Rob Roy Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Great atmosphere,
Great food and
Great music!

Short and sweet introduction today!
rob-roy-hotel-pda-20140331172210809_lrgDiners today’s review is for the Rob Roy Hotel on Halifax St.

This building is rich in history! It is thought that the original building was built between 1842 and 1850.

Hubby and I have been quite keen to get here and see what the hotel has to offer as we’ve always heard good things about it.

Walking down Halifax St you immediately notice the Al-Fresco eating area and how lovely and serene it looks. I could easily imagine wasting a few hours of the afternoon here on a nice Summer day.

Another great thing about the Rob  Roy is that they have all day dining on Friday, Saturday and Sunday which is perfect for hubby and I who tend to have schedules that mean we eat at strange times of the day.

We got there on a Sunday afternoon about 3.45pm and there were lots of people enjoying the sunshine outside, and quite a few inside too, waiting for the band to start.

The décor inside is pretty simple and clean. Lots of wood, black and copper colours which probably doesn’t show up too much in the photos I took.


There’s definitely a friendly vibe to this place.

The menu was pretty enticing! Lots of good choices and of course, pub favourites.

We decided to start with Prawn Beurre BlancPrawns, chorizo, garlic, onion, smoked paprika, dried chilli beurre blanc & bread

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While this wouldn’t have been my first choice for an entrée, it was a perfect way to start a meal. I was a bit worried that the chilli would make it too hot but they added just enough to give the dish a kick. I loved the pizza style bread the most and used that to mop up that absolutely delicious sauce. I even told hubby he could have all the prawns (although I did taste one and they were perfectly tender and flavourful)  and chorizo if I could have the rest of that bread.

For main I chose the Mexican Bean Burger Mexican chilli bean with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, chipotle mayo & coriander

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I just loved every bite of this burger! The bean patty was so delicious I think I want all my future burgers to like this! The sour cream and guacamole had been added to the perfect proportions and honestly there was nothing I could fault. I would probably have preferred a different style bun but that’s a personal preference..

Hubby chose the 350gram Scotch Fillet cooked medium rare however a waiter came out a little while after I ordered and said they had run out and would he mind if they cooked him the rib eye instead?
He tried not to show his elation and said “Well if I have no choice….” but was beside himself when the waiter walked away…

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When the meal came out, the waiter added that the chef was worried the size of the meat was smaller than expected so he added another piece. This was turning out to be hubby’s lucky day!!!!!
He was absolutely elated with everything on his plate. The meat was beautifully tender, the mash was seasoned beautifully, in fact, he added some of the garlic butter that was on top of his meat to the mash…

We’ve had some really good dining experiences lately and this was no exception.

We even lingered longer than we normally do because the band was playing songs from our era and we enjoyed an extra drink or two while listening to them.

It really was a great afternoon and I’d really encourage people do come on down and visit the Rob Roy Hotel and experience it for themselves.

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

Till next we chow…

 

 

 

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Darwin – Day 1

Diners I hope you’ll enjoy these next couple of entries where I share hubby and I’s first visit to Darwin.
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Seeing as we were only going to spend a couple of days, we just wanted to get a feel of the food and culture of the CBD area and didn’t get a car. Next time, we’ll definitely get a car and really go exploring!

Our trip began with a business class ticket on our Qantas flight. It was hubby’s birthday treat to me!
I’ve never traveled anything but economy class so this was a big treat!

Apart from the extra leg space, we were treated really well and offered some tasty food! As we were on a morning flight, our meal was breakfast and we had a choice of bircher muesli, or bacon and poached egg with mushrooms. Hubby wasn’t quite sure which one he wanted and was told he could have one of each if he wanted. Wow. He just took the eggs. Apart from that though, we had whatever we wanted to drink, fruit salad, zucchini and walnut muffin and probably lots more things that I’m forgetting. They do make you feel very special!

I really loved my bircher muesli. At one point hubby brought his spoon over to taste some.
“NO, NO!!!” I exclaimed in horror.
“But you have to share” he replied while dipping into my muesli
“But it’s my birthday!” I protested weakly.
I only mention this as this conversation was clearly heard by the other business class passengers….
Later I did try to taste one of the mushrooms on his plate but he just growled so I backed away slowly.

We got to Darwin and were immediately engulfed by humidity. People seem very nice here. Laid back and friendly. I’d always heard that and got to experience it for myself.

Walked Mitchell st because everyone says everything is in Mitchell st and started looking at the different cafes, restaurants and bars along that road, trying to figure out which one we were going to go to.
Up to now, although it had been humid, it hadn’t rained.We decided to go into the Ducks Nuts for a drink and while we were there, a huge torrential rain occurred. It was over ten minutes later though and you wouldn’t have known it had happened!
Unfortunately we never got to go back to the Ducks Nuts for a meal. I really would have loved to as it seems like a really cool place.

Kept on walking along the esplanade and eventually found the wharf area. Had to stop for a Sangria at the Hot Tamale

Food prices seem slightly cheaper than Adelaide. Although I haven’t seen the size of the serves yet but that’s my first impression.

img_8162We went back and to our hotel and checked in. I wanted to check out the gym and pool area as I was hoping to utilise at least the gym area.

