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Saturday 10 April 2021

Chef pops up in Tasmanian gourmet hotspot

The Old Bank is a delightful bed and breakfast in the charming southern Tasmanian town of Cygnet.

It serves breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas seven days a week to an appreciative audience.

At night, however, its kitchen largely sits unused.

Enter Huon Valley local chef Tim Ditcham, who has just launched a series of pop-up degustation dinners at the Old Bank.

Ditcham has previously run popular spots like Bistro 31 at Ranelagh General Store and Jam and Bread.

Say When Bistro will open for three consecutive nights each month, with the second stint to run from May 13-15.

Dinner comprises a seven-course menu with a choice of desserts.

The opening menu featured standouts including oysters mignonette with pomegranate seeds; duck liver pate with tracklements, pickles and delicious brioche-style bread; gemfish "Diana" with peas, capers and hollandaise and rosemary panna cotta with lemon, bay and cape gooseberry.

Perhaps my favourite, however, was a delicate but flavoursome pasta dish with pecorino, egg, speck, parsley and lemon (below). Just divine.

Ditcham is a talented chef and the menu is well worth $85 per head. Drinks can be purchased from the Old Bank list or diners can BYO wine for a ridiculously reasonable $3 per person. Service was very helpful and our server even knew which boat had landed the gemfish.

We attended the second night and there were a couple of minor issues; slightly under-seasoned cauliflower soup; beef fillet served with a Yorkshire pudding that madly needed some Viagra, and no water bottle on the table.

All easily fixed, however. A dinner well worth a trip and an overnight stay in Cygnet, where you can also sample Matthew Evans' Fat Pig Farm, the ever-popular Red Velvet Lounge; Port Cygnet Cannery, Cygnet Japanese Diner and Ashcraig Thai, as well as popular cafes in Jacky's, The Porthole and the Lovett, as well as two pubs.

Here' are images of the rest of the dishes. 

For bookings and inquiries email: 
#The writer paid his own way.

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