Today on the Dining Diaries…
A perfect Pork Belly restores hubby’s faith that such a thing exists,
A less than enthusiastic waitress perks up when she sees me scribbling in my notebook and
If you need to take thirty minutes or more to figure out to the cent how much everyone owes for what, then you probably shouldn’t be going to a place where you can’t split the bill…
Diners today we found ourselves at The Republic. I had been here a few months earlier for a school reunion and thought it looked like a pretty cool place. We were only meeting for drinks though, I didn’t even get to sneak a peak at the dining area that day…
I love the bar area. Great design, great lighting, great seating areas; It really is a place you want to relax and linger with a drink.
We walked through this nice area to get to the dining area and I felt a little let down. It just doesn’t seem as exciting. To me, it looked a little dated (carpet) but still, I was eager to see what the food would be like here.
Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of the bar area but there are plenty on their website.
The picture to the right is of the restaurant. I think it was the “green” on the walls and the carpet that put me off. All minor things…
The girl who greeted us seemed a little annoyed that she’d have another table to wait so close to the end of lunch service. There were two other groups in this restaurant when we came and she started to bring us to a table that was between the two. I asked if we could sit on the end table (for a bit of privacy) and it was like I’d asked her to perform a handstand. Grudgingly she took us to the end table and handed us some menus. She promptly told us that a couple of items on the menu weren’t available and a portion of the menu was for dinner service only (we were here for lunch) so that was a little disappointing. Hubby took a long time trying to figure out what he wanted but he eventually went for the Pork Belly. I chose the “Clean and Green Pasta” Spinach, fettucine, broccoli, kale, spring onion, peas, salsa verde.
Because we were quite peckish we started with a Duo of Dips.
The waitress shuffled off to take care of our order and hubby and I noticed the salt on the table.
I guess it’s a cute little bowl but all I could think were the fingers that had been in there. Luckily, I normally don’t salt my food but if I were someone who did, I don’t think I’d be using any salt from that little bowl.
When the Duo of Dips came out, the waitress saw me scribbling into my notebook (Usually I try to be discreet) and saw me taking photos of the food. From that point she was switched on and attentive. I shouldn’t be hard on her really, and I don’t mean to be, but the change was pretty dramatic.
The dips were presented in an interesting way.
Firstly, I LOVE that they served this with carrots and cucumber!! Normally we get breads of some sort but I found this much lighter and nicer to eat.
They did also provide eight slices of sourdough bread which you might think is excessive but I’d rather excess than the opposite.
The dips themselves were quite nice. One was Egyptian Pumpkin and the other was a French Onion Dip.
They had a lovely consistency and flavour to them. I’m not normally a pumpkin person but this was really nice to eat.
While we were waiting for our mains to come out, one of the tables down the other end were discussing the bill. There were about eight in their party and I couldn’t believe how accurate to the cent their calculations were about who owed what. It became pretty amusing really. It wasn’t just a passing conversation this went on for twenty to thirty minutes! I had to think, if it really was that important, why wouldn’t they have gone somewhere where you order and pay at the same time!
When the mains came out, hubby was salivating.
His Pork Belly really looked amazing!! And it tasted just as good. His one little complaint is that there was no crackling but what was there was tasty. I kept trying to ask him what it was like but all I got back was “mmmmmm” so I figured he was experiencing a food fantasy and didn’t press for more. Eventually he told me that it was the best Pork Belly he’d ever had. The Jus was a little sweet and he’d kept some of the bread over from the Dips and used that to mop it up. The Pork was just divine – he even stopped to compliment the chef on the way out.
I had been craving pasta before we even entered the restaurant and was glad they had one that appealed to me.
I guess I kind of skipped over the bit in the menu where it said there were peas. It’s not that I don’t like peas, but I think their inclusion had more to do with their colour than anything else.
Having said that, the pasta was cooked really well, the broccoli was cooked but still had firmness and everything else worked well together – There was a bit of an olive oil taste as well which I loved. This was a really nice dish that I would have again, even with the peas if I had to.
If we do come to the Republic again, I’m not sure we’d eat in the restaurant. We’d probably just hang out at the bar with something from the bar menu.
It is an interesting place so I would definitely recommend a visit. The food was good and everything else just comes down to personal preference.
Have you been to the Republic?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!
Till next we chow…