James and Rose met while working at a café on a corner of a busy Sydney suburb. Now they own their own café on a corner, amongst one of Hobart’s busy little suburbs.
Their little café Trophy Room has fast become the new cool kid in town – slinging delicious daytime eats and treats in suburban NoHo. If you’re thinking that Trophy Room sounds familiar than you might have heard of Trophy Donuts –they (until very recently) had a regular stall at the Farmgate Market which amassed a huge cult following.
James and Rose, the masterminds behind Trophy Donuts, are the dream team behind Hobart’s newest business venture. Described as a bistro style café/restaurant, Trophy Room is a cosy venue tucked up between houses on the corner of Argyle and Yardley Streets. We sat down with co-owner Rose, who gave us the low-down on the new café taking Hobart by storm. Why the location?
“We never wanted to have a restaurant or café that was ‘on the strip.’ There is something about being a bit ‘outside’ of the main hustle and bustle that really appealed to us. You can stand out a bit more – you become more a “destination” type place.”
“And the café we [James and I] met at was on a corner surrounded by houses – so there’s that connection.”
The space is warm and inviting, with walls painted terracotta orange, an open kitchen, lots of greenery, a shelf or two of good-looking booze and a record player spinning tunes from the corner. “You could say it’s more like a café restaurant than your standard café. You’re getting linen napkins and it’s quite small and cosy- so you’re getting a more intimate level of service too.” Rose and James moved to Hobart from Sydney about four years ago – for a change.
“We always wanted to open a business in Sydney – but there is so much going on there already and it’s hard to stand out. When we moved, opening a business here was definitely on the back of our minds.” Why the shift away from donuts?
“James [the head chef] had more to give [than just donuts], and I had more to give in terms of my level of service – and we saw this as an opportunity to demonstrate that.”
Nearly everything at Trophy Room is made in-house.
“James bakes all the bread, the croissants, the brioche buns… we smoke our own bacon and we make our own pasta fresh each morning.”
At Trophy Room, there is a real focus on local produce and their menu will continue to change and evolve depending on the season.
“We get our oysters from Tasmanian Oyster Co., we get our vegetables from Broom and Brine and the Farmgate Market, and all our meat comes from the West Hobart butcher.”
So, give us the low down – what are your most popular dishes?
“In terms of savoury dishes – the mortadella cruller. Its pastry piped out into a circle and then it’s got lots of pepper and cheese in it to make it that cacio e pepe flavour. We then serve it with mortadella from the meat slicer.”
But donut lovers, don’t fret. You can still get your sweet fix at Trophy Room.
“Our most popular sweet dish is the Thousand Layers. It’s puff pastry with whey caramel, mascarpone cream and lemon curd – just layers and layers of all that. It looks super impressive the way that it is stacked.”
With artful layers of cream, pastry and caramel, the Thousand Layers is proving to be Trophy Room’s most Insta-worthy dish.
Trophy Room is open for brekky and lunch Tuesday to Saturday from 8 am to 3 pm. Walk-ins only.
Food photography by Jacob King – @wearesouthside._