We were in Launceston for five days staying at Peppers Seaport. They weren't doing Christmas lunch but suggested that we try Peppers Silo Hotel. In the first week of October, they were already heavily booked for lunch but managed to get us in. At $358 for the two of us, it was a splurge but the menu looked good. We were offered the 11.30 sitting or the 2.30 and chose the earlier option. We arrived early so that we could look around the newish hotel and, based on proximity to restaurants, shops etc, were glad that we'd chosen the Seaport Hotel for our stay. Our two-bedroom apartment with balcony overlooking the river was particularly comfortable.
On arrival at the restaurant, we were given a very warm welcome and glass of local bubbly from greeter Jane. Without thinking much about it when making the booking, I had assumed that wine would probably be included as part of the $358. It wasn't, except for the bubbly. Oh well, in for a penny......
The wine list was handed over including a promotion for a particular winery (can't remember which) and their chardonnay was strongly recommended. At $145 ?, it needed to be good but we thought we'd already spent so much on the meal, we might as well go for broke on the wine so we ordered that chardonnay and a bottle of Lamura Nero D'Avola too. Both were excellent but, at $55, the Nero D'avola is a major bargain. A particularly good red.
The place ran like clockwork. Nothing was rushed, the open kitchen appeared to be very well organised and each of the 8 courses was well spaced. With a lot of staff, the service was excellent. Our waitress, Sajana, was good humoured and attentive and had time to chat between courses. Looking around the busy room, all diners seemed to be very happy.
The eight courses were a great mix but the highlights were the quail and the baked scallop entrees and the main of lamb loin chops. Best of all of the courses was the ricotta cavatelli with spanner crab sauce. By the time we got to the last of the mains (porchetta), we were struggling and only just made it through dessert. The meal was great but they could have cut out the porchetta and the first course. This was fried pizza bread with whipped goat's curd. Sort of a cross between pizza, donut and potato cake but probably too filling as a starter course. Anyway, it was a great lunch.
As we were leaving and about to pay the drinks bill, the very convivial Jane was there to say goodbye and asked if we'd had a good time. We said we had and she looked at the bill and replied "Wow, yes you have". Congratulations to manager Damian Birch for an extremely well organised and enjoyable function.
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