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Sunday 30 October 2022

Hobart restaurant returns with all guns blazing

Hotel restaurants in Australia can be hit and miss affairs. Sometimes the food does not match the hotel experience. 

Likewise pan-Asian restaurants are not always a triumph. Often certain cuisines are done much better than others.

What a pleasant surprise, then, to dine at Mr Good Guy, the recently reopened Asian eatery that is part of the ibis Styles in Hobart. 

For much of the pandemic period, Mr Good Guy was shuttered and the hotel was used as a Covid isolation facility.

Earlier this month, however, both hotel and restaurant reopened after a thorough clean - and the kitchen has come out with all guns blazing. No wonder Mr Good Guy was close to full on a chilly Tuesday evening. 

Not only is the food here very good - and well priced - the service was excellent at a time when hotels across the board are struggling to find good staff. 

The vibe here is decidedly casual but the food - which spans influences from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Singapore and Vietnam - is well considered. 

You can choose from an a la carte menu, or the "Trust Mr Good Guy Banquet", where the kitchen sends out what it thinks is seasonal and good. The banquet can also be matched with wines by the glass from Tasmanian labels like Frogmore Creek, Nocton Vineyard and 42 Degrees South. 

We began in Vietnam with Goi Ga (above); shredded chicken and cabbage salad with herb, lime, spice and crushed peanuts. Delicate and delicious. 

Then followed more Vietnamese flavours: crisp pork and crab spring rolls, melt in the mouth textures served with nuoc cham and peanut hoi sin dipping sauces, both of which carried a serious flavour kick. 

Next was one for the vegetarians; a very tasty Thai-style crispy spiced eggplant dish with a fragrant sauce and jasmine rice. 

The "Borneo-style" beef rendang failed to deliver the required palate punch, but the kitchen was quickly back on form again with crispy cinnamon banana roti pancakes; a caramel-powered Thai/Indian mash-up that worked as a sweet treat.

There are plenty of fresh and flavoursome hawker-style dishes between $12-$18 on the a la carte menu, while the banquet costs $59 per head with a minimum of two people. 

The prices are more than fair and there are vegan and gluten free options. We will definitely be back. 



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