The Hobart


by Stephanie Williams

Sometimes you just need to go back to a place and rediscover it all over again. When Fico first opened back in 2016, I enjoyed the full experience of the tasting menu and savoured every dish. It was a little bit wild (a whole fish head where we picked out the jowls, and discretely covered the fish’s eye staring at us) and a little bit memorable (handmade spaghetti with simple cacio e pepe but with a taste of honey, I still dream about it). So now, three years on, it was time to check in with Fico again.

Chef Oskar Rossi left Tasmania to work with Shannon Bennett at Vue de monde in Melbourne then flew even further afield to work in the north of Italy. It was while he was there that he met Federica Andrisani, a fellow chef from Naples. They moved back to Hobart and after a series of pop ups, they opened Fico together. The vibe is one of youthfulness and hospitality – the dining room feels energetic but not overwhelming and the menu is ever-changing and seasonally responsive.

While you need to be a little organised and book larger tables in advance, we booked a couple of last minute bar seats without too much trouble. It’s a great love of mine to sit at a kitchen or bar when dining out – you can experience the stress or calm of a kitchen and be privy to the passing comments and conversations of the wait staff. The bar seats at Fico didn’t disappoint. We enjoyed watching the skilled bartender make negroni after negroni, all within eyeshot of Federica and Oskar at the pass.

But to the food. We started with bread, baked in house and served with bright green and grassy fig leaf oil. I wanted to drink it, it was that delicious. We shot down a few briny Barilla Bay oysters then snacked on a crispy length of brioche decked out with Ortiz anchovy and fennel pollen, and glossy cubes of Kingfish with soy, wasabi and coriander. My partner also tried the Scallop boudin blanc with Portugese cabbage and crab sauce.

Possibly my favourite dish of the night was the simplest. The team at Fico make all their own pasta, which shouldn’t be a surprise, so at least one pasta dish is a must. On the menu on this night was Spaghetti with mussels, turmeric and tomato water. I’m not a fan of mussels (as opposed to muscles, ha) and turmeric isn’t an ingredient I’d normally associate with Italian style cooking. But we ordered it anyway and it was incredible. Perfect pasta with a glossy, light, tomato-laced sauce.

I currently can’t eat dairy so a few of the menu options were scrubbed out for me, but I never felt like I missed out at Fico. There are also plenty of gluten free options and a few vegetarian dishes or substitutions. In light of this, for dessert we ordered the honey gelato and white balsamic meringue with hibiscus. The kitchen kindly switched out the dairy components and served up what I thought could possibly be even better – the balsamic meringue but with mandarin sorbet and a lick of licorice sauce.

By this time, we get the call up from our babysitter that our presence was required at home, so the staff were super speedy in getting us paid up, coats on and out the door. Fico was well worth the revisit.


151 Macquarie Street, Hobart

Love this


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Escape To The Country
Pet the animals, walk in the wilderness, pick your own berries and enjoy colonial accommodation... Farmstays and day tours are popping up across the state, providing a fun weekend away for visitors and Hobartians keen to get their gumboots dirty. Here are four farms to visit this Spring.
Exploring The World’s Widest Canyon – Capertee Valley
The Blue Mountains and surrounding areas suffered greatly during recent bushfires but slowly the National Parks in New South Wales are reopening, with some ready to welcome visitors back.
Talk Sexy To Me …
If I asked you to think of a food item that makes you sexy, healthy, attractive, youthful and energetic I can almost guarantee that you didn’t think of gelatin.
Madame Saisons: Corona Cuisine – Surviving Lockdown
The vacant stare in front of the open fridge or cupboard has afflicted us all on occasion. No matter how much food we have in store, there seems like nothing to eat. When you’re hungry and lacking cooking inspo, the ‘hangries’ can easily take hold.
Hannah Moloney
Meet the Tasmanian designing a better life for us all. Hannah Moloney of Good Life Permaculture is a leading landscape designer and educator in South Hobart (you may have noticed her bright pink and green house up on the hill). She’s spent 15 years designing and managing projects around urban agriculture, small-scale farming and community development. She believes in ‘radical hope’ and facing the climate crisis in a proactive and positive way.
Australia’s Online Beauty Queen – Kate Morris
Kate Morris had an idea to sell cosmetics online at a time when it wasn’t done. She borrowed $12,000 from her boyfriend’s parents and set up an online store, Adore Beauty in the garage. Twenty years later, the business is thriving, enjoying annual revenue around $100m. Kate recently sold a chunk of the business to private equity investors, Quadrant.
What’s With The Weather?
Even though Tasmania is known for its mild summers, it doesn’t take much to get sunburnt. Tasmania experiences extreme ultraviolet (UV) levels, but contrary to popular belief this isn’t due to the hole in the ozone layer, which is actually south of the continent.While higher UV levels often occur at the same time as higher temperatures, the two are not linked. Instead, UV levels are determined by the angle of the sun in the sky: the higher the sun, the higher the UV. In December and January, the position of the sun over Tasmania gives the state a UV index of 11 or more on most days, which is classified as “extreme” on the UV index. Tasmania’s lack of humidity and generally clear skies contribute to the stinging feeling of the sun. UV can reflect off buildings and water, making it possible to get a higher dose of UV from these reflected rays, even in the shade.
Transport Trackers – Your New Timewaster
It was almost 2am and US singer Halsey had just finished her set and was being whisked off stage at Falls Festival and into her waiting Tesla.
Cascades Female Factory Reopens
On a site where only the outside walls remain, how do you help visitors contextualise what happened inside those walls? At the Cascades Female Factory site in South Hobart, actor Karissa Lane, together with director Craig Lane-Irons and writer Finegan Kruckemeyer have created The Proud & The Punished, a 45-minute monologue to share the horrifying, heart-warming and sad stories of the women and babies, who went through the site from 1828 until 1856. At any given time there were between 700 and 1200 prisoners.
Day Of Impact 1967
Devastating bushfires on mainland Australia strikes vivid memories to those of us who lived through the 1967 bushfires in Southern Tasmania when 62 lives and 1293 homes were lost.
AboutContributeAdvertiseNewsletter Sign UpContact
June 2021

Stay up to date with everything happening at the Hobart Magazine.

Thank you to Luke Brokensha for mobilising his friends and local residents recently to host two rubbish clean ups along the Hobart Rivulet after heavy rains.
The warm weather returns...hello summer.
Need a laugh? Check out @theinspiredunemployed feed on Instagram.
Moto Vecchia Cafe in Bellerive and Czegs Cafe in Richmond have joined the Clarence City Council dementia program, creating dementia-friendly spaces for all patrons.
It’s hard to believe it’s not standard practice to have a working phone in every aged care room - shared phones make private conversations impossible and increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Tacks on the tracks. Mountain bikers beware of tacks being left on certain tracks on the mountain.
Just when you think your cousins are alright. NZ Opposition Leader Judith Collins took aim at Tassie during her recent (unsuccessful) campaign, calling us Australia’s “poor cousin.” She also seems worried about us nabbing tech businesses, “It’s a lovely part of the world but do you necessarily want to go there with your high- tech business? Possibly not,” she said. We beg to differ!