After such a fine breakfast the day before at Pilgrim, I doubted it was possible for Hobart to offer anything better, but it did in the form of breakfast at Pigeon Hole, which also made the best coffee I had during my visit, even better than Pilgrim and Parklane Espresso (in Salamanca Square). Outstanding.
Pigeon Hole is serious about its food and its provenance. We sat next to a mother and teenage daughter. The mother seemed to be the helicopter type who had to do the thinking and speaking for the daughter. She asked for avocado on toast for the daughter (which was not on the menu). The polite but firm response of ‘we only serve what is in season’ left her momentarily speechless and I’m certain the daughter managed a minuscule smile at that. The daughter seemed very satisfied with her sourdough toast, house-made butter and local honey and even asked for more butter.
We ordered the baked beans with raclette (above) and the croque monsieur (below). My partner reported the beans to be delicious, but I had to question calling the cheese on top raclette. I’ve eaten raclette from the dairy stall famous for it at the Borough market in London and it looks like this. It’s rather over-reaching to call a modest amount of grated cheese, which has then been melted under a grill, raclette. It has to be melted on the cheese wheel, then scraped off in great thick slabs to be raclette. But I digress…
The cheese Pigeon Hole is using is wonderful. The croque monsieur was of the kind without additional bechamel on top, which is fine with me if the filling inside is as generous and delicious as it was in this instance (you can read more about various recipes if you wish). We departed with chocolate chip cookies to eat on our walk to the Cascades Female Factory.
Pigeon Hole has been reviewed more than Pilgrim. Perhaps for Melbournites, its location out of the CBD in quietish West Hobart reminds us of back street inner city Melbourne cafes, and thus it may receive more visits by foodie tourists. High street locations are so last decade. Back streets are so hot right now.
It’s been reviewed reverently by locals including Occasional food fairy, Keep calm and cook more, Andrew and Food side of life, and by visitors including Easy as vegan pie, Poppet’s window and Chommery. If you read all these posts before arriving in Hobart, how can you not visit?
I can’t claim that Pigeon Hole is the best cafe in Hobart as I didn’t try them all. I can only say it is excellent despite its slight hipster pretension for misleading me and getting me all excited about raclette and then disappointing me when I realised they weren’t really serving it.
To finish, if you like cheese porn, watch raclette being made at the Borough market.