Upon a rather depressing realisation that Percy’s Aeroplane closes its doors on Sundays, we ventured to the Salmon Shop – Tassal in Kew. The cafe (whose only other location is in Salamanca, Tasmania) doubles up as a cooking school, enabling us to sample the brunch pursuits of Australia’s largest Atlantic salmon producer. With a modern blue and white themed interior, and walls donning mosaic fish scale tiles, The Salmon Shop – Tassal is somewhat of a Tassal institution, offering an abundance of self-branded products.
The Salmon Shop – Tassal
MochaServed in the quaintest tall cup, the mocha was both generous and sweet, with a thick, frothy layer of milk sitting on the top.
Salmon platterFor brunch, we kicked off with the salmon platter – a spectacular showcase of what Tassal does best – your typical smoked salmon, a thick cut of pot-smoked salmon, pate with roe, pickled zucchini and olives. With incredibly fresh produce, the silky, pot-smoked salmon was an instant winner, embodying a gorgeous, full-bodied flavour. The smoked salmon and pate were also thoroughly enjoyed, with the smoothness of the salmon matching well with the tartness of the pickled zucchini and saltiness of the olives. For those who love their salmon, the platter is the perfect way to sample fresh, Tasmanian produce at its very best.
Tabouli with poached eggs and pitaTasmanian salmon is unlikely to be everyones’ first choice for brunch, and for those who are a little salmon adverse, there are plenty of other items on the cafe menu which don’t bear the Tassal mark, including house-baked beans, and quinoa salads. Determined to see whether the Tassal could deliver on a non-salmon dish, the tabouli, with poached eggs and warm pita, was ordered. With cold, soft pita bread (lacking the crispiness that one would expect), and a rather bland tabouli of diced tomatoes, cucumber, and corn, a bit of an extra kick was needed to bring the dish together. Instead, the grainy hommus, without any distinctive taste, was too mellow for such a light combination of flavours, and added to our overall disappointment with this dish.
Tabouli with poached eggs and pitaUltimately, whilst incredibly healthy, the tabouli left us feeling a little uninspired. But when you’re dealing with the salmon experts, it seems a little silly of to be kicking a fuss over a non-salmon dish…in a salmon shop. Very silly indeed.
Smoked salmon gravalax with poached eggs, avocado, ricotta and toastThe smoked salmon gravalax was predictably smooth and luscious, almost melting in the mouth. However, yet again we were met with another dish that needed just that little bit of zest to enliven the dish. As E noted, the overall combination of flavours was not only quite standard, but overwhelmingly bland, and would have greatly benefited either from the addition of pops of saltiness from a sprinkling of capers, or the substitution of a much saltier, piquant cheese (such as feta).
Toast with scrambled eggs and spinachUnder $10, the toast with eggs (scrambled, poached or fried) was light on the wallet, and was as one would expect – as described. The ingredients were fresh, and, given the generosity of the salmon provided on the platter, was a perfect dish when shared. A perfect place for Tassal lovers, The Salmon Shop – Tassal is a perfect way to sample gorgeous, fresh fish, straight from the Salmon experts. For those a little more avid (and hoping to improve their culinary abilities in the kitchen), the store also offers an array of cooking classes for adults and young ‘uns alike in a relaxed, educational atmosphere. We left The Salmon Shop feeling like we had consumed an overall very healthy, grease-free lunch, and whilst we were a little let down by some aspects of our dishes, there’s no disputing the fact that the salmon reigns king here.