PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
A partnership between five young and experienced Hobart hospitality people, including chef Fabian Christoph previously of Restaurant 373, The Mill on Morrison opened in November in a very stylish black and white-themed makeover of what was earlier Catch and Rockerfellers.
As you might expect from such a young and energetic team, they say they want to put some fun back into dining and The Mill, very much in the contemporary style, is as much a wine/cocktail bar as a restaurant. As such, there are eight beers and ciders on tap, 30 different bottled beers and ciders, two pages of cocktails including a selection of mojitos and martinis followed by an excellent wine list offering 31 mostly Tasmanian wines by the 75ml and 150ml glass and an extensive selection of local, mainland and international wines with plenty of vintage depth and such rare local gems as the '05 Home Hill and D'Meure Special Reserve Pinot Noir and the '00 Domaine A Reserve du Patron.
As well as steaks, a half chicken, salmon and whole fish from the grill, the menu is a hot and cold kaleidoscopic display of colours, flavours, ingredients and Christoph's considerable talents with 43 different tapas-style dishes. They run from Bruny Island, Woody Island and Blackman's Bay oysters in six different styles to baby red and gold beetroots deliciously filled with Persian fetta, tender, lightly fried squid glazed with lemon jam through to duck neck sausage, panzanella salad and meltingly tender lamb neck on carrot puree that came served in individual little pots.
If I had to pick the stand outs of the 11 dishes we shared at lunch they would be the wonderfully light and fluffy goat cheese and semolina gnocchi with rocket pesto, the beetroots, the unusual and deeply satisfying ringlets of crispy stuffed pig's trotter and the pure simplicity of a seared sesame-seeded cutlet of tuna with white miso vinaigrette. With excellent service and a glass of Castro Martin Albarino and Clarence House Tempranillo, it was a truly enjoyable lunch.
In its informality, style of menu and the well-priced beverage selection, The Mill has got the wine bar/tapas concept spot on, as good for a few drop-in tastes of this and that and a glass after work or anytime as it is for a leisurely lunch or dinner. As such, it is a very welcome addition to the Hobart scene.