The Hyde Park Tavern

Today on the Dining Diaries…

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Hubby’s not hungry
A bar menu is read and re-read and re-read and re-read…
We celebrate the invention of the microwave

Diners today we were at the Hyde Park Taven on King William Rd.
I had always loved walking along Kind William Road – Especially on a warm Winters day when the sun is bestowing it’s comforting warmth.

What surprised me today, as hubby and I walked down a stretch of this road toward The Hyde Park Tavern, were the amount of empty shops where restaurants and cafe’s had once been. What is going on with this street?
Some of the buildings were occupied, but the businesses had changed since we were last here.
It was a little bit sad to see and I have to hope that it’s not unreasonable rents that are driving businesses away from this area.

It was about 2.30pm when we entered The Hyde Park Tavern. Hubby only wanted to come in for a drink but I hadn’t had lunch yet and was starving as usual.

Before I get to the food we ordered from the bar menu, I should tell you that hubby hardly ever eats soup. He doesn’t count it as a meal. The bar menu had a “soup of the day” and he decided to go with that because I guess he figured it didn’t really count as eating.
I would have had that too but soup of the day was bacon and lentil and I’m not a fan of bacon in soups so I went for the Shepherds Pie because there wasn’t too much else that appealed to me although in fairness, they did have the usual pub fare on there.

The staff were really friendly and I don’t know if it was the atmosphere, the sunny Winters day, or the laid back music that was playing that had me in a relaxed mood.
I just couldn’t help feeling a bit sad that there weren’t more people in this place while we were there.

The food didn’t take too long to come out.

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I love the bread that came out with this soup. It was really warm and quite dense so it actually felt you were eating something. The soup was well flavoured.
It was probably a good thing to eat when you weren’t really hungry.
I was still in shock that hubby had ordered soup.

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I wasn’t sure but I was expecting with the shepherds pie but it probably wasn’t this.  It was really really really temperature hot. After the initial spoonful, I suspected it had been sitting in the fridge for a couple of days and had been zapped in the microwave.
I thought Shepherds Pie was traditionally with lamb and Cottage Pie was with mince? I’m not sure, but this seemed to be beef mince to me.  I would have also expected to see a bit of tomato in there but didn’t. That’s how I make mine. I think it would have stopped it from being so dry.
The mash on top was crusty and hard to break through. What was underneath was ok once it had cooled a bit. It wasn’t overladen with flavour but it wasn’t unpleasant.
A bit of salt helped it go down.

Those green veggies on the side were really nice! They were a little crunchy and dressed with a bit of olive oil. Nice! And the bread was warm and toasty too so that all helped.

All in all I didn’t hate it, it was an ok meal in a comfortable setting. I probably wouldn’t order it again though.

Once we were done hubby was suddenly hungry so after a little walk down King William Rd again, we had a sneaky (almost unspoken) stop at 50 six one and got one of these to share

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As you can see we started before I took the photo… It was delicious!!

The Hyde Park Tavern is a decent pub to go along to and I wouldn’t mind trying something from their regular menu on another day.

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

Till next we chow…

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Fasta Pasta – South Tce

Today on the Dining Diaries…

I went to an Italian restaurant and didn’t order Fettucini,
A scantily clad salad fails to excite
Cheap prices and friendly staff ensure we will be back anyway..

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Diners today we were at Fasta Pasta located on the corner of South Tce and Pulteney St.

We were time poor and just wanted something that was going to be quick and easy and Fasta Pasta was on the way and fit the bill perfectly!

This location is on the edge of the city’s CBD but still had a good crowd at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon. The staff were friendly and attentive. In fact two different servers greeted us as we wandered around inside trying to find a where we wanted to sit.

Eventually we sat on the Eastern side. We had a nice view of the exposed brick wall. Maybe it was the nice sunny day but with the sun streaming through the windows and the decor inside, it seemed very relaxing.

Sorry my photos are so bad but I hope you get an idea of what I mean.

I was determined to not order my staple of Fettucini. It was hard not to! I mean I am in a pasta restaurant after all!!
I did notice some interesting menu items including “Hamburger Italiano” which I was tempted  to get but didn’t. Maybe another time.

Hubby and I noticed the prices seemed very reasonable and we figured the serves would be small for that price, we got some fries to start to fill our rumbling stomachs.

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As we have come to expect, it was a simple but good plate of fries. Fresh, with a bit of tomato sauce on the side and the serving was quite generous.

We were almost done with those when our mains came out.

