of which he has been closely involved with for many years!

Temporary @ Templo – The Drinks

The drinks menu at Temporary is short but well curated with sake front and centre. The sake is provided by the leading importer of clean sakes, namely our friends at Black Market Sake in Sydney. They have spent a long time searching Japan for interesting sakes that have been made with little intervention or additions and the results are revelatory.

You will notice at the end of this story that we have disclosed that some of the natural wines on the list are ones that we import from France. We have been working with Luke since before he, Katrina and Kirk opened Garagistes, so he knows our wines well.

Temporary drinks list
Temporary drinks list

Temporary @ Templo – The Food

We have eaten at Temporary twice so far and are looking forward to our next visit. The most recent meal is now described so we can share with you our enthusiasm for food you can experience here.

First to the food menu. There are ten dishes listed, but some of these are small snacks so you wont be overwhelmed with food – just a pleasant amount.

Temporary food menu
Temporary food menu

The snacks on this occasion comprised some slices of soy infused cucumbers, some batons of fermented daikon radish and fermented carrots, a skewered chicken tsukune each and a stunning square of black sesame dofu. Each of these was literally packed with flavour and provided a variety of textures to waken up the appetite.

Temporary snacks plate
Temporary snacks plate with the first four menu items

Next came an intriguing (both from a visual and textural point of view) dish of black sesame dofu. It must have been a difficult dish to create as black sesame is complicated to deal with despite being quite a healthy product. It is often used in Asia to make a very pleasant ice cream and to provide colour to Japanese mochi, but we haven’t seen it used for dofu before. It was interesting and delicious.

Black sesame dofu

Next came a stunning soup base don organic zucchini and miso. It looked stunning, being a vibrant green colour. Chunks of the vegetable provided contrasting texture and the miso added to the depth of flavour.

Vibrant zucchini and miso soup

A more substantial dish of grilled pike with greens followed. The pike had been grilled perfectly and the accompanying greens were lightly cooked to retain their flavour. A side dish of rice was perfectly cooked, with each grain of rice asserting itself separately!

A final savoury dish was an beautiful example of a perfectly conceived and executed dish. We have long been fans of the Japanese dish Agedashi Tofu. During a prolonged IT job in New Orleans in 2001 we were lucky to have a Japanese restaurant called Horinoya near our workplace. Their Agedashi was exemplary and we ordered it for lunch every time we went there. We had a similar experience in Seattle at a restaurant called Nikko who served a similar dish. This dish, however, certainly rivalled these experiences. We know that the chefs have been refining this dish for a while and they have certainly succeeded. It was creamy in the centre, crunchy on the outside and the eggplant and broth added extra dimensions.

Eggplant Agedashi

We reluctantly realised that the meal was coming to an end, but there were two more treasures to go. A dessert of a riff on tiramisu (this one based on green tea) was the main protagonist and was most enjoyable. But it was the apple and basil mochi that really caught our attention. This is a difficult dish to get right, but what we were presented with was perfect. It had the correct chewy texture, it was soft, it was pliable and the apple and basil added flavour. It was a perfect end to the meal.

So, this is an excellent dining experience with some serious expertise in the kitchen and waiting staff who are anxious to please. You will not be disappointed.

You book your table at the Luke Burgess Web site by clicking on the link below:

Temporary @ Templo

Additional information

Street: Temporary @ Templo

Street: 98 Patrick St

Town/Suburb: Hobart, 7000

Bookings: lukeburgess.com.au/collections/izakaya-temporary

Opening hours: Check Website for details. Two seatings at 6:00pm and 8:30pm

Disclaimer: Some of the wines served here are imported by Living Wines which is operated by the authors of this story.