We like to eat Asian food occasionally, so we were interested to read an article published by The Mercury (local newspaper) this week about the Hobart dining scene: “seeing a boom in small, authentic Asian eateries that is being credited to the growing numbers of international students and tourists”. Aren’t we lucky?

Asian Food - Masaaki's Sushi

Masaaki’s Sushi: popular Asian food, Tasmania

Taste of Tasmania: Asian Food

There’s already some pretty good places to buy Asian food in Hobart (and beyond), so we’re really impressed if the ante is about to be upped even further.

We’ve talked about Masaaki’s Sushi in Geeveston previously. If you don’t want to drive 60kms from Hobart to Geeveston in southern Tasmania, Masaaki’s much-loved stall selling sushi and miso soup often sees a queue form at Farm Gate Market in Bathurst Street on Sundays. He does take a break over the winter months though.

Asian Food - Masaaki's Sushi, Geeveston Tasmania

Masaaki’s Sushi: Geeveston, southern Tasmania

We did also enjoy the sushi sampled on a walking food tour with Mary from Gourmania. Head to Liverpool Street in Hobart for that one.

Asian Food - Hobart Gourmet Tour

Sushi in Liverpool Street, Hobart

As we’ve said before, we’re not professional food, restaurant or wine critics. We’ll leave that to the likes of Graeme Phillips, The Mercury food and wine writer quoted in the article we mentioned. We will however, name a couple of our personal favourite restaurants when it comes to Asian food.

Suwan Thai for Asian Food: Salamanca

Suwan Thai in Hobart’s Salamanca Place was introduced to us by a guest author. Lori Mancell has written a couple of holiday itineraries for Think Tasmania’s audience, and we’ve taken her advice on several occasions.

Lori advised “you could always have dinner at Suwan Thai Restaurant; it’s so yummy, and not that expensive. Suwan is on the Salamanca strip, it’s hidden up a set of stairs but they usually have a sign out the front”. The restaurant may well have an A-frame sign on the footpath out front, but you could easily miss this wonderful Asian food if you weren’t looking for it specifically, with the busyness of Hobart’s ever-popular heritage waterfront.

Asian Food - Vegetarian Curry

Suwan Thai: vegetarian curry

At Suwan Thai last time, we had vegetarian curry puffs with a peanut sauce… definitely the dish of the day for me. I’m craving them again right now! We also had a scallop entree which was nice enough without being spectacular; a vegetarian curry and a duck curry. Gavin LOVED the duck curry and I was happy to find vegetarian meals with loads of flavour. With a couple of glasses of house wine and a coffee, the damage came to $90 all up.

Asian Food - Curry Puffs

Suwan Thai: vegetarian curry puffs

We dined at Suwan Thai on a Friday night, and the restaurant was packed. It’s Salamanca, after all {Level 2, 33 Salamanca Place}. We were directed to a later sitting than originally planned when we pre-booked by phone, and it was still packed. And when I say packed, we were privy to the conversation and almost the elbows from the tables either side, and they to ours. No doubt they found all our thoughts and opinions completely riveting! It was a little difficult to move between tables… unlike our experience at Royal Thai, when I mentioned that very issue. However, the obvious popularity of the restaurant would certainly not prevent us from choosing their very good Asian food again.

Asian Food - Scallops

Suwan Thai: Asian food, Hobart

Vanidol’s for Asian Food: North Hobart

There’s a Vanidols in South Hobart and a Vanidol’s in North Hobart. Apparently, the namesake chef owns and operates only the South Hobart version these days, but we chose the North Hobart version last time anyway {353 Elizabeth Street}. And we have absolutely no regrets, the service was first-class and the Asian food… divine.

Asian Food - Pork Belly

Vanidol’s Asian Food: caramel soy pork belly

Asian Food - Fresh Spring Rolls

Vanidol’s: fresh spring rolls with sweet nam jim

We dined on fresh spring rolls, which were extremely tasty and came with a sweet nam jim (Thai dipping sauce). We also had a sticky caramel pork belly, a mild beef curry with potatoes and peanuts and a spicy red-curry seafood. The food was perfect, and combined with a very good-quality double-shot espresso, the bill totalled $85.

Asian Food - Seafood Curry

Vanidol’s: seafood curry

We didn’t realise until we arrived, but Vanidol’s is BYO only. There were a few moments of stunned shock and mild panic. No wine with dinner. What? We could’ve made a desperate dash to a nearby wine cellar, but it was cold. Really, really cold. So we calmly decided… Alcohol Free Day. We’ve done it before and survived. You can benefit from our experience if you so choose, and take booze. Enjoy!

Asian Food - Beef Curry

Vanidol’s: mild beef curry

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