I did end up getting a pasta. I chose the Cannelloni. Pasta tubes filled with ricotta and spinach, oven baked in napoli sauce, finished with cream, basil and baby spinach.

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I really didn’t know how to make this look pretty. It looked kind of sloppy when it came out but even though we eat with our eyes first, I was still hopeful that it was going to taste good.
I didn’t expect the napoli sauce to be on one side and the cream to be on the other.

I found it strange that I wasn’t able to cut through the cannelloni with my fork. The pasta was quite tough in places. I ended up having to use the knife and when I ate it, found it to be a bit hard and crunchy in places.
While this was not unpleasant, it wasn’t what I was expecting in a Cannelloni dish.
The filling was pretty good. I could taste that ricotta and the napoli sauce was very fresh and enhanced the whole dish.
I’m not a fan of cream sauces although I know a lot of people are. I could have done without that on the plate but honestly, for the price of this dish ($15 main) I was certainly not unhappy with what I’d received.

Hubby went for a non pasta dish. He finds it hard to go past a Pork Belly when it’s on the menu!
The menu states “Roman style crispy skin, slow roasted Pork Belly served on mashed potato with rocket, red onion and sticky balsamic.

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When it first came out hubby said he thought it looked like they’d brought him a caramel slice.
The first thing I noticed was that the salad seemed to have no dressing. It just looked like some greenery thrown on the plate. Hubby shifted a few leaves and found a spot that seemed to have some balsamic on it. At least that’s what we hoped it was.
Hubby said the flavour of the Pork was nice although it was a little dry and the skin was definitely not crispy. He liked the mashed potato even if I thought it looked dry (I didn’t taste it)
Again, for the price ($19.90) this was not a bad dish at all. We wanted something quick, reasonable and fairly honest and that’s what we got.

While this may not be the most exciting place around, it’s very much family friendly and you pretty much know what you’re going to get every time you visit.

I’m sure this will not be our last visit to a Fasta Pasta restaurant.

Have you been to Fasta Pasta on South Tce?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Albion

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Seeing large serves going out as we walk into the Bistro proves deceptive,
Barramundi – Death by cream and
The Brady House lives on!

2808e8ab8d2ab861e3e0ed883cfa9f55Diners today we were at The Albion Hotel, on Churchill Rd in Kilburn

I was a little apprehensive I must admit. I just wasn’t sure this was the type of place I wanted to be going to.
I’ve never been to the Albion so my hesitation wasn’t based on anything concrete.

Turns out I should have listened to my intuition.

Walking in, it seems like an average type pub. There is carpet. There is a salad bar.
The thing I loved most about The Albion is that they have all day dining every day! I wish more places did this!
The staff were smiley and friendly.I certainly couldn’t fault that!

We walked past the kitchen as we entered and saw a couple of pasta plates about to go out and they looked like pretty decent serves! I was excited!
It didn’t mean, unfortunately, that the other dishes were large serves. I should have gone with the pasta…

I kind of liked the fake brick wall and mirror. With the light fixtures in the background it reminded me of the Brady House.
I didn’t go into the outdoor area however it looked like there was a nice space out there with a bit of greenery to make it pretty for those choosing to drink or dine outside.

Although I’m not a fan of salad bars, I have to admit that the selection they had here was pretty good. It was smallish, but they had the favourites. Lots of roasted veggies and the bread was toasty warm! Nice.

Because we had the salad bar, we decided to skip an entree and just order a main.

Hubby chose the Pork – King Henry Pork Cutlet 300g parmesan crusted with stir fried bok choy on mash & red wine jus

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I can’t say I was wowed by the presentation. It just looked like a bit of meat thrown on top of some greens. Hubby was soon tucking into it though and I could hear lots of “mmmmmm’s” so he was enjoying it.
He said there were great flavours throughout. He even enjoyed the Bok Choy which is not normally a favourite of his.

I decided to go for the Barramundi. Australian Wild Caught Parmesan Crusted Barramundi  on baby spinach & lemon parsley cream

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I wish I’d chosen the pasta.
All I could see when it was placed in front of me was that sauce. Manu from MKR  would have loved it… at least he would have loved the amount…
The Barramundi was drowned in a heavy cream sauce. It was so thick and a little gluggy.
I’m not a fan of heavy creamy sauces and I didn’t think, whatever was in this sauce, matched with the crumbed barramundi.
I couldn’t even eat the spinach as they were soggy in that sauce.

I didn’t think the prices that were asked for these dishes, matched what we received. Each dish was $27.90 but that did include the salad bar as well.

