New wine bar in Lupin making waves in the Soho bar scene. Being designed to be a warm, inviting space.
Lupin has been described as the perfect location for a dress-up date night, chef and manager Jyoti Bindu also encourages people “to drop in after a walk.
Related Alcohol: Where to eat and drink in Sydney
Related Tasmania: Dark Mofo 2022
From the mercury 13.11.21
4 Cascade Rd, South Hobart
Opening hours: Thursday-Friday 3pm-10.30pm; Saturday-Sunday 2pm-10.30pm
ON THE MENU
Broad beans on toast, $12; mushroom pate on toast, $12; prawn rillette on toast, $14; braised roasted zucchini, $14; ham hock terrine, $14; 50/50 gin martini, $16; housemade chinotto, $6.
Think of South Hobart and “sexy” is probably not the word you’d use to describe it. Sure, there’s no denying it’s got the best tip shop in town and a beautiful view of the Organ Pipes, but nothing that was sexy. Until now. Welcome, Lupin – a luscious new wine bar-cum-bistro that’s all velvet banquettes, a well-curated wine list and a menu that puts a delicious new spin on toast. And, while it’s the perfect location for a dress-up date night, chef and manager Jyoti Bindu also encourages people “to drop in after a walk. I want it to be a warm, inviting space. It’s not necessarily like being at home, but it’s very comfortable.”
Manager of South Hobart wine bar Jyoti Bindu. Picture: Eddie Safarik
It’s only been open two months, but Lupin was busy on the Thursday night we visited and we were lucky to snag a pair of comfortable upholstered chairs by the window bench. Others were perched around the high central table or relaxing against banquettes in the next room. A housemade chinotto ($6) (an Italian bitter orange cordial served with soda water) and a local beer arrive promptly (there are also many wines by the glass) and we take time to people watch as dusk falls on Cascade Rd while we peruse the menu.
Lupin’s housemade Chinotto, which is an Italian bitter orange cordial served with soda water. Picture: Eddie Safarik
Neatly divided into “Toasts” and “Not Toasts”, the menu offers a variety of small plates – order one for a pre-dinner snack, or many (as we did) for a light dinner. Each plate comes with three generously topped pieces of toast – with the last piece easily shared if you need to.
Toast with a chunky topping of broad beans, dill and cashew butter. Picture Eddie Safarik
The broad bean, dill and cashew butter ($12) is a chunky spread bursting with Spring freshness and flavour. The mushroom pate with capers and fried saltbush ($12) is velvety and more-ish – elevating toast far beyond the Vegemite heights it reaches at my house. And the prawn rillette with wakame butter and pink finger lime ($14) is rich and creamy, thanks to being slow-cooked then shredded and preserved.
Toast generously topped with marrow spread and slices pear. Picture: Eddie Safarik
We didn’t try it this time but on our next visit, I’ll be ordering the smoked wallaby with cheese foam and wild fennel ($14) that has been smoked using the spent botanicals from 7K Gin, made in Derwent Park. That same gin is used to make batch cocktails like the 50/50 Gin Martini ($16).
“It’s been kind of glorious,” since Lupin opened its doors, says Bindu, who returned to Hobart in March after 20 years away, including the last two in New York. “I was dreaming of
Lupin’s braised, roasted zucchini. Picture: Eddie Safarik
Tasmania while living in New York during the pandemic and it’s wonderful to be back. I love the hospitality scene here in Hobart and it feels beautiful.”
The menu is both simple and sophisticated and Bindu says she “didn’t want it to be overbearing.” Also important to her is that the menu “is inclusive – both in terms of dietaries and being alcohol-free. Everyone wants to be able to have a nice time, it’s supposed to be fun!”
The rich and creamy prawn rillette with wakame butter and pink finger lime. Picture: Eddie Safarik
Two more dishes arrive – braised roasted zucchini with tahini coconut yoghurt ($16) is a beautifully tangled mess of meltingly tender zucchini topped with fermented chilli and a crunch pan grattato.
Ham hock terrine ($14) is like a meaty slice of pea and ham soup and is accompanied by bitey mustard, pickled apples and toast.
The 30-seat venue is busy with a constant flow of guests the night we visit and table service is a little slow – consider ordering wine by the bottle rather than the glass if you’d like to settle in.
Lupin also has a takeaway licence, so if you’re keen to keep the conversation going after 10.30pm (I’ll be in bed, thank you and good night), you’re welcome to take home a bottle of wine or a pre-mixed cocktail or two.
Bindu is still settling into the space but is always tweaking the menu and looking forward to building lasting relationships with local suppliers – especially those working with indigenous ingredients.
“I love presenting periwinkles and wakame and other local ingredients,” she says. “Being back in Hobart has reminded me what I love about hospitality.”