You could say that dining at Marque IV was the highlight of my recent trip to Hobart. I dare to even place it on par with the Restaurant Of The Year – Quay. I thought it was definitely the best restaurant in Tasmania.
Marque IV sits along the Elizabeth Street Pier and for booking weeks in advance, we were rewarded with one of the best seats in the house, facing the waterfront harbour views. There was a relaxing glamour feel to the restaurant… dim lighting, royal furnishings and even a gold feature wall.
We sat back and began to drool over the 6 course signature tasting menu which was clearly inspired by local produce.
Sourdough bread with butter
Zen & I
We started off with an Asian-inspired hot and sour soup. A small flask of piping hot broth was brought out and drizzled over a plate of carefully arranged items including baby abalone, Bruny Island oyster, shitake mushroom and lup cheong (Chinese sausage). The flavours lingered in my mouth after each spoonful… it was amazing.
Hot and sour soup of baby abalone, bruny island oyster, shitake mushroom and lup cheong
Next up was a dish consisting of my fave 3 ingredients… scallops, pork belly and truffle -so heavenly. The scallops were seared perfectly so that they remained tender and plump. And the truffle foam aroused the crispy cubes of parsnip and juicy cut of pork belly. This dish worked on so many levels… the presentation was gorgeous too, I was so bummed my speedlite decided to run flat.
Spring bay scallops, pork belly, parsnip, beetroot and perigold truffle foam
I was a little concerned when I saw rabbit on the menu as I have never been a fan of the strong game essence. However, the spaghetti of braised rabbit surprised me. It was rich but not overpowering, buttery but not too heavy. The baby brussel sprouts were sweet and enhanced this winter wonderland.
Spaghetti of braised rabbit, cotechino, brussel sprouts and sage beurre noisette
Lighter in texture and strong on taste, the blue cheese souffle was superb. The candied walnuts and pickled pear played cheerfully with the stringy bark gum honey.
King island roaring forties blue cheese souffle, stringy bark gum honey sabayon, candied walnut and pickled pear
This palette cleanser was refreshing and definitely something I’ll try replicating. It looked simple and good for you… ceylon black tea, ginger, elderflower and lemon. I loved that it was served with a tiny sprig of rosemary and lemon zest… mmm, It left me ready for the main course!
Ceylon black tea, ginger, elderflower and lemon
Main course was pan roasted wagyu blade, black and white beans, served with horseradish and sweet onion dumpling. The dumpling was a bit like onion gravy in a Chinese steamed bun… and the wagyu was good… really good!
Pan roasted wagyu blade, black and white beans, horseradish and sweet onion dumpling
Finally, dessert… the 5 courses so far only increased the benchmark of this restaurant. I expected nothing short of spectacular. The coffee, prune and armagnac tart with burnt orange caramel and vanilla bean ice cream was pretty damn good. The flavours were reminiscent of a sticky date pudding but somehow was more magical.
Coffee, prune and armagnac tart, burnt orange caramel and vanilla bean ice cream
There were no petit fours (not that they were needed, as I was more than satisfied with the $110 I’d just spent) but coffee or tea was included in the degustation. The presentation was thoughtful… a sugar cube sat on top of a tiny strainer… I joyfully watched it crumble beneath the hot tea and then swamped it with a splash of milk… muhahaha!
It was simply quite idyllic to end my trip down to Tasmania with the best of them all.
Update Dec 2011: This restaurant has closed.
Marque IV The Restaurant
Elizabeth Street Pier
Tel: +61 03 6224 4428