I wonder if the serves are small because of the salad bar?
Could be…
Even though the total experience wasn’t terrible (and again I want to say the staff were very friendly and helpful) it would probably take a lot of convincing to have me visit this place again.

Have you been to The Albion?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below

 

 

 

Darwin – Day 2

I slept like a baby last night! Of course it helped that the hotel’s air conditioning was on at full blast.

gum.jpgDarwin doesn’t have daylight saving so it was still quite early when I woke. I remembered the hotel gym opened at 6am so I decided to go down there early and get in some k’s on the treadmill before hubby woke up.

At 6.01am the gym still wasn’t open so I went down to reception to see if perhaps I’d gotten the time wrong.
I wonder if a guest has ever chased the staff about opening the gym before??

Hubby ended up coming down ninety minutes later and after a quick shower, we hopped into the pool to cool down.

We wanted to stay active and looked for a few things to do. We had wanted to go to the Aviation Museum but didn’t want to use a taxi or the bus. It was probably too far to walk with this humidity, so we decided to go to the “Qantas Hangar” instead.

The Hangar was about four kilometres from where we were staying and off we trotted on foot. I think hubby perspired at least ten buckets worth only to find when we got there, that we hadn’t really researched what the Hangar was….
I was more than a little disappointed but oh well, we got to talk to a few locals at the Parap shops and that’s always nice.

We saw a man waiting at a bus stop and asked him how soon the bus was coming. Lucky for us, there was one just about due and while we waited he pretty much told us his life story. Everyone has a story here! It was really interesting talking to him and it made the trip worthwhile.

fullsizerender15The bus took us right back to the Waterfront so we hopped off there to get some lunch. This time we were NOT going to go to the Hot Tamale.

Instead we ended up at Fiddlers Green.

The staff here were fairly friendly. They work hard to entice you in.

Hubby went for a couple of entree’s. SMOKED SALMON BLINIS- Salmon on potato pancakes with dill, Sour cream, capers & red onion jam and a BASKET OF WEDGES – Served with sweet chilli sauce & sour cream


He absolutely loved the potato pancakes. “Why can’t you make them like that?” he asked. Hmmm, I’ll have to try harder. They were really delicious and I know because I was allowed a taste test! I think he allowed it so that I know how to make them….

I went for the THE BOOKIE’S SANDWICH – 150g scotch fillet steak, with onion, tomato Lettuce, mustard mayo & fries

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You just can’t go by a good honest steak sandwich. It was just what I felt like.
The steak was cooked well and the onions and mayo… just yum!
The dining room could do with a bit of refurbishment as a lot of it was looking a bit old and dated.
It was also just a little disappointing that they were so friendly when trying to get us in, but less so when we were actually in there. But, again, you get what you pay for and we couldn’t fault the food.

fullsizerender10After lunch we continued walking and found ourselves walking past Northern Territory’s Living Marine Educational Discovery Centre where outside the building it’s advertised as being Darwin’s most interesting attraction with a quality coffee shop.

I didn’t take a picture of the Quality Coffee shop sign OR the Coffee shop itself… which is really too bad. I can vouch for it though because I saw a percolator on the counter.

Eventually we walked back to our room, changed into our bathers and spent a good hour in the hotel pool along with a couple of other guests.What a nice way to cool down!

We decided to visit Sky City Casino for dinner so after a bit of a nap  refreshing ourselves in our room, we walked to the Casino.


There are a few restaurants to choose from but hubby couldn’t go past the buffet.
We walked in and asked if we could look at the food before deciding if we’d eat here. Is that weird? The server kind of looked at us strangely so I guess she hasn’t been asked that question before!


We saw SO MUCH seafood! We don’t even really eat seafood but we saw enough to know that this was the place for us.

What we did eat was so very tasty! It was really hard to slow down and enjoy but we forced ourselves because we wanted to try a little bit of everything.
My favourite was probably the special fried rice.
They topped up the food regularly and ensured everything we were having was fresh.
The views from the restaurant were quite pretty too!

Unfortunately, where our table was located, we were not able to enjoy the view with our dinner.

What we did have however, was a birds eye view of the dessert table, complete with a chocolate fountain!

It definitely was a hit with the children!
What I loved about the desserts was that they were all small serves so we got a few things between us to share.
They also had a bread and butter pudding. One diner lamented the absence of custard to go with it “How can they have a bread and butter pudding without custard???” she exclaimed to me.
I just shrugged. There was cream and ice cream so that was good enough for me.

We finished off the night with a bit of luck at the Black Jack table. Hubby doesn’t do that often and I’m always nervous when he does but it usually works in his favour.

