Forbes finds: Aløft in Hobart


Overlooking Sullivans Cove on Hobart’s waterfront is arguably one of the coolest joints in Tasmania: Aløft. Anastasia Santoreneos bravely undertook the hardship assignment of dining there to bring this report.

While Tasmania’s northern city of Launceston was declared a UNESCO City of Gastronomy in 2021 – and recognised globally as one of the world’s best food destinations – an eight-year-old spot in the state’s southern city of Hobart is also getting plenty of attention.

Perched on the award-winning Brooke Street Pier – a four-story pontoon that is both building and boat and rises and falls with the tide – is Aløft, which gets its name from the loft it occupies.

Holding one hat in the Australian Good Food Guide, Aløft has an incredible Pan-Pacific-Asian-inspired menu bolstered with local Tasmanian produce.

But here’s what makes the fine dining restaurant so impressive: given the restaurant’s location on a floating pontoon, it cannot connect to any gas mains. The kitchen uses electricity and wood fire.

The chef’s menu, at $130 per person, is a tasty 9-course degustation that changes with the season and available produce. Think succulent wallaby tartare, fresh oysters in a house mignonette and a blue-eye trevalla drenched in a mouth-watering macadamia and lemon sauce.

For $120 per person, you can opt for the restaurant’s vegetarian or vegan options, which subs wallaby for tofu and market fish for tempura zucchini.

And, if you’re game, the option is there to pair your meal with wines for an additional $90 – where you’ll get to sample drops from some of Tasmania’s famous wine regions, like the Derwent and Tamar Valleys.

But it’s not just the food that stuns – the view of Hobart’s waterfront adds another level to your experience. If you can, ask in advance for a window seat; the pier lights reflect off the water, creating a dazzling display for the duration of your meal.

If you can’t, no worries. The view is visible from any point in the restaurant – and coupled with its high ceilings, vibrant music, and cool ambience, Aløft is a must.

If you opt for a late sitting – and are a whisky fan –head to Lark Distillery’s cellar door in the heart of Hobart city for a pre-dinner tipple. A 300-metre walk from Aløft, Lark was Australia’s first certified carbon-neutral distillery and is famous for its Tasmanian Single Malt.

You can have a glass, choose a tasting flight, or even have a flight curated just for you. The cellar door shuts at 7 pm, so you’ll need to mosey out by then. 

The options by the pier are endless – just find a seat, grab a glass and enjoy the view.

The meal at Aløft was paid for by the author who dined anonymously.

Forbes Australia Issue 9 is out now. Tap here to secure your copy.

More from Forbes Life