Category Archives: Restaurant Reviews

Pierre’s Restaurant, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

pierres-brasserie-launcestonOn Friday night I ate at this restaurant with a group of girlfriends.  Pierre’s is somewhat of an iconic institution on the Launceston restaurant/café scene and this year has been awarded a spot at number 12 on the Australian Good Food Guide (AGFG) list of Australian Restaurants.  It has been around since 1956 and in recent years has had a facelift which has modernised it’s interior without sacrificing it’s charm.  With the classic black and white tiles, rich red colours and the high back leather bench seats, Pierre’s provides a sophisticated yet relaxed dining experience and has a great pre theatre feel about it.

The restaurant is divided into two sections.  The main entrance is off George Street and is a long narrow room, dimly lit and lined with bench seating.  The Courtyard room and bar is a bit more open and light and can be accessed either from George Street or through the back, which is handy for those diners who wish to park in the Patterson Street undercover car park which is conveniently located adjacent to the restaurant.  While the back room does have smaller tables, it is also perfect for larger groups or functions.

The menu looked great and the wine list extensive, although I thought there could have been a bit more choice in the Tasmanian wine department.

OuPierres Creme Bruleer table however,  was fairly unadventurous, only ordering two of the main course dishes and two desserts.  Meals were simply presented but loaded with flavour.  The Duck confit a la orange was by all reports a superb dish.  I ordered the fish of the day, which was Atlantic salmon.  The restaurant catered well for my dietary requirements and served the fish with steamed vegetables and a slice of lemon.  The fish was moist, but cooked all the way through.  Desserts also looked great with crème brulee and a trio of sorbets being ordered.

Unfortunately the service on this occasion was a bit slow, particularly when it came to drinks.  We ended up having to go and wait at the bar to order drinks, which was a bit disappointing.  As I’ve dined here previously, I know that this isn’t always the case.

All in all it was a great dining experience and I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who is visiting Launceston.  No doubt the locals are already well aware of it’s presence!  Pierre’s is open Tuesday to Saturday for breakfast lunch and dinner.


Tallwood, Mollymook, New South Wales, Australia

tallwood_11_02_13_178348[1]A couple of weeks ago, I made it my mission to go and try this restaurant. As I pointed out in my previous review, my brother Matt Upson is chef and co-owner of Tallwood with his friend Clayton Till.

The restaurant has a modern “big city” feel to it, yet it is located in a little town called Mollymook on the South Coast of New South Wales. The décor is clean and fresh and there is a great display of local art works which are for sale.

Outside dining, complete with a retractable awning, is also on offer to make the most of the fabulous NSW weather. There are even knee rugs for when the air is a bit chilly.

Evening dining sees the restaurant transform into a sophisticated indoor space with a great atmosphere. The mood is set off by the clever interior design and gorgeous lighting that throws patterns onto the walls and roof.

Tallwood is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Sunday. The menu is the same for lunch and dinner, so I decided to have both meals here so I could try more of the dishes (after all I had come all the way from Tasmania and had been waiting quite some time to eat here)!

I dined with my parents, sister in law and daughter for both meals (arguably my brother’s toughest critics). For lunch we decided to have lighter options to save room for our evening meal! The food did not disappoint. Popular with my 5 year old daughter were the taro chips. I was partial to the “salumi Australia” cured meat board and the Black Angus scotch (which I ate without the pine mushrooms due to FODMAP’s), while my mum loved the Portuguese Fish Cakes served with a saffron mayo.

For dinner my favourites were the Japanese pancakes (I have to say that as he adapted them from my recipe!), American spare ribs with tomato, coriander and lime, and the red braised quail. We didn’t have dessert as we were trying to be good! Actually, by special request the chef whipped up some banana and choc chip ice-cream for my daughter!

Tallwood quail a

All in all we thoroughly enjoyed both meals here. The staff were knowledgeable and attentive, without being intrusive. I particularly enjoyed the experience of evening dining.

If you are in the vicinity of Mollymook, you really need to check this restaurant out. If you are a little further down the coast, the Tallwood team also run Merry Street Restaurant and Bar at Kioloa. I know that you may be thinking that I am biased being that the restaurant belongs to a family member. If so, please check out what other people are saying on TripAdvisor!

The Hungry Duck, Berry, New South Wales, Australia

hungry-duck-info1My young daughter and I recently went on a short trip from our home state of Tasmania to New South Wales. The main purpose of our trip was to visit our family.

Another burning reason to travel was to eat at my little brother (Matt Upson) and his friend’s (Clayton Till) new restaurant Tallwood in Mollymook. They have been getting AMAZING reviews on TripAdvisor, and I thought that it was not right that I was the only member of the family who hadn’t eaten there yet!

It is no secret that I like my food and LOVE to eat out. On our way to Mollymook, we broke our journey at the gorgeous little township of Berry for dinner. My brother had booked us all into Hungry Duck. The chef Dave Campbell has an impressive resume that includes Wokpool, Tetsuya’s and Billy Kwong. So I’m sure you can understand that I was just a little bit excited about eating here!

My daughter and I had been travelling for 10 hours by the time we got to the restaurant. We had 2 small children in tow, so unfortunately we were not in for a long relaxing dinner.

The restaurant presented really well. It is in a quaint old building on the main road. It had a mix of lovely wooden chairs and padded bench seats. The tables were covered with crisp white tablecloths. It had a relaxed yet sophisticated feel to it.

The restaurant recommended that we share dishes, which suited us. The stand out dishes from what we ordered were the homemade pork buns which had pulled pork and a lovely blend of Asian herbs and spices, the duck 3 ways, and caramelised Angus brisket with cassia bark & pickled blood plums (we had 2 serves!). Dishes are quite small, however as it is served Tapas style, it is easy to order more if needed. The children were the only ones who had dessert – vanilla bean ice cream of course!

The wait staff were professional but relaxed and were able to guide us with our menu choices where needed.

After dinner we discovered a gorgeous kitchen garden that we enjoyed wandering around while trying to name all the plants. There was a water fountain and the plants had back lighting which created a great atmosphere.

I would highly recommend you make a stop at this little restaurant on your travels, and don’t forget to check out the garden!