You’d be forgiven if you thought at some point Tom McHugos could have had some sort of identity crisis.
Am I a pub?
Am I an upmarket bistro with a twist?
Do I want to be either?
Thankfully, no one really minds how this establishment sees itself, only that it continues to be a well thought out mix of exterior historical grandeur, interior comfort and excellent food, ever welcoming locals and visitors alike.
Named after the past but with its sights now well set on the future of Hobart eateries, Tom McHugos it one to place of your list of favourites.
Produce Driven and Proud
If there is one thing that sets Tom McHugos apart it may well be their penchant for making it known where their loyalties lie.
The entrance to the venue tells of producer’s names, local in their geography and promoted in this way as to let diners know of this establishment’s ongoing ethos.
Diners of Tom McHugos while they may not know it straight away will soon learn that locally sourced produce is at this restaurant’s heart...and long shall it remain so.
But it doesn’t just stop with the food.
The wines selected for diners’ delights will be that of organically farmed grapes, without too much unnecessary intrusion wherever possible.
Tasmanian and Australian wines are the preferred with a few internationals selected on their merit so as to never clutter or confuse the medley on offer.
Consequently, these wine choices somehow complement each other and, of course, the restaurant’s fare.
The owners hold a genuine desire to consider the environment in every aspect of the restaurant’s dealings with a non-negotiable allegiance to composting, preserving, and considering their own environmental impact at every stage of their day.
Their efforts hopefully are not lost on their patrons.
A Nose to Tail Commitment
Tom McHugos accepts only the whole carcass with an intention to leave minimal waste.
It is a respect for the animal which drives this decision. A wholeness approach not only sits well within the wishes of the owners and preparers, but
What might this do for a chef?
Creative resourcefulness is one way to put it but may be an understatement. The selection of food choices is a direct result of learning that every part of a beast is worthy of a dish created to celebrate its life.
Food Glorious Food
So, what can diners expect from such an establishment?
The aforementioned commitments shine though on Tom McHugo’s menu from starters or “snacks” to the evening ending dessert.
Speaking of starters, try not to avoid them. There are great, paired flavours here with particular items unlike others seen in the area. Variety being the spice of life would be the main motivator here.
More than appetizers would be their best description.
This is not a steakhouse by any means with vegetable dishes and delicious oysters taking their place alongside the more carnivore focused meals.
They stand on their own as a main although vegetarian diners may need to look closer at the accompanying sauces and condiments. For those without a dietary commitment, it is worth ordering several for a shareable experience.
These dishes do not simply accompany but instead add to the varied nature and deliciousness of the menu.
Case in point?
The Newry Farm Asparagus with cheese curd or the Silverbeet and Swiss chard done in a moreish cheddar mornay.
If you’re worried, simply choose the purely vegetable side dishes.
Large and small plates are on offer to suit a range of hunger levels with shareability a bonus with the latter.
For many diners they venture to Tom McHugos for the meat. There’s plenty of it.
Try the Longhorn Bone Marrow, the beef shin dumplings or the Pastrami Sandwich if its something lighter you’re after.
Local pastures bring diners Littlewood Lamb and black pepper pie with mushy peas and of course, gravy. A must-have if you’ve never indulged.
Staying with the lamb try the Lambs Tongue with chicken broth for something different.
For the quintessential meat lover, the favourite and go-to for many would no doubt be the Longhorn Beef Rump with herbed butter and crispy chips.
The standard Chicken Parmy is anything but with the portion enough to satisfy even the most robust of appetites.
Hobart is a city of history and one of many stories but is also now known to satisfy the variety of food enthusiasts it brings to its many and varied tables.
Its reserved nature may be a thing of the past should more eateries like Tome McHugos land on the shores.
Where: 87 Macquarie Street, Hobart, TAS
Cuisine: Modern Australian; Upmarket Pub / Bistro
Bookings: (03) 6231 4916
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