We dined at Maldini Italian Cafe Restaurant this week. We had a wedding anniversary to celebrate… married 26 long years, some would say. With diners offered so much variety in Hobart, it’s always difficult to pinpoint just one establishment. But we like the fairy lights on Salamanca Place, so we chose the waterfront.

Maldini - Salamanca Place

Twinkling lights: Salamanca Place, Castray Esplanade

Maldini: Italian Dining in Salamanca

Thanks to a tip from guest contributor Lori Mancell, for last year’s anniversary we dined at BarCelona in Salamanca Square and had a memorable experience. The bearded bar-man was wearing a revealing white halterneck dress and a blonde wig tied into pigtails… Halloween does strange things to people. We debated a return to BarCelona to start an annual tradition, but chose to explore other culinary options instead. We’re extremely lucky to have the privilege of choice in Hobart.

We made a booking with the Maldini restaurant this time around. We have lobbed there spur-of-the-moment  in the past and been turned away. There’s nothing like a doorstep rejection to make you more determined to return… because the food must be good if they’re fully booked sometimes! Also, an indoor table was desirable given the snow on Mount Wellington this week. Although there were plenty of hardy souls dining alfresco who appeared quite happy with the situation.

Maldini - Salamanca Place

Maldini Italian Cafe Restaurant: Salamanca

Dinner for Two

The Madini team offered prompt, efficient and friendly service from go to whoa. Our meals were exemplary, and we had a lovely evening. The dining room was casual and pleasant, although noisy enough, filled as it was with happy mid-week diners. If you were looking for a private and romantic interlude, you’d be out of luck here. We’re not phased by such things after a 26-year sentence though!

Our dinner consisted of…

  • Chilli-marinated Sicilian green olives
  • House-made trio of dips with toasted focaccia
  • Prawn-stuffed calamari with leek and lemon risotto baked in a napoletana sauce
  • Baked salted caramel cheesecake with Italian meringue and double cream
  • Flourless chocolate and almond cake with chocolate sauce which upon reflection, was also supposed to come with peanut brittle semifreddo. Our serve arrived sans the semifreddo and we didn’t even notice!

We also enjoyed some beer, white wine and a macchiato. Think Tasmania’s caffeine fiend dubbed his coffee “superb” for those who care about such things. Definitely worthy of another session in his humble opinion.

Maldini - Trio of Dips

Trio of dips: beetroot, sun-dried tomato, blue cheese

Maldini - Prawn Stuffed Calamari

Prawn-stuffed calamari with leek and lemon risotto

Maldini - Chocolate Cake

Flourless chocolate and almond cake

Love It or Leave It

Hospitality must be an extremely difficult gig during the age of social media. People can be so rude. Whatever happened to the mantra: if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all? Grumpy bastards and cranky-pants the world over feel entitled somehow to rant online, instead of addressing issues with the people who may actually be able to solve their problems.

Both our Maldini waitress and the maître d’ asked us throughout the evening if everything was up to standard. If we’d encountered any problems we would have told them so. In person. At the time. And if there were still unresolvable or serious complaints, we’d just implement that option of choice we have at our disposal, and dine elsewhere in future.

You should make up your own mind, but for the record, we’d happily return to Maldini’s again in the future and probably will. We’ll also work our way through the remaining as-yet-untried establishments in Salamanca Place… and Tasmania-wide for that matter. As long as readers are still repeatedly asking us for suggestions about dining and shopping and travelling (and all things Tasmanian) we’ll continue giving our first-hand accounts. But we’ll say again… please, make up your own mind when you visit in person. And take any negative reviews posted to TripAdvisor and Facebook with a grain of salt. That’s about all they deserve sometimes.

If you’d like to see a particular restaurant (or other establishment) featured via this website and associated social media channels, feel free to contact Think Tasmania. We’d love to hear from you.

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Map: Maldini Italian Cafe Restaurant, Hobart

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