Zum29 Salamanca Place, Hobart Tasmania 7000, Australia • + 61 (03) 6223 2323 • Map
Salamanca Place is one of Hobart's main foodie areas with a lot of fairly average restaurants taking up space in some beautiful old sandstone converted warehouses. Zum is the exception to the rule here and if you want some quality food, great baked goods (sourced from their own bakery on Elizabeth Street in North Hobart) then look no further.
We have heard great things about Zum's lunches and dinners as well, and I popped in here once for a tasty Danish pastry, but on the visit in question I had an exhausted and recently sick husband in extreme need of a quality caffeine injection fast.
The staff were quick and friendly and, recognising his dire need, had a quality latte in front of him in no time at all.
The interior has left the beautiful original stone work on view, added a lovely seating area in a courtyard outside which would be lovely on a warm day, and decorated with funky light fixtures and comfortable Danish style seating.
The breakfast menu was one to drool over. Having later tasted some of their baked goods I would recommend trying some of the croissants, banana bread or even just some of their sveral varieties of toast when you visit. We hadn't yet discovered how good the baker was here so we stuck to an Eggs Benedict on Italian toscana bread (we know - not authentic but what can you do!) and a potato rosti with smoked salmon, spinach and hollandaise. Given another visit to Hobart I will be back to inspect their ricotta hot cakes, banana maple porridge and Italian beans - this was a menu with a lot of temptations on it!
First things first. Although the Benedict should of course be served on an English muffin to be in any way authentic, my husband told me that the toscana bread was in fact quite similar in taste and texture and, so, as substitutes go, wasn't a bad one. The hollandaise was quite simply the best we have ever had. Just the right tang of lemon and a beautifully fluid yet thick texture. The eggs were perfectly poached and the ham very tasty.
I had a bit of food envy although my breakfast was tasty as well. However it wasn't a rosti and this brings me to my only beef with Zum. Menus should be honest about what they are serving and a "rosti" is a Swiss potato cake made by peeling either the cooked or raw potatoes and then frying the resulting cake in artery hardening amounts of butter until you have a crispy patty. My breakfast had some delicious salmon and spinach sitting on top of a potato cake made from mashed potato with some onions and herbs added. The potato cake was fine - but I had been expecting a rosti so was disappointed.
I consoled myself with some excellent tea and the fabulous hollandaise while my husband inhaled a second latte but Zum has left me with a distinct craving for a decent rosti that does what it says on the tin.
In all other respects it was excellent.
Visited: 24th August, 2010
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