A treasure trove of delicious food and an ethos of complete care for their homegrown produce, from the paddock to the plate.
Originally published on 4 April 2022
Pigeon Hole Café in West Hobart is a treasure trove of delicious food and an ethos of complete care for their homegrown produce, from the paddock to the plate. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, and the back wall is full of preserves, spices and rustic charm. You know as soon as you walk in that you will be well looked after.
Many of their ingredients are sourced directly from Belinda and Richard’s farm, hectares worth of seasonal produce that is located in Brighton. Richard brings it all into town, only a short 25 km from the café and Thursdays are delivery days, where he also delivers to other leading restaurants, such as Mona and Dier Makr.
Everything green on the specials board is their own so it’s easy to see what they have on the menu from the farm.
You know as soon as you walk in that you will be well looked after. “It’s a lovely neighbourhood, and we know everyone,” says Richard.
The list of produce is impressive. They have 600 olive trees they use to produce their own olive oil. They make their own honey, and plan to make their own polenta for the winter months from corn grown on their farm.
Then there are the vine-ripened tomatoes, peppers, beets and aubergines, just to name a few. They also grow peony roses and whether ornamental or edible, the flowers also find themselves within the Café when they are in season.
The farm follows the growing season and as we slowly turn towards autumn colours, they are soon to start harvesting their paprika.
“We are the only place to grow our own paprika in Australia,” says Belinda. “It’s cold-smoked paprika and has won several awards in Delicious Magazine.”
Head chef Martin has trained in Europe and uses the small kitchen space well to create delicious food and French pastries with a true European feel.
“The roasted eggplant is a spin on a classic parmigiana,” says Martin. “It has spinach, parmesan, smoked breadcrumbs and is topped with fresh goat curd, tomatoes and tomatillos.”
The dish arrives on a rustic plate and is delicious.
Then there is the Italian-style tomato risotto. Full of the rich, ripe flavours of tomato it takes us straight to Italy.
The menu is forever changing and depends on what comes in from the farm that week.
“Martin really gets what we are about and really understands our food,” says Richard. He’ll use it and make something absolutely delicious.”
Pia looks after front of house with a great smile and has a knack for making everyone feel welcome.
“Customers come from Sydney and Melbourne because a friend has been here and told them about the great food and the great coffee,” she says. “We’re a really small team that works really closely with each other.”
“It’s a lovely neighbourhood, and we know everyone,” says Richard.
We can see why this café is so popular with locals and visitors. Staff that are like family, customers that are welcomed by name, fabulous coffee, seasonal produce plated into delicious meals with an ever-changing menu – this is one café that has these ingredients in spades.