Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder? The Source Review
Restaurant: The Source, MONA – Hobart
Location: 655 Main Rd, Hobart Tasmania
Friends of the Foodie Mookie crew were visiting MONA and called to ask if we had tried The Source. “No we haven’t, but definitely want to”. So we called to book and mentioned that we are flying in from interstate. The restaurant manager, to her credit, immediately flagged that the head chef would no longer be with the restaurant. Disappointed we contact our friends who still wanted to try so booking confirmed, the Foodie Mookie crew board a plane and flew to Tasmania to visit The Source and a selection of Tasmania’s rated restaurants.
The Source restaurant is named after John Olsen’s famous work and feels akin to an aquarium with glass on three sides. The Source’s kitchen has until recently been under the watchful eye of Philippe Leban, a chef with Michelin star experience but he has recently departed and the degustation along with him. The menu is solely a la carte. A little seeking revealed that there are many positions available in the kitchen so Mookie wonders if the majority of the kitchen crew haven’t also left along with Philippe.
We choose our aperitifs, a bottle of red and some dishes. The aperitifs arrive for those having them but the wine takes 30 minutes to arrive (our guests are not impressed as they had preferred wine to an aperitifs). The meals arrive and they are enjoyable. Highlights of the meal were the Seared scallops, bbq corn, greens, olive puree, basil oil, saffron & verjus which was an excellent combination of flavours. The main of note was the Cape Grim sirloin, roasted beets, black quinoa, lentil, red wine vinaigrette. The choice dessert was the Moorilla red wine cherry soup, creme fraiche sorbet, tapioca pearls, pink peppercorn meringue.
The overall meal was pleasant but the absence of a master definitely showed in both menu but also pacing of the meal. The are still some signs of his legacy in the menu . The outlook from the restaurant was fantastic and the wine when it finally arrived was excellent. The service was unfortunately hit and miss, and the restaurant had only thee other tables of clientele on a Friday night so felt more than a little empty. The Foodie Mookie crew look forward to revisiting The Source if and when MONA manages to find another excellent chef to lead the efforts of the kitchen.
Does absence make the heart grow fonder? In the case of The Source, MONA, Hobart, it does not.
However it does given them an opportunity to reinvent themselves. Watch this space.