Institut Polaire is a cold climate wine bar and kitchen featuring a snowy interior of marble and plush grey leather. The bar embraces Tasmania’s long held status as the gateway to Antarctica with a passion for everything coldhearted, with a seasonal menu featuring ethical produce from quality local growers, fishers and farmers. They also offer a range of unique coldhearted tasting experiences including wine, gin, and whisky tasting sessions (please book these in advance through their website).

Our Interview

Originally published 22 September 2020.

You may have been to Institut Polaire in the past, but this cold-climate kitchen, wine and cocktail haunt has just reopened after a little hiatus and has some exciting news to share. 

Embracing Tasmania’s status as a gateway to Antarctica, this bar has a new team worthy of celebrating, including one of Hobart’s most loved chefs, Vlad Panevin, heading up the kitchen. Vlad is a former Ettie’s kingpin after making a name for himself with the likes of Templo, Franklin and Smolt. This team is complete with other well-known faces, both in the kitchen and on the floor, to welcome and look after you. 

What can you expect from the menu? Featuring ethically-sourced produce from local Tasmanian growers, fishers and farmers, you will find native angasi oysters, handmade pasta dishes like rabbit ragu silk handkerchief, as well as stripey trumpeter sashimi and house-cured salumi. 

You can simply drop in for a drink and a couple of plates or settle in for dinner with the chef’s menu. 

Institut Polaire also has a strong cocktail game and is the home of Australia’s best small wine list (100 wines) in Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards. Discover a fantastic selection of cold-climate styles, many of them cult producers like Ganevat, Raveneau, Keller, Gut Oggau and Dujac, alongside Tasmanian heroes. Masterfully-crafted cocktails draw on classic roots inspired by Tasmanian flavours like smoked applewood salt, leatherwood honey and mountain pepperberry bitters. 

Institut Polaire is also the cellar door for highly sought Süd Polaire gin and Domaine Simha wine. The full range is available for drinking and sales at cellar door prices. You can also book a gin or wine tasting experience or martini masterclass accompanied by a cheese platter to share on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. 

Institut Polaire was established by Louise and winemaker Nav. These two came to Tasmania in 2012, lured by the cold climate. They led a natural approach to winemaking with Domaine Simha, while also creating Süd Polaire spirits. 

You will find Institut Polaire at 7 Murray Street, open Thursday to Sunday from 4 pm. Bookings are highly recommended and can be made at 

Images courtesy of Institut Polaire.