by Stephanie Williams
4 Cascade Rd, South Hobart
If you’re into wine, a good wine bar is a delight. Not only a place to facilitate catch ups with friends but also a place of education and discovery.
A Friday night recently spent at Lupin filled my cup – figuratively in the catch up I had with a beautiful family member and literally in the wine glass that was filled with interesting and delicious wines. Sitting at the juncture where Macquarie Street turns into Cascade Road, Lupin is an open fronted space, with footpath seating and a big, open bifold window. There’s a sneaky view up to the mountain and it’s surrounded by heritage cottages and a pretty canopy of trees. The staff are so welcoming – on our night at Lupin I see a familiar face working front of house and enjoy the perfect hospitality from start to finish. She gets us started with drinks – a glass of orange wine for both of us. I’m interested in wines that I may not know about just visiting a local bottleshop, so it was a pleasure to read over the list – natural wines, smaller winemakers, and winemakers from near and far.
The food menu is broken down into things on toast and things not on toast. I love traditional prawn toast, so while we’re deciding on drinks, I get the food started with a serve of prawn toast ($14). It arrives at the same time as our delicious Made By Monks Gewurztraminer ($13) and makes for a strong start to proceedings. The anchovy toast ($15) is next – a generous white bean puree smear topped with chopped olives and draped with white anchovies. Not your regular pizza-style anchovies, these little pieces of heaven are light, lemony and perfect. Doing our bit to make a dent in the late summer zucchini glut, we order the roast zucchini ($16) which is served half longways and roasted, topped with a yoghurt tahini sauce, cracked almonds, mint and chilli. It’s spicy and moorish. Time for another wine and this time I go with the recommendation of the Ruggabellus Sallio ($16) from Eden Valley. I rave so much about it, my dining buddy orders a glass after her Meadowbank Gamay ($14).
We finish our savoury dishes with the mushroom pate toast – a generous portion of grainy mushroom pate topped with herbs and flowers. It is absolutely essential that a meal here ends with a piece of Basque cheesecake. Crustless and a little burnt on top, this cheesecake style is fluffy, caramelly and just divine. Manager, Jyoti Bindu makes the cheesecake (and everything else!) herself and mentions to us that she is making it for another venue in town (and turning down offers to make it for more venues!) – ten points for the reader who can share where this is… we’re dying to know where we can get this piece of heavenly dessert on the nights Lupin is closed.