The Hobart

DINING OUT: Hometown Secret + The Winston

by Stephanie Williams
DINING OUT: Hometown Secret + The Winston

Hometown Secret

181 Liverpool Street, Hobart,

I’d seen the bright, canary yellow exterior of Hometown Secret enough times to be intrigued to head inside. But where is the hometown? And what is the secret?

Once the craving for steamed dumplings takes hold, it’s a diffi­cult one to shake. The sticky and soft pastry, then doused in soy sauce and vinegar, it’s so satisfying. Hometown Secret serves South East Asian favourites and recently added yum cha dishes to their menu. We popped in for a quick lunch with the in-laws just as the weather turned into next level, nasty cold.

The fogged windows created a sense of mystery, and once inside, we were led to a whole section out the back that I didn’t realise existed. The space was bright and clean, with a huge piece of wall art made from the steamer baskets. My in laws opted for a sneaky glass of wine, and I ordered a milk tea coffee, which was super sweet and gave me just the hit to get back to the office and punch out an afternoon of productive work!

Given the honour (responsibility!) of ordering for the table, I go for a pretty wide selection of yum cha favourites and a couple of house specialities, expertly advised by our waitperson. We start with BBQ Scottsdale Pork buns with fluffy dough encasing a sweet savoury pork filling. Classic pork buns. The steamed prawn dumplings and pork and prawn dim sums satisfy the craving for steamed pastry, and the Sichuan spicy prawn wontons blow all our heads off, in a good way!

Clockwise from top left: Steamed pork buns, bean curd skin rolls and Shanghai pork dumplings

We hit the fried section – long batons of super crispy spring rolls are filled with garlic prawns. While they’re not my favourite item, I was pretty impressed with the level of crunch they had! The pan fried pork dumplings are tasty but could do with a little more filling. The stand out dish for me was a seemingly simple one – bean curd skin rolls, doused in oyster sauce. So what is the secret – I’d say that it’s a good spot for a satisfying dim sum hit, with good service and central location.

The Winston

Corner of Federal and Elizabeth Street, North Hobart

Sometimes an outing doesn’t have to be anything other than sat­isfying a craving: a beer, some fried chicken, and a game of pool with a mate. A recent visit to The Winston after an overwhelm­ing week of work during Dark Mofo was needed to fill that beer and chicken sized cup again. While my body was probably in need of vegetables (I’m not sure if celery sticks on the side of fried chicken counts), my stomach and head were begging for an easy night of snacks and a wee little beer. We started the night perched at the bar where friendly bartenders had me sorted with a German-style lager from Western Australia quick smart. With my thirst eased, we soon followed with chippies topped with chilli (the meat kind, $9) and a basket of southern fried chicken wings (10 for $14). Our fried snacks were fresh from the fryer, well seasoned and salty, complete with a good number of those little crunchy, oily fries that everyone silently loves to search for: textbook snacks to snavel while our game of pool got underway.

The chicken wings and celery

The Winston is very much a local watering hole during the week, plenty of young crowds conversing over a pint around the bar or fire, and always a coin on the pool table. Previous visits have seen young families having an easy night out (no cutlery needed!) and couples on a date night, it really is a pub for everyone. There’s plenty to look at inside, with a considerable amount of dog pictures pasted up the walls, different currencies lining the bar and a wall of number plates from around the world, not forgetting the arcade games to keep the little, and big ones entertained. Whilst I sadly fell at the last hurdle and lost the game. I like to think my lucky shots were fuelled from our snacks and I slept that night like someone with a belly full of fries and hops…very well.

Open 7 days from 4pm, kitchen from 5.

Love this

Cold Water Wake Up Call
It seems everywhere I turn someone is talking about or participating in cold water swimming right now.
A Short Geelong Getaway
Since the Spirit of Tasmania terminal moved from Melbourne to Geelong late last year, a visit to Geelong has been on the radar.
27 Hobart Friends Get Snipping For One Off Wine
The borders were declared shut in Tasmania on the 30th of March, 2020; the first stare to do so amid the COVID- 19 pandemic and hard lockdown of Hobart followed.
Danphe Nepalese and Indian Food + Peppermint Bay Bar and Bistro
Nepalese food is a comfort in our house. Having spent much time trekking and mountain climbing in Nepal as a younger man, Nepalese food is something I always love to go back to.
That’s DR Hannah Gadsby To You
From Smithton to Netflix and the Emmys stage, Tasmanian stand up comic Hannah Gadsby has forged an unlikely path. Following on from the massive success of her shows Nanette and Douglas, Hannah brings her new show Body of Work to Hobart this month.
PODCAST: Incat founder Robert Clifford on why electric boats are the future
Robert Clifford is the founder of Incat, a Hobart company building fast ferries for the world. Always looking to future opportunities, he has identified where Hobart sits in the next wave of transportation. For more of this interview listen to The Hobart Magazine podcast.
Is Tourism Ready For More Forestry Wars?
Tasmanian forests are special. They’re home to centuries-old trees, including the tallest flowering trees on the planet, and support unique native species. Yet not everyone agrees on how these forests should be managed.
Hobart Chefs: When The Obsession Becomes Real
Tasmania’s brand as a foodie haven is cemented. But within the local hospitality industry there are those who love to use local produce...and those who are next-level obsessed with it. We spoke to a bunch of Hobart chefs who are top of the game when it comes to fostering relationships with local farmers and growers.
Did You Know Australia’s First Female Doctor Was Hobartian?
Tasmania, despite its small size and population in comparison to the mainland, has produced more than its proportionally predicted percentage of significant figures and heroes of Australian history. 
Return Travellers Adding Pressure to Hobart Housing
For all of us 2020 was a year like no other, punctuated by rapid change and plenty of new challenges. For vulnerable people in Tasmania, including people facing homelessness, those on low incomes and those facing increasingly higher rents, it was very challenging. We are seeing a growing demand for homes in Tassie from international travellers returning home, people moving for work and others seeking the lifestyle that our Apple Isle has to offer.
AboutContributeAdvertiseNewsletter Sign UpContact
June 2024

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!