Ogee – Introduction
Ogee is a welcome addition to the Hobart dining scene and it has certainly garnered a strong following in its first year of operation. Led by owner/chef Matt Breen the restaurant has settled into a solid menu which offers interesting choices within ten savoury dishes and one cheese and two dessert offerings.
The small staff is very focussed on providing a seamless experience for their customers and are very good at what they do! The small space caters for around thirty customers with both table and bar seating.
Ogee – The Food
As mentioned above, the menu is brief, but interesting. The dishes provide an interesting choice and pasta is always a highlight – something that the chef masters with seeming ease.
Our meal consisted of the sourdough bread with tasty sea urchin butter alongside the snapper croquettes with tartar sauce. The croquettes were beautifully cooked with the outside crunchy and the inside soft and very tasty.
Next we ordered two pasta dishes as each sounded quite interesting. the first was conchiglie with smoked eel.
The shell shaped pasta were quite strong and were the perfect accompaniment for the bread crumbs and smoked eel that formed the “sauce”. Tasmania is lucky that it is one of the places where eel migrate to each year – in our case from the Coral Sea as young eels. They navigate their way to Tasmania (an interesting story in its own right) and swim upstream to the colder areas and can be found in many of Tasmania’s rivers. When they reach a certain age they return to the Coral Sea and give birth to the next generation which then repeat the migration.
The strong flavour of the eel worked very well with the pasta and the sauce served with the dish. We were very impressed.
The other pasta dish was the mezzi rigatoni which is a shorter version of the regular rigatoni. Once again the pasta was expertly cooked and the carbonara sauce was a lovely accompaniment.
Ogee – The Drinks
Drinks menus vary widely in Tasmanian restaurants, with the Ogee list being a very clever mix of local, interstate and overseas options. The Tasmanian options favour producers who avoid chemical sprays and some are even from producers who allow the fermentation to occur naturally. The same applies to the interstate and overseas options (some that we supply) with the options being highly suitable for the food being served here.
Examples of the sparkling wines available include the Latta “Essential Crisis” from Victoria and the Anim “Field Fizz” from the Coal River Valley in Tasmania.
We could go on for a long time explaining the virtues of each of the wines since they are so well-chosen. However we will confine ourselves to just one which is not one that we import. One of the areas we have grown to love is the Savoie which sweeps down from the border of Italy starting around the impressive Mont Blanc. It is an area where the driving is always exciting because the views are absolutely stunning.
And the wine is interesting as well. The grapes are different with the extremely rare Gringet making beautiful wine that we have been importing for some time. But there is also wine made from the white Altesse (Roussette de Montagnieu), the white Jacquere, red Persan and red Mondeuse.
On the edge of the Savoie there is a region called Bugey which has some excellent wines and even some sparkling wines. We were therefore interested to see the Maison Bonnard Bugey Roussette de Montagnieu Blanc on the wine list – this is a hard-to-get wine which is also quite delicious.
For those who cannot or choose not to drink alcohol there are some nice options such as the Heaps Normal Quiet XPA and the TINA Sparkling Oolong & Pear. Both are quite interesting drinks.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time here and believe that it adds another layer to Hobart’s offerings with their professional approach, short but well-chosen wine list and excellent food.
We should also mention that we enjoyed the music that was playing while we were there. It was the Ahmad Jamal Trio – a trio we particularly like with the recently deceased 92 year old Ahmad Jamal on the keyboard along with bassist Israel Crosby and drummer Vernal Fournier. It is very relaxing music played with impressive skill by all three. Of course the sound was also enhanced with the speakers being sourced from Hobart’s incredibly talented speaker manufacturers, Pitt & Giblin.
Street: 374 Murray St
Town: Hobart, 7000
Opening hours: Thu – Sun from 5pm, Sun lunch 12 noon – 3pm