What you’re seeing in the pic on the left is a look of pure joy as I discovered that the hotel gym, really was a pretty good gym!

Not only that, but no one was in it so I decided to go a few K’s on the treadmill and build up my calorie bank in preparation for dinner tonight.

After resting and freshening up in our room, we ventured out into the humidity once more to see where we were going to go for dinner.

We were told the streets were quite empty because it’s “off” season right now. We knew we would be visiting in the Wet Season but we still wanted to have a look. There were still plenty of people around, enjoying their surroundings and doing whatever they like to do.

We found ourselves back on the Waterfront and I just couldn’t go past another Sangria so we went back to Hot Tamale, this time for dinner as well as a drink….


I commented to hubby that the people you think are going to be friendly and nice haven’t really been, and those you don’t expect it, go out of their way to be nice and friendly to you.If it was hubby’s choice, we wouldn’t have come back here but I’m just a sucker for Mexican food and it was my birthday after all so he obliged.

I decided to go for a Chili con carne. Hubby was pretty undecided. When we had been here earlier in the day he’d wanted to split some nacho’s but I didn’t want to waste calories at that point. Now, for dinner, I told him if that’s what he felt like, he should get them for dinner.
We asked the waiter if it was enough for a main and he said they were even too much for him. He was not a slender bloke so we trusted him and ordered the nacho’s for hubby’s main.

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I think they make the corn chips themselves. They were ok. They had a strong oil taste to them and felt a little like prawn crackers that you get from chinese takeaway stores.
They weren’t bad, just not what I was used to.

I don’t think it’s a serve that’s big enough for a main meal though.

What I did love about this place was that they had Latin music playing the whole time. You just can’t be sad when Latin music is playing!

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My Chili con carne was pretty good.

It was not a huge serve but as I wasn’t running as much as I normally do when I’m home, that was ok.

At one point I looked at my dish and I looked at hubby’s dish and noticed there wasn’t a great deal of difference between them.

We both had braised beef and homemade nacho’s as the main elements on our plates.

After dinner we strolled back to Mitchell st and joined other locals enjoying some live music as “Wisdom”

These guys party like there’s no work tomorrow!

We arrived back to our room with a few naughty snacks and fell asleep while watching some movie playing.

It was a good first day!

Stay tuned for “Day 2” out tomorrow!

Hoosegow

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Fat chips are my new best thing
The hostess became my new best friend and
We learnt Wagyu Rump can be the best meat and is also served with the best fat.

hg2.jpgDiners today we finally made it to Hoosegow!

This is proving to be a popular place! I had heard so many good things about it that when we finally made it my expectations were super high.

I called to make a reservation and Shadia was so lovely on the phone. I had to call her back later to amend the time and she didn’t seem bothered by it and thankfully it didn’t affect our booking.
When we arrived she spoke to me by name like we were long friends. In fact all of the wait staff were friendly but not overbearing. They all wanted you to have a great time and to feel comfortable and at home.

hg1The front looks pretty unassuming but what a difference when you get inside!

It was elegant, dim lighting, lots of dark colours and interesting things to look at.
That photo of the interior was not mine but one I found on the internet – I’m always a bit hesitant to put up photos with other diners in them.

img_7629Each table had at least one candle on it.

A lot of the reviews I’d read mentioned that they’d received complimentary something or other when they arrived, and given the prices at Hoosegow, I’d think that would be a nice gesture but unfortunately we didn’t. But that’s ok.

The menu is not large but again I prefer a smaller menu that the kitchen staff can do well, over a large menu with lots of choices that the kitchen staff struggle to keep up with.

I have to mention this also, when we walked in, they were playing “Pink Martini” who I absolutely adore!! Poor hubby had to sit there and wish he was somewhere else while I excitedly sang along with some of the tunes…

We ordered our food and watched other dishes coming out. The aromas were just to die for! The food looked pretty good too! I noticed the relationship between kitchen and wait staff seemed pretty good. They were very busy but there were no frowns… they were just quickly doing what they were supposed to be doing, working together. I hate seeing a stressed kitchen.

For entree we ordered the Mexican Chilli Squid with Charred Cos Lettuce.

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I must admit when it came out we were a little disappointed because it looked so small. Just a tiny piece of squid for $14 but honestly , the taste was just divine. That squid was cooked perfectly. The cos lettuce also had so much flavour!!! I could have had a couple of those for my dinner alone!
I had to be careful not to eat any of those red chili bits as they were hot hot hot!
It was a great start to the night.

For main I chose Guajillo Lamb Backstrap, couscous chickpea and herb salad, toasted pecan nuts

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I haven’t had backstrap before so I wasn’t sure what it was going to taste like. The server told me that it’s quite a lean meat and I normally love lamb so I thought I’d try it. It was just melt in your mouth delicious! And I don’t know what their cooking process is but that lovely charchoal taste was throughout the meat and it was such a pleasure to eat.
I love the way it was presented on the plate too with that cute mound of cous cous.
It looked like a small serve but the meat was actually quite filling.

