Karen Goodwin-Roberts goes from strength to strength! Drysdale must be absolutely kicking themselves over their loss, a good few years ago now, of Karen from the Cookery teaching team. It might have been a bitter parting of the ways at the time, but I’m sure she’d be of the opinion now that they actually did her a favour, and steered her in the direction she now is travelling.
With her Taste Café at Bahai Centre, along with the catering she has been doing, she now adds this latest jewel to her culinary crown – Castray Esplanade Food and Wine (CEFW), which is where Bec took me last week for a birthday breakfast.
We were the sole diners there, which I loved, but hope they are usually busier, which I gather they are. I absolutely could not fault one iota of the food we had. It was all exactly as I would have made it myself at home in my kitchen, where I reckon I’m the only one who can get my poached eggs the (perfect) way I like them (whites cooked but yellow runny), the bacon crispy and the accompanying sauce (in this case at CEFW today, a salsa verde) light and tasty. The potato rosti served under the poached eggs was stunning. Yeah – potato rosti is potato rosti, but this one had additional flavours which made it fabulous. The dish cost $15 and I would have paid double that for it, more than happily, especially comparing that meal today with the woeful food at Mures Upper Deck last week.
They are currently open 7 days a week, for breakfasts and lunches, but are looking at opening Thursday and Friday nights too.
Both breakfast and lunch menus are true Karen Goodwin-Roberts style. If you’ve eaten off one of Karen’s menus over the years, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. She goes to a lot of trouble to source local, fresh, seasonal food that has been ethically produced, and farmed or fished sustainably. She doesn’t do enormous plates of parmigianas dangling precariously off the sides of a huge dinner plate. She does appropriately sized amounts of good food, professionally prepared and cooked, and reasonably priced.
Both lunch and breakfast menus cater for everyone, and they are happy to adapt dishes for those who would like something not exactly as per the menu.
She will be opening up a third café in
North Hobart, Elizabeth St Food and Wine (ESFW), soon (on the site of the former BP service station just down from Republic) – I can’t wait to experience that one as well. Everything she touches screams style, comfort, credibility, good sense, freshness and deliciousness. Bahai is unique in its own way, as is CEFW, but a totally different vibe. ESFW will also have its own intrinsic flavour when it opens, as it will be a providore as well as café, and cooking school.
At a time when many people are slowing down in life, the Roberts’ empire is building on past successes. I absolutely love your work, Karen.
Castray Esplanade Food and Wine
17A Castray Esplanade
PH: 6224 6250