Walkers Arms

Today on the Dining Diaries

Empty dining rooms leave a lump in our throats,
An interesting menu makes selection hard and
Can a vegetarian dish really cost over $25?

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Diners today we found ourselves at Walkers Arms on North East Rd.

I have so many memories of Walkers Arms before the restoration. That is, when it still had the buffet restaurant with those delicious selections that you could avail yourself of, over and over and over again. It was a gluttons wet dream. It definitely was my favourite all-you-can-eat restaurant in Adelaide!

But like anything else in life, things change.

Hubby and I knew there no longer was a buffet part to this restaurant but were still interested to see how it had changed since it’s refurbishment. And as we liked the buffet food, the a la carte menu food had to be good too right?

We were struck by how few people were around as we entered. This place was hustling and a bustling on a Sunday in the past!!! In the past…. when the buffet was still happening… Today only a handful of tables were occupied and it was a Sunday afternoon. That can’t be good for anybody…


The picture on the right shows the now empty buffet dining area. I’m not to sure what the plans are for this area but it was sad to see it sitting there not being used. No doubt they will do something amazing with this space in the months to come…

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Hubby and I got a nice, heated, spot outside (pic on far left above) and started off with the classic, Salt and Pepper Squid with aioli and lemon

I thought this wasn’t bad value for money. The Squid had a nice texture to it and the aioli and lemon were just perfect.

It was a great way to whet our appetites.

The menu was pretty good. It had your usual pub fare plus a few different things. I was a bit undecided as to what I was going to have for mains but ended up choosing the Vegetable Tagine – Seasonal vegetables in Moroccan style sauce, cous cous, labna, preserved lemon, mint and dates.

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I thought there were beautiful flavours throughout. The vegetables were just gorgeous in the Moroccan sauce. The lemon was unexpected and added a bit of zing in your mouth. I enjoyed this dish a lot but I wasn’t sure if $25 was too expensive for a vegetarian dish. I know there’s a lot of work/elements that go into it, but when you consider that you can get a beef or chicken parmigiana for under $20 it seems a little over priced but maybe I’m wrong.  In any case I did enjoy it so I didn’t mind.

Hubby decided to go for the ribs. Unfortunately I couldn’t find them on their online menu so I can’t tell you how they were described on there.

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I thought they looked great when they came out! Hubby got that glazed over look again and could barely wait for me to take a photo before digging in.

He said they were very tasty. The sauce was kind of sweet but also had a tanginess to it.
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I wanted to see the inside after he’d cut into it and had to take a pic because it looked so good!

That even makes MY mouth water and I don’t usually go for ribs!

With regards to the empty tables, I hope what hubby and I saw on this day wasn’t the norm for Walkers Arms as the food was pretty good and I’d hate to see people not coming here anymore just because the buffet is no longer here.

In fact, I’m looking forward to going back and trying a few different items from the menu or I’d go back even just to sit outside in the comfy outdoor area and watch a game of footy on their big screen TV’s.

Have you been to Walkers Arms?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…

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The Colonist

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Today on The Dining Diaries,

Goldilocks and her bear find out that the nachos are too small, the Calamari is too boring and the Jungle Goat Curry is juuuuuuust right.

 

Saying the Calamari was a little boring is probably a bit harsh but we’ll get to that in a little bit!

The team lunched at The Colonist today.
We walked in through the entrance off the car park and found ourselves in a cramped unlevel and narrow hallway. I think we passed bathrooms and the kitchen but I didn’t look, I just kept walking as it didn’t feel like a pleasant place to be.

We looked into the restaurant and there wasn’t a single table being used. It looked like a lonely spinster, dressed up in old fashioned clothing waiting for her prince to come…
So instead of dining in the restaurant, we went to the front bar where there was people and music and just was a more happening area.
IMG_5727In fact, for all my negative comments so far, I felt really comfortable in the front bar.
It was casual, colourful and being served by friendly staff.

We took some menus and settled ourselves at a table with views outside. Being a lovely Autumn day, the tables outside were also being used and I got the impression that this is a very popular place so was excited to see what the food was going to be like.

The menu was wide and varied from pub favourites to chef’s specialties.
I’d been feeling like nacho’s for a while so we ordered some of those to share.
I also ordered the Jungle Goat Curry – A rustic curry with pieces of goat on + off the bone stirred through a mild tomato base sauce with Indian aromatics, green beans & potato served with basmati, chutney + cumin pappadams.
Hubby ordered Sea Salt ‘n’ Pepper Squid squid dusted through flour, seasoned with sea salt + kibbled pepper served with a sweet chilli, sesame & ginger dipping sauce, chips + slaw.

IMG_5728There’s no other way to say it, but I was disappointed when the the nacho’s came out. I wanted to cry. They were teeny tiny and I don’t mean teeny tiny for us, they would have been teeny tiny for anyone.

There was a tablespoon or so of refried beans on the bottom of the bowl, twelve chips around that, a dob of cheese and salsa on the top (You can barely see the cheese in the pic) and a tablespoon of sour cream and guacamole on top.
This has not satisfied my nacho craving.

What we did eat was nice but really, you can’t go too wrong with nachos, I just needed more.
This plate was $14 and while I don’t always mention the price in this blog, I do think it was significant as that is just way too much for twelve chips on a plate. We’re not in some fine dining restaurant, we’re in a pub and how much more would it cost them to put double the amount of chips on there for the same price? I don’t think that would eat into their profits and it would make you feel like you actually got something for your money.

The smiling friendly waitress came up to us a few minutes late when the plate was almost  empty and asked if we wanted a bit of a break before our mains came. I’m sure I had a look of incredulity on my face and just said no, please, bring them on out when they’re ready. I wanted to add “still starving” but I didn’t.
She took that plate while I was still eating the last bit. That’s another pet peeve of mine. I know they’re busy but please, just give me sixty seconds more … can’t they just wait until you’ve pushed the plate away before coming in and clearing it all up.

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When the mains came I was a little happier. My Jungle goat curry smelt delicious! I’m pretty sure I’ve not had goat before. I just wanted to take in the smell before I tucked into it. I could smell the wonderful aromatic Indian spices throughout. I’m not quite sure what “Jungle” goat is. Do we have jungles in Australia? Even so, it tasted delicious.

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There was a nice little punch of heat in the curry. I don’t normally like a lot of heat but this was just enough to warm the mouth without taking away the taste.

The goat tasted like a secondary cut of meat that had been cooking for a few hours. It was delicate and tender and really very delicious.

I got a nice little surprise when I tasted the rice as it had been cooked in coconut milk and when I had it with the curry it was just a perfect pairing. This dish made up for the nachos!
I also loved the coriander on top.

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Hubby had no complaints about his Calamari.

It was a good serve and the thing he loved the most about it was the sweet chilli, sesame & ginger dipping sauce.

He said it was delicious and a nice change from the usual tartar sauce you get with anything sea food related.

I can’t help but feel that I ordered better than him today! He enjoyed his meal and I guess if that’s what you want, then that’s what you should have but mine was definitely more special.

 

So bottom line, we didn’t have a terrible experience here but I don’t understand why they would charge restaurant prices for pub grub. Even though it was comfortable and the food tasted good, I felt like it was over priced and that alone would probably stop me from coming here again.

I do want to emphasise though, that the food was good and the wait staff were friendly. I don’t have any major complaints, as always, these were just my observations on the day.

 

Have you been to the Colonist?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…