The Source at MONA: A restaurant near Hobart, Tasmania Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

The Source
Restaurants and bars
Location: -42.811443,147.260009
Open: Lunch Wed - Mon, dinner Wed - Sat
Price: Expensive
Score (/20): 14.5

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +61 3 6277 9900
Address: 655 Main Road
Berriedale, Tasmania, 7011
Country: Australia
Food Style: Modern Australian

The Source is one of the leading restaurants in Tasmania due to the excellent produce, the sweeping views and the unobtrusive service. There is a new team in the kitchen so we are looking forward to our next visit to see how things have changed. The food we have had under the former chef has been based mainly on excellent Tasmanian produce although there are occasions when they drift off into mangoes or West Australian scampi.
We would encourage anyone visiting this restaurant to head out there an hour or two before the time to dine and visit the adjacent, incomparable MONA museum. This place is really special. The soul of owner David Walsh is exposed here. We love the fact that a work of art that caused massive controversy in New York when Rudi Guiliani closed the Chris Ofili exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum of Art is now something we can wander in to admire before we dine at The Source along with thousands of other art works ranging from Roman antiquities to modern masterpieces.
And now to the restaurant experience. You walk into the building and ascend the stairs with Olsen's The Source on the ceiling above you. It used to seem a rather grand entrance, however if you have been wandering through the cavernous museum the effect is somewhat diminished.
As you enter the restaurant you marvel at the broad view across the placid Derwent River. Behind you are equally lovely views to Mount Wellington and the Collinsvale range.
The service is attentive and professional with a suitable diner to server ratio. The open kitchen is at the far end of the space.
The menu and wine list are presented quickly and time is provided to peruse both. Many diners order bubbles to begin their evening. It is a celebratory sort of place.
At our most recent meal (we try to dine here at least once a year to see the evolution of the dishes) we were presented with a dish of artichoke gazpacho with mustard ice cream and mustard oil. We hadn't tasted mustard ice cream since a meal at Arpege in Paris fifteen years ago and this one was just as good.
The next dish is a seven dish degustation was a dish of carrots and beets presented in differenet ways. The size of this dish was a bit daunting but there were some nice flavours and textures in the dish.
Next came Queensland shrimps with a white vinegar nage with carrots and enoki which was somewhat less successful with the vinegar treatment being overwhelming.
However all was rescued with an unlikely dish that came next. Truffled egg with shiitake and a mushroom consommé was the best dish of the night even though the truffles were out of season.
The next dish was Coral trout with squid consommé, tempura fennel and tomato confit. In this dish the consomme was a lovely flavour and the fennel was cooked perfectly, however the fish was overcooked to the point of being completely dry which was a pity because the fish is usually very good here.
Next came duck with mango and coconut oil topped with liquorice and olive dust where the duck appeared to have had sous vide treatment which gave is a strange texture. The mango was quite ripe and added sweetness to the dish which good duck doesn't really need.
We finished with strawberries in tomato jelly with wasabi ice cream strawberry sorbet lemon tuille and coriander leaves which was a pleasant end to the meal even though there were a lot of flavours vying for attention in the dish.
The wine list here favours the classics and there are plenty to choose from. We were able to find a wine from star winemaker Benoit Ente on the list. The 2010 Bourgogne Aligote was a pleasant wine with enough minerality and acidity to match a range of the dishes that we were presented with.
There is now a new team cooking at The Source and the menu has changed, so we shall return here in early 2017 to try the new approach.
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