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PacificEdge | February 26, 2017

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Vege pasties: best yet

Vege pasties: best yet
Russ Grayson

A Tasmanian journey…

FEELING THE NEED for some biochemical reinvigoration and sustenance we noticed a little cafe while travelling through Newtown, Hobart. We stopped off. The place was called Jackman and McRoss and, being hungry, we opted for vegetable pasties and a cappuccino. They were good. That was close on a year ago.

In that year things haven’t changed. Once again in the state, we called by for a mid-afternoon lunch and ordered as we had that previous year. Often, you order something with vegetables in it and what you get is a floppy, soft pastry with vegetables fresh from a caterers can inside. Not at this cafe. I could be wrong and I’m not exactly knowledgeable about cooking, but the veges had the texture and taste as if they had been prepared just for these pasties. And the pastry? Fresh and flaky. And the coffee? That was good too, good strength, above average.

A day went by and the time came to head up the east coast. We left early but by the time we reached Newtown we were feeling that a coffee would produce the alertness and good vibe we needed for the drive. Would that little cafe be open this hour of the day? Yes, it was and it had been since 7am.

In we went, ordered a coffee each and added a croissant to the order. Now, my experience with croissants in Sydney ranges from the their being too small (still, unfortunately, the same price as the larger varieties) to the variety that, when you pick it up, sags from either poor structural strength or excessive microwaving. Often both. Adding to the uncertainly is the habit of cafes to offer their croissants either warmed or cold, with or without a spread. As you can see, ordering croissant is a chancy business and it’s actually rare to get a good-sized croissant with flaky pastry.

Again, though, we were surprised by the variety of croissant offered at Jackman & McRoss’ cafe. Large, with a light, flaky pastry, not having that texture you sometimes get as if the thing has been made with an excessive volume of butter, offered with a little pot of jam and tasting as if they were fresh (no saggy croissants here), these, my parter said, were the best she has tasted. And the coffee… it was as good as it was a year ago.

A bakery, the cafe sells a range of breads too.

Coffee: Above average in taste. Extra hot when ordered as such, unlike some establishments that imagine that extra hot means warm.

Service: Friendly, cheery, efficient, courteous. The young waitress took the time to chat with us and we even learned a little of her story. Doing that adds a personal touch to the service and increases the likelihood of your making a repeat visit.

Prices: Average. Cappuccino was $3.50. Vegetable pasties served on rocket leaves and with a small pot of what tasted like tomato relish with a touch of salsa, $5.50. Croissants were around $5, a little above average but more than compensated for by their quality.

Ambience: Simple and pleasant. Bit noisy when full of people all holding a conversation. Tables on the footpath.

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