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Monday 1 May 2023

Lost Captain leads the way for dinner

The Huon Valley in the deep south of Tasmania has many attractions, but had been short on restaurants that serve dinner - until the Lost Captain opened in the dying days of 2022.

A few months on, the Huonville eatery is in full swing, offering a menu that appeals equally to locals and interstate visitors.

Whether you are looking for a cosy booth with a few friends, or a spot in the garden where the kids can run around, this restaurant can be recommended.

The Lost Captain sits just across from the banks of the Huon River, a 30-minute drive south of Hobart.

The menu features an excellent selection of small plates ($15 each or three for $40). 

We found three small plates each more than enough to quell our hungers, although we were tempted by the desserts ($15).

We tried the traditional Tassei dish of mini scallop pies (three per serve, below) excellent; along with duck ham, cheese and aioli croquettes, torched thinly sliced Robbins Island wagyu with sourdough and dripping, Cygnet mushroom XO (in a rice paper roll) and tuna and wagyu tataki.

My standout was the crispy and tender fried chicken with purple kimchi that has more than a hint of heat. Crunchy and delicious.

The good news is that three small plates are quite enough for a meal - although there are some enticing looking mains, including the Pelverata-raised - just down the road - crispy lamb with chevre, olives and tomatoes ($34) and Lucaston-farmed - a bit further down the road - beef short rib ($40).

There are also several dishes designed for sharing by large groups, including a lamb shoulder and a suckling pig (book in advance).

The dessert choices include the hyper-local apple dumplings with salted caramel ice cream and golden syrup, and chocolate, fondant vanilla ice cream, tuile and chestnut crumb (above). My wife preferred the former, I enjoyed the latter.

The wine list has a Tasmanian focus with drinks from the likes of Hughes & Hughes, Stoney Rise, Ghost Rock and Wellington & Wolfe featuring on the "by the glass" list and several more Tasmanians, along with some tasty imports, on the list of bottles.

One major highlight was the bright, professional and attentive staff, many of whom have previously worked at Hobart's New Sydney Hotel.

In a time when good staff are hard to find, the Captain has managed to find a very good crew - including several familiar local faces. We'll be back.

The Lost Captain is at 2-4 Short St, Huonville. Open seven days. Monday-Friday: noon to late; Saturday: 8.30am-late; Sunday noon-6pm.


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