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Saturday 20 February 2016

Tasmania's tiny gourmet hotspot gets another drawcard

The tiny hamlet of Cygnet, a 40-minute drive south of Hobart, has a reputation as one of Tasmania's gourmet hotspots. 

Two excellent local cafés, the Red Velvet Lounge and The Lotus Eaters Café, are listed among the top 500 restaurants in Australia - no mean feat for a town with a population of around 1,000.

Then there are artisan chocolates from Cygneture, ciders from Pagan Cider and wines from local vineyards including Elsewhere, Chatto, Sailor Seeks Horse, Panorama and Two Bud Spur. 

Oh, and the local markets held on the first and third Sundays of the month, great local produce, much of it organic, and a couple of good local pubs and takeaways. And the Gourmet Farmer, Matthew Evans, as well. 

Now there is another reason to make a trip to Cygnet when you are visiting Tasmania - the recently opened Port Cygnet Diner. 

Local chef Asher Gilding, fresh from a stint cooking in Morocco, opened the Port Cygnet Diner a few weeks ago, specialising in gourmet takeaway dishes. 

That means great burgers, superb flathead and hand-cut chips served with pickled vegetables, vegetarian dishes, milkshakes, artisan ice creams and other dishes depending on what is fresh and local. 

Gilding makes a habit of buying from farms in and around the Huon Valley. 

A chicken burger is a popular new addition to the blackboard menu and next week gourmet sausages, made from pork and kangaroo by Ross O'Meara on nearby Bruny Island, will make their debut. 

While the food is almost all sourced locally, and cooked with serious intent, the vibe here is casual. Take a seat in one of comfortable booths, pay $3 to BYO, sit back and enjoy. 

Port Cygnet Diner, 16 Mary St, Cygnet, TAS 7112. Open Thursday-Monday, noon-8pm.    

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