I don’t have a full day’s worth to make a “Day Three” post but it was pretty funny to see our taxi driver flirt shamelessly  with hubby on the way to the airport. It was like I wasn’t in the car at all!! I’m half expecting a facebook friend request to come through for hubby from the taxi driver… I mean there’s friendly and friendly….

I also have lots to tell you about the Qantas Club lounge that we were lucky enough to use. Qantas club, Business class tickets… I could get used to this life!!

So we survived a couple of days in Darwin during the wet season.
Have you been there?
What your experience been like? I’d love to know!!

Spoon You Fork Me/The Dining Diaries will be returning in the regular format from Monday the 16th of January.

Thanks for reading!

Panacea

Today on the Dining Diaries….

Latin music transports us,
Wonderful flavours “wow” us and
We interact with passionate staff who treat us like old friends.

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Diners today we were at Panacea at Marion.

I must admit, this was the place I was most interested in when the Westfield Marion addition/development was revealed.

I just love the look of it!
Lots of red exposed brick, wood and iron giving it possibly and industrial look? I’m not up with decor but I do know what I like and what makes me feel comfortable and at ease and this place does it for me!


We were greeted but lovely staff, handed some menus and went to take our seats.
The choices on the menu were a little different to what we were used to but they did seem really good and we had a bit of a hard time deciding what we were going to go with.

In fact out lovely waitress came and went a few times while we were still trying to decide what to eat and drink and that’s not usual for us! She was patient and answered all the questions we asked about both the restaurant and the food.

Finally we decided to start with Meatballs – pork & veal cooked in a rich tomato sauce,  as suggested by our waitress, and also a serve of Patatas Bravas – crisp fried potatoes with fresh salsa & sherry vinegar.
For main I chose the fish of the day special  – Atlantic Salmon – and hubby, much to my surprise, went for the Gnocchi. Unfortunately, I didn’t write down how it appeared on the menu and it’s not on their online menu so I can’t tell you exactly what it came with, only that it had cauliflower and cream in it as well.

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The first plates came out fairly quickly.

How good do those potatoes look!!!

The salsa doesn’t look like much but it gave those potatoes such a unique flavour.

I wish I was experienced enough to tell you what herbs and spices were used, but whatever it was, it was just a magical pairing.

The potatoes were crispy on the outside yet soft on the inside and that salsa was sweet and just so delicious!

I was so glad we’d chosen this…. and equally glad I had taken my half and put it on a separate plate before hubby got his hands on it…

fullsizerender3Our second starter was the Meatball dish as suggested by the waitress.

Again this dish really impressed.

We had four good sized meat balls on this plate and they were as tender as you can imagine and full of flavour.

What I loved most of all though was that sauce!! The tomatoes were so fresh and sweet. It was so lovely to eat and the bread they brought out with it was crispy and toasty warm. I wish they’d given us a bit more bread actually!
It was a wonderful way to start and I was super excited to see what would be coming out next….

I’m pretty sure my choice was the best out of our two mains.

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That salmon could not have been cooked better. The skin was crispy and the inside was just perfectly cooked. It looks like a small piece of the plate but it was really deceivingly substantial. I was really hoping hubby wasn’t going to ask me for more (I did let him have a teensy taste)
fullsizerender1The potato rosti was also a great accompaniment.
I’m not a huge fan of hollandaise sauce myself as I usually find it too thick and too creamy but they had a generous amount on here for those that do.

Because I loved this so much I thought I’d show you another picture of my dish from a different angle. See how big that serve is?

Again the herbs and spices used were just perfect. I’m not a big fan of coleslaw but if you do like it, you would have loved what was on my plate. It was very creamy and I felt my hips widening just looking at it!

Hubby’s Gnocchi looked interesting .

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It was a little bit deceiving because he would go to get what he thought was a gnocchi, and it would turn out to be a piece of cauliflower.
He too said the flavour combinations were amazing. Pairing gnocchi, caulifower and walnuts is probably a brave thing to do but it really worked, especially when covered in that gorgeous creamy sauce.

One thing I was disappointed in was that I didn’t notice the Sangria on the drinks menu until we were well into our mains!!
There are also a good selection of pizza’s on the menu and I’m curious to see how they taste.

When I went to pay the bill, I told the server that everything was really good, the owner heard and came to tell me about some of the other food  items on the menu and to talk about his personal favourites, and then the chef came out too to hear what the feedback was about the food. Their passion really shines through and I loved seeing that!

Panacea, I will definitely be back and this time it will be for Pizza and Sangria!!

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

Till next we chow…