To satisfy our caffeine and brunch food cravings, we hunt for cafés in search of those for which we would put a pin on our map for a revisit. During our five-day excursion to the Tasman Peninsula (or “Tassie”, as the locals call it), we decided to give Small-fry a try based on the numerous good reviews we had read. Located in the middle of Hobart’s city centre, it was an ideal location to hit before we made our way to Port Arthur.
Small-fry is a lively bar and restaurant that lures many locals to drop by in the morning for a takeaway cuppa with their own mugs and a quick chat with Chef Reese before heading to work. If only a cup of decent black coffee could be priced at A$4 in Hong Kong!
At Small-fry, there are no dining tables per se, just a long counter in front of the open kitchen where you can see the magic happen, plus two tall stools outside where you and a friend can bask in the warm glow of the sun while enjoying a quick coffee. The place seats around 12–15 people in total, so be prepared to wait if you go at the weekend.
Between the two of us, we ordered three sliders (A$8 each): the brekkie (egg and bacon with onion jam), the smoky pork belly with remoulade slaw and the crumbled halloumi with remoulade slaw. Starting with the brekkie slider, the onion jam is made from caramelised onion, bringing out the sweetness in it, and the egg is lightly pan-fried and then torched to ensure that the white is firm while the yolk oozes all over the bun upon initial bite.
Richer proteins are paired with remoulade coleslaw to balance out their oiliness. The pork belly is served in hearty chunks. Does this make it taste any different to other pork belly dishes we’ve had? No. But it locks in the juice and keeps it tender. Needless to say, cheese lovers will be head over heels for the thickly cut halloumi, adding even more texture to the flavourful cheese.
Small-fry is one of the best and most intimate dining experiences I’ve had in awhile, where you see the chef genuinely enjoying his craft and overhear him speaking on the phone about his orders for ingredients in addition to enjoying cheerful banter with diners. As the chef himself says, “It’s my menu – I like everything on it.” Well, so do we!
3/129 Bathurst Street, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, (03) 6231 1338 (opening hours: Monday–Friday 7:30am–2:30pm, Saturday–Sunday 8:30am–1pm)
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