Christmas lunch at the Salamanca Inn, Hobart

A top priority when planning our Hobart trip last year was booking a restaurant for lunch on Christmas day. Through our internet research, we found Christmas lunch with seafood and carvery buffet, salads and desserts at the Beef & Seafood Grill at the Salamanca Inn, an easy walk from our accommodation.

Christmas lunch at the Salamanca Inn is a sell-out each year. I made our reservation at least six months in advance; they contacted me in late September to confirm and pay in full by credit card over the phone.

On the day, it was well organised, the dining room festively decorated, the buffet inviting and bountiful, the food delicious. Lunch kicked off at noon. The whole poached Tasmanian Atlantic salmon was beautifully presented, with a scattering of leafy herbs, lemon wedges and bright and colourful antipasto vegetables. Deep-fried fish at a buffet is rarely something to rave about, but the sesame-crumbed meaty fillets of deep sea blue eye were a surprise favourite and I went back for seconds. I was delighted by the two dishes (TWO!) of pork crackling; Jac was thrilled by the tub of oysters and slabs of smoked salmon. At the carvery, chefs sliced meats to order – honey glazed leg of Christmas ham, roast turkey breast and roast leg of pork – and we were encouraged to try all three.

The Christmas pudding was too boozy for my taste, but to other diners, probably perfect in the spirit of the day. The impressive spread of desserts included a stunning croquembouche wrapped with spun sugar. The abundance of fresh cherries and berries all along the dessert table was a real treat.

The line at the buffet moved steadily and the mood was cheerful. Buffet veterans honed in on the cheeses and raspberries and had them demolished before most of us thought to raid the stocks, but otherwise, there was plenty of food.

King prawns with cocktail sauce and sweet chilli sauce King prawns with cocktail sauce and sweet chilli sauce

DSCF5566A chef tends to the platter of poached Tasmanian Atlantic salmon infused with herb and caper olive oil

Sesame-crumbed deep sea blue eye Sesame-crumbed deep sea blue eye

The carvery, with roast leg of pork, roast turkey breast and honey glazed Christmas ham, all sliced to order The carvery, with roast leg of pork, roast turkey breast and honey glazed Christmas ham, all sliced to order

Pork cracklingThat’s enough pork crackling for me – what about the rest of you?

Buffet Buffet – salads and Tasmanian smoked salmon

Potato salad, Greek salad

Tasmanian oysters with sour cream and chives, baby capers and wasabi Tasmanian oysters served with sour cream and chives, baby capers and wasabi

My plate My plate, with ham, turkey, pork, crackling, gravy, cranberry and apple sauce, snow peas and green beans with roasted pine nuts, cauliflower and broccoli in basil cream sauce, and roast garlic potatoes and roasted pumpkin

Jac's plateJac’s plate, with everything I had, but a lot more gravy

Rich chocolate mud cakeThe desserts, coffee and tea were set up in a different room, which you were free to raid at will. This was the rich, stick-to-your-teeth chocolate mud cake, with cherries and blueberries in the background

Pecan pie Pecan pie and a bowl of strawberries

Croquembouche The gorgeous croquembouche

Raspberry infused cheesecake Raspberry infused cheesecake

This cheese platter was demolished pretty quickly This cheese platter was demolished pretty quickly

Christmas pudding with brandy custard Christmas pudding with brandy custard

DSCF5605Tables were decorated with Christmas crackers, candy canes and balloons

Salamanca InnBeef & Seafood Grill at the Salamanca Inn

A very well executed buffet – you can tell they’ve done this before. We’d arrived in Hobart on Christmas eve and this was the perfect way to settle in and enjoy Christmas day – with paper party hats, a feast, and friends.

Salamanca Inn
Beef & Seafood Grill
10 Gladstone Street, Hobart TAS
Telephone: (03) 6220 0404
Christmas lunch buffet 2013 prices were AU$74.50 per adult, $54.50 per child

About this series

In December 2013, my partner Jac and I went on holiday – 3 nights in Melbourne, then 3 nights in Launceston (Jac, to stay with a friend) and King Island (me, for a photographic safari with our friends Craig and Caroline), and finally, Hobart for 6 nights. This trip was not sponsored in any way.

The full list of posts is below:

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  • What an incredible setup – I’ve certainly not been to buffets that are this abundant with good quality food! I love how rustic the setup is too.

    • Amanda, it was certainly one of the better buffets I’ve been to – ever. Nothing I had on my plate was a disappointment (apart from the pud, which I’ve said was too boozy for me, but it was a matter of personal taste, as others loved it). The setup was very appealing, especially the salmon. Made me want to elbow my way through and grab a whole fish!

  • Wow – looks wonderful! Lol @ the pork crackling. I can eat pork crackling till the cows come home…seriously. :D

    • Padaek, me too. But I showed great self-restraint and only ate three pieces. :P

  • Looks like a wonderful feast! That sesame crumbed fish looks great, but the whole dish of pork crackling has given me heart eyes!

    Glad you enjoyed it :)

    • Ellie, it was fantastic. I was so relieved it was so good – I had been a bit worried after making the reservation so far in advance that it wouldn’t be as good as we hoped, but it exceeded all our expectations.

  • karenluvslife

    Oh my goodness, thank you for that post, now I know where I want to go for Christmas..

    • Haha, awesome. The other half has already said she’d love to go back to that buffet again. Will have to add that to our travel list – another Christmas in Hobart with lunch at Salamanca Inn.

  • Craig Hind

    Oh yeah! That was a good feast wasn’t it?! Crackling gooood. Blue-eye gooood. I’m certainly no alkie but I can appreciate a boozy Chrissie pud, especially when you get to walk it off afterwards rather than driving. On second thought though I remember walking back the hotel completely stuffed wit Christmas food. Oh well, it’s a Christmas tradition.

    • This was one of my favourite meals from the trip. A good buffet on Christmas day – hard to beat.

  • Row

    Wow, what a fabulous food feast! I don’t think I’ve seen a better looking buffet. *drools*

    • Row, it’s definitely right up there with the best buffets I’ve experienced. It delivered what it promised, plus more. Jac wants to go back another year.

  • Caro Hind

    Not something I would usually say, but the food I remember the best and most fondly from that lunch, are the raspberries! I have never tasted raspberries as good as those, I certainly understand why Tassie has the reputation it does for them. That really was a great lunch all round.

    • Caro, the raspberries were totally wasted on me. They are among my least favourite berry – I don’t care for them fresh, don’t like raspberry-flavoured things. Jac was with you though, she’s totally on Team Raspberry (Team All Berries, actually).

  • Sven Bukowski

    The idea of having to place a reservation is not necessarily something I’d enjoy, especially 6 months in advance but seeing the food I’m convinced it was worth it. I am totally in love with that cheese platter.

    • Sven, We were pretty organised and had a number of activities booked in advance. You may not need to book as far as 6 months in advance, but I figured since they had the info about the buffet on their website at the time, they must be happy to take bookings. We weren’t really locked in until September when I confirmed and paid.