Peppina – Introduction
Peppina in the luxury Tasman Hotel is an important addition to the Hobart dining scene. The Italian-inflected menu is based on Tasmania’s best produce.
It’s hard to imagine a more difficult time to open a restaurant than in the week Tasmania’s borders were opened to welcome not just tourists but Omicron.
We’d watched, via Instagram, how much work @chefmassimomele, @glenn_byrnes and the team at @peppinarestaurant put into their preparations for opening.
Test run lunches with many of the producers who supply them, recipe testing and other aspects of the preparation was all documented and shred with everyone through social media.
But so much of the planning must have been thrown out the window as, like many restaurants and bars, they are struggling to keep the doors open, with staff unavailable and so much uncertainty. It is a credit to this new and large restaurant which needs many staff to operate that so far they have been able to do that.
Peppina – The Restaurant
Peppina is beautiful, spacious and comfortable, with many different dining spaces and moods, including the upholstered oval booth we sat at, maybe Hobart’s most sophisticated dining table. We didn’t take any photos of the room but there are plenty if you follow their Instagram account.
The restaurant also abuts the bar called Mary Mary where you can drop in for cocktails or a glass of wine in a moody setting prior to the meal.
The entire complex has been created from two buildings of different ages that front on to busy Davey Street. The restoration has been exemplary giving a feeling of space and luxury. While the restaurant is indoors, there is also space outside looking over a square which is perfect for a drink or snack on a warm summer day.
Peppina – The Food
We have only had one meal at Peppina but we are confident to tell the story of the restaurant due to the strong team in the kitchen and on the floor. Massimo Mele is an experienced chef whose career we have been following since we first came across his work at Mud Restaurant in Launceston before he moved to Sydney.
We also got to know Glenn Byrnes when he was cooking at Garagistes in Hobart under innovative chef, Luke Burgess. So the kitchen is in good hands! Note that since we wrote this story, Glenn has moved on from Peppina.
These photos are of dishes from the à la carte menu they opened with and which hopefully they will be able to choose to go back to soon.
We don’t often eat big pieces of meat, but the bistecca in this first photo was definitely a good move. Tasmania is renowned for its seafood but good quality fish is actually hard to find. It should be more renowned for its beef and this dish is evidence for the argument.
Also … excellent house-pickled sardine fillets (from Port Phillip Bay – if only someone could fish for ours again!). Octopus with almond cream, artichokes, cavatelli, beautiful leaves (there are some great producers supplying this kitchen), and very good chocolate cake.
This is a big restaurant and because the kitchen team goes down the harder road of sourcing much of their produce locally, and even more importantly directly, it will become an important part of the network supporting our vibrant community of small growers.
It’s an important role which we all benefit from. It’s these producers & their proximity which give Tasmanian restaurants an edge.
You can read more about Peppina on their Web site:
Peppina Restaurant has also been included in our story about where to eat in Hobart.
Name: Peppina Restaurant
Street: 2b Salamanca Place
Town: Hobart, 7000
Telephone: (03) 6240 6053
Opening hours: Breakfast and dinner daily