Launceston is the second largest city in Tasmania with a population just shy of 90,000 people. It rests in the Tamar Valley, which is a 2 ½ hour drive north from Hobart, making it a very achievable day trip. Notable points of interest in Launceston are the Cataract Gorge (pretty cool!) and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (couldn’t tell ya), but the real draw are the surrounding vineyards and farmlands that make for incredible wine and tasty culinary experiences (we’ve got a couple tickets for the upcoming Farm Gate festival where we will tour the various farms…stay tuned!!!)
We made the trek up north mainly to check out The Platypus House, but it just so happens that on every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month, there is a World Street Eats festival in Launceston. Obviously we couldn’t resist, and it turned out to be a great experience!
The setup at World Street Eats Launceston is spacious and spread out with plenty of seating options. The vendors weren’t crammed in next to each other like they often are at food festivals, and it was nice to meander and browse without constantly bumping into people. To set the mood, there was a fantastic singer, Joe Di Sario the Tassie Tenor, who was crooning away classic tunes like “Margaritaville” and “The Way You Look Tonight”, making for a relaxed, comfortable ambiance.
On our particular visit on October 25th, I wouldn’t call it “World Street Eats Launceston.” I’d call it “Asian Street Eats (plus paella) Launceston. The options weren’t very international, but luckily I’m fairly obsessed with Asian food….
Tassie Murtabak serves up delicious southeast Asian street featuring roti and murtabak.
You’ve probably encountered roti, but what the heck is murtabak?!
I’m glad you asked! Murtabak is a stuffed, pan fried pancake (think more crepe than American pancake; click HERE for more on the different types of pancakes across the world) that can be sweet or savory. It is usually is filled with egg, minced meat, chopped up veggies, and a boatload of aromatic spices and herbs. We shared the Murtabak Ayam (chicken), and the flavors were simply divine with a combination of garlic, onion, and lemongrass which complimented the chicken and egg. I was disappointed to get it off the heat rack as oppose fresh off the stove because it wasn’t quite as crispy as the free sample that lured us in, but it was still epically delicious.
Tassie Murtabak doesn’t have a brick and mortar store, but you can find them at various food festivals throughout Tasmania.
Small Grain is a food truck featuring Japanese cuisine infused with southeast Asian flavors while using the freshest local Tassie ingredients. We got an order of the pork dumplings, and oh MAN were they good. The dumpling wrapper was perfectly thin while still managing to hold in the filling. Speaking of filling, the pork was seasoned and cooked to perfection with a hint of spice and just the right amount of salt. The bite was made complete with a ginger soy dipping sauce that had a bit of tang, a bit of sweet, and a bit of acid to create a well balanced flavor profile.
We also couldn’t resist a $1aud giant Pocky Stick. It tasted, well, like a giant Pocky stick.
3.Tassie Korean Kitchen
One stall over from Small Grain was Tassie Korean Kitchen, which was serving sweet and savory Korean pancakes and spicy chicken. We got a pork and veggie pancake because $6aud seemed like too good of a deal to pass up!
A Korean pancake is a mishmash of ingredients covered in flour and oil that is then pan fried. It is hot, oily, crispy and exactly the type of food you crave after having a couple drinks. This particular one was thicker and less scallion heavy than Korean pancakes I’ve had in the past, and it was also a handheld item as oppose to a chop stick and dip item. The freshness showed, and the crunch was unbelievably satisfying with a strong pork and onion flavor that wasn’t too salty. While it was begging for some sort of sweet/spicy dipping sauce, I thoughoutly enjoyed the experience.
4. Little Devil Donuts
Little Devil Donuts is a traveling donut truck that dishes out fresh off the fryer mini donuts (if you’ve ever visited the Doughnuttery at Chelsea Market, they are just like that!)
These donuts are little bites of pure bliss. The fresh, warm, sugar coated dough melts in your mouth, eliciting one of those moments where you can’t help but close your eyes and say “Mmmmmm!” We got the salted caramel dipping sauce on the side which only make the experience better. The thick sauce wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet like most caramel based sauces, and the salt added an elevated dimension to the sugary donuts that was pure bliss.
World Street Eats Launceston was well worth the journey up to Launceston. Everything we ate was delicious and very reasonably priced; the same food in Hobart would have likely been 50% more!
Interested in more day trips out of Hobart? Check these out!
Beer Paddles and Cheese Platters with a Side of Honesty Box Bread: A Guide to What to Eat on Bruny Island, Tasmania
Bruny Island is the perfect escape from Hobart. While you go for the sweeping coastal views and beautiful nature, don’t miss these 4 hospitality venues!
The Huon Valley is southwest of Hobart, Tasmania,, and it makes for the perfect day trip. From great eats to the Tahune Airwalk, I lay out our latest Sunday Funday adventure.