Hubby chose the MS5 Wagyu Rump 350gm served with fat chips and a smoked spicy tomato relish

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When it first came out I thought “wow”!! That looks amazing!
The chips were soooo nicely seasoned and the tomato relish was tasty and a nice accompaniment. The meat was tender and flavoured beautifully.Another great taste sensation from Hoosegow.
The only thing that bothered us was the enormous amount of fat.
fullsizerenderYou can’t see it in the picture above, but I took another picture when hubby was halfway through his meal.

There was still more fat to come.

A server came to ask how our meals were so I said “Is it normal to have that much fat?” And she said yes.
The answer seemed scripted so I guess she must get asked that quite often. I know wagyu is marbled meat, but I’ve had it before and I just don’t remember having that much fat on it. Hubby thought maybe it was because he’d asked for it to be cooked medium rare so the fat hadn’t drained out? I don’t know, but it made what seemed like a big piece of steak reduce to half the size.

We weren’t upset by it, and everything else was absolutely perfect but if anyone has any knowledge about this I’d love to hear your comments.

Hoosegow is a little on the pricier side but the service and food you’re going to get is definitely above average so it would be a great place to celebrate a special occasion.

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

Till next we chow…

Base Bar – Bath Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Red Brick Walls, Wooden Beams and music relaxed us,
A huge pizza wood oven almost makes us wish we’d ordered pizza and
The Menu said “Share Plate” but hubby reads mine only  “main”

bbar5.jpgDiners today we were at Base Bar in the Bath Hotel.
Right on their website it says “The mission is simple: serve delicious, affordable food that guests will want to return to week after week” and I have to say that was pretty much our experience!

I don’t know if it was the sunny weather today (after so many dreary days) or if it was Base Bar, but it was just a pleasure to be sitting there with lots of people, enjoying the atmosphere and feeling good about the day.

We walked in through an outdoor/atrium area and it was really very pretty. Lots of outside seating and booths and a big screen TV for distraction.

We didn’t sit there as it was quite windy but otherwise it would have been nice…

Instead we entered the bar area which had a bit of a trendy, hipster warmth if that’s even a description.

Tall, red brick walls and wooden benches and chairs just made it feel like a place you wanted to be.

We grabbed a couple of bar menus and found a nice seat in the corner. Hubby was immediately drawn to the share plates. I’m not a huge fan of them because there’s always things on there I don’t really want to eat and hubby always thinks because he’s a foot taller than me he gets to have more than me and well, that’s just not fair!

So he ended up ordering a Shared Mexican Plate on his own for his main. Guacamole, Sour Cream Nachos, DIY Taco’s and Fried Chicken Wings…

I had a craving for pasta so I went with the Linguini Salsice – Spicy Chorizo, roasted Capsicum, Olives, Basil and Parmesan.

The bar menu seemed a little limited but then again, it is a bar menu and I’d rather they have a few items that they do really well, than lots of items that are just mediocre.

We had a drink or two while we waited and checked out the food on other people’s tables. It all looked pretty good! We noticed the huge wood oven at the other end of the room and all the pizza’s coming out and wondered whether we should have ordered a pizza instead.

We forgot all about the pizza when the food came out though! Both plates looked really amazing.

First the Mexican Share Plate

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I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get everything in!! On the top left are the taco fillings. One Mince, one is Pulled Pork and the last is Chicken. Top right are the tacos – they gave five which seems like an odd number when there are three fillings.
Bottom left are the Fried Chicken wings and coleslaw and bottom right are the nachos.

Hubby loved the minced pork filling. I tried a little too and it was really very nice. There was some herb or spice in there that I just couldn’t pick… But when he got to the Pulled Pork filling, he just made grunting noises and covered his hand protectively over his food. Oh yeah, he was enjoying it…
He kept uttering “It’s not really a lot of food for one person is it?” No dear… Not when you’re six foot seven.
The nachos were the only thing I would have been interested in on his plate and although they were ok, I would have been disappointed if that was the only thing I’d been served. A lot of the nachos were broken so there were just broken chips down the bottom. But hubby didn’t mind and really, nacho’s have to be pretty bad to be bad. These were ok.

I was absolutely in raptures with my pasta.

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From the moment it came out till I took that  last bite, it was just wonderful. It looked so good on the plate and tasted even better in the mouth!
I’m not a big fan of Chorizo so took those out for hubby, but everything married up so well in this dish. The pasta was cooked well, the olives gave your mouth a buzz, it was just magical! In fact my only complaint was that the fork they gave was not big enough for me to twirl as much pasta as I wanted onto it. I am an Italian girl after all!

All in all, we had a great time here and no doubt will be back soon.
It’s great to find a place that you can look forward to returning to.
Casual dining, great atmosphere and great food.
What more could you want?

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

Till next we chow….

Montezumas – Glenelg

Today on the Dining Diaries….

A guilty secret pleasure is revisited…
Nacho’s unite the world and
One of the Spoon You Fork Me team learns there’s alcohol in Sangