“The saga of the cracked plate” –>
Garagistes is a restaurant in Hobart which has a lot going for great flavours. Unfortunately, it has a few drawbacks which can spoil a great night out. The restaurant comes with only two eating options, a three course fare and a somewhat more enticing five course option. We felt quite hungry and liked the combinations in the five course option. At a great restaurant it pays to trust the chef, there should be some rhyme in the reason. On reflection however we consider the 2 choice option eccentrically restrictive. From the diners point of view we do not see much rhyme in this. Easy for the cooks … But? Maybe some of the diners might like to have selected more broadly, certainly most of the folks on our long table were looking for something else. For example, restricting everyone on 5 courses to a pork dish IS a big ask. This should not need much explaining, even for Tassy.
Anyway, we have to say there was a cascade of pleasant and interesting flavours bursting from just about every dish, maybe with the exception of the pork which was pretty dumb, it is just pork. Some of us are just not big fans of the pig. The upshot of having our taste buds challenged by so many compelling flavours is decidedly pleasant and has a marvellous tendency for whetting the appetite. Yes more please. Sadly the dish size for each course is pretty small at Garagistes and while our taste buds got a thorough work out we just did not fill up on the calories. After five courses our party was still hungry, all of them. What do you do late at night in Hobart when you are still hungry? Not a hamburger joint surely.
And then we come to the drawbacks. When we pay as much for dinner as we have tonight, we would expect to have something a little more classy than a refectory table to sit at. The other folks at our table were probably nice folks, but really? And then there were the seats, which are a very “hard” ask. After about 15 minutes we were looking for a cushion somewhere. Overall pretty ordinary accommodation really. But there is more. The toilets are actually in the restaurant and seem to have been built by a Japanese craftsman thinking about paper walls. Not a lot of sound absorption which is a bit embarrassing for all concerned. And then there are the washbasins which are actually in a small hallway off the main eating area. Lots of cascading water and hand dryers blasting all night, which makes up for the lack of a Jazz band probably.
But the lowlight of our night was the “saga of the cracked dinner plate”. This should not have been a big deal, most diners can expect an odd bit of breakage. But was extraordinary here was the great and boring lows the floor manager stooped to, to pass off a bit of collateral damage as something less. In fact the “crack” was initially well hidden by the course on the plate, but became visible as the eating progresses. And then there was the big black crack completely across the plate and through to the back as well. “Well no” stooped the floor manager. This was a matter of “aesthetic design, a pleasing crazy crack”, not a dirty huge black split in an otherwise pearly plate and the black could not possibly hide some budding germs or other random filth. “We could even check out the plate makers intentions and design ideas if we were really worried”. Really? There was a lot more fantasy and so it went for about 20 minutes, by which time we could not get out of the place quick enough. Maybe management responsibility and training has not made it back across the Strait in recent times?
Anyway, we have had enough of the run around at Garagistes for several lifetimes and will definitely not be back.