Whilst sailing on board Spirit of Tasmania Mr GG and I decided to take advantage of the opportunity for a romantic dinner for two at The Leatherwood Restaurant. Leatherwood Restaurant is the ships fine dining restaurant. Its menu takes inspiration from the wonderful Tasmanian produce we will be sampling once we arrive at our destination.
You might recognise the name Leatherwood as a Tasmanian rainforest tree. The Leatherwood tree blossoms with sweet smelling white flowers that attract bees. Leatherwood honey is a popular Tasmanian product, one which I am looking forward to trying.
After being shown to our table by the maitre d’ we were introduced to the wine list.
It was a treat to be able to choose from a selection of Tasmanian beer and wines aboard the Spirit of Tasmania. It helped create the perfect start to our Tasmanian tasting holiday and to our meal at Leatherwood Restaurant.
I selected the Goaty Hill Pinot Noir from the Tamar Valley as I enjoy the light fruit flavours of a Tasmanian Pinot. Hubby chose the aged Stoney Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Coal River Valley in Southern Tassie feeling he wanted a more full, rich and robust wine. He found the plumy fruit flavour very much to his liking and enjoyed the dryer finish displayed by the wine.
I was a little surprised by his choice as I thought he may have selected a Boags or Cascade, being that we were on our way to the home state of these breweries.
Just relaxing and enjoying the feeling of cruising on the sea was amazing. I was enjoying the the wine and the lovely company of my husband but my tummy was beginning to grumble! It was time to order.
Salmon is synonymous with Tassie for me. I noticed an entree of hot Smoked Salmon, with watercress and fennel salad and a lemon vinaigrette. The salmon was supplied by a local Tasmania supplier called 41 South Salmon and Ginseng Farms. I knew instantly this would be the dish for me.
The salmon was so deliciously moist and flaky. It had such a delicate, smokey flavour. Avocado lent the dish a rich creaminess which was cut by the citrusy dressing and balanced by deliciously salty capers and the fresh dill. It was such a superb, light dish to enjoy as an entree.
Mr GG chose the Tasmanian tasting plate which consisted of three distinct components. Firstly there was the pork and veal terrine which was served with an antipasto of marinated feta stuffed peppers and Kalamata olives.
Next we sampled the pastrami of smoked duck with tomato and basil roulade and crispy toast. It was another amazing flavour combination.
The final component of the tasting plate was crusted thinly sliced beef served with a spicy tomato relish and a side of creamy potato salad.
The dish made the perfect shared plate. Hubby and I took our time just savouring each delicious morsel. So delicious!
I think I have declared my love for Tasmanian fish before so it will probably come as no surprise that I ordered the Petuna ocean trout fillet served on an Asian noodle salad with nam jim dressing. The crispy skinned trout was amazing! It was cooked rare, and had a deliciously sweet, pink, melt in the mouth centre. The trout was served on a lightly spiced noodle salad with the clean fresh flavours of lime, chili and coriander shining through.
I wonder how much of your partners dish you can safely sample without putting the relationship to the test??
Gnocchi is one of those dishes that Mr GG has to order when it’s available because I have never been brave enough to try making gnocchi from scratch. Potato gnocchi with sautéed mushrooms, truffle oil and grated Parmesan was one of the vegetarian options on the menu. I am not sure which one of the ingredients lured him in but for me gnocchi with truffle oil sounded sublime.
The dish was so good I didn’t want to give it back. Creamy, earthy, buttery, rich flavoursome mushroom with the heady flavour of truffle oil over the ultimate comfort food, homely, soft gnocchi. The dish was finished with fresh thyme and Parmesan cheese.
Dessert provided another conundrum, I love chocolate and noticed Leatherwood Restaurant had two delicious chocolate desserts on the menu. The first was a chocolate tart served with double cream and the second a tasting plate from the House of Anvers Chocolate.
The House of Anvers Chocolate produces Tasmania’s highest quality chocolates, truffles and fudges. Owner Igor Van Gerwen is the Belgium born chocolatier who brought his love of chocolate to Tasmania establishing the business in 1986.
I decided against a chocolate dessert. Mr GG and I are planning to visit the House on Anvers Chocolate tomorrow and although I would love a preview I wanted to take the opportunity to try something different.
The Elderflower and vanilla bean panna cotta with rhubarb compote caught my attention. The delicate sweet panna cotta had the most delicious melt in the mouth consistency, rich but still a light creamy texture. It had the perfect wobble. Hubby likened the wobble to that of a breast… hmm, I am not sure about that but the roasted rhubarb with a concentrated citrus glazed partnered and contrasted perfectly with the creamy dessert.
Mr GG ordered the Bread and Butter Pudding with Apricot Glaze and rich clotted cream for his final dish of the evening. It was his second serve of comfort food and I don’t know how he managed such substantial dessert after the gnocchi. The hot pudding was worth risking an expanding waistline. The dessert was so fragrant with the alluring combination of cinnamon and apricot in a creamy custard.
We had enjoyed an amazing sampling of Tasmanian ingredients cooked to perfection by the talented chefs in the Leatherwood Restaurant. As much as I was looking forward to visiting Tasmania I was enjoying my time on board Spirit of Tasmania and I was not ready for the trip to end in the morning.
Reservations are taken for evening dining at The Leatherwood Restaurant on all night cruises. To make a booking, simply visit the restaurant once on board.Gourmet Getaways dined as guests of Leatherwood Restaurant and Spirit of Tasmania.