Cataract Gorge is the jewel in Launceston’s crown, or so we were told by the lady at the Visitor’s Centre. It is certainly an amazing place naturally, not to mention the Victoriana additions. The rocky gorge has a beautiful, deep natural pool. Beside it there is a man made wading pool. This is quite strange by itself. When you add a gondola, a suspension bridge and a pergola surrounded by hydrangeas the place is phenomenal. Just to top it off there was a resident peacock that called out like an amplified cat.
Our walk to the gorge was fairly long and hot, so we were ready for dinner when we arrived in town. Luckily Hallam’s Waterfront seafood restaurant was not far to go. It had made it onto the Gourmet Runner’s list of restaurants because they specialise in Tasmanian seafood, both wild and farmed. It was big and airy with huge windows looking over the river. I was immediately impressed with the staff. We arrived in shorts and t-shirts, carrying our backpacks, and asked to see the menu. We may have looked like desperadoes, but we were treated as though we were normal well-dressed customers. It must take a special skill for the waitstaff to be so polite. The next thing that pleased me was that when I asked about gluten-free options I was given several suggestions without any confusion. They weren’t just the grilled fish either, which made me happy.
Miss Enthusiasm and the Gourmet Runner were both keen to have a seafood platter. In true plate-sharing style they came to an agreement that one of them should order salmon instead. That way they could sample more of the menu. They enjoyed the salmon, but it couldn’t beat the seafood platter.
They chose the platter with a mix of battered, grilled and crumbed seafood. It was enormous and the fish was fresh. They particularly commented on how nice the calamari was. There was also smoked salmon, oysters, mussels, prawns, a variety of fish and some chips. The girls decided that they probably would have had enough to eat just by sharing this dish.
I decided to have prawns. I was expecting them to be asian style since the risotto was flavoured with lemon grass and ginger. They weren’t though. The risotto was really creamy and the ginger was mild. The prawns were sweet and good.
Hallam’s serves good seafood in a nice location by the Tamar river. You probably should make an effort not to turn up in your shorts and backpacks, but I’m pleased to report that we got away with it.
Ratings (out of 5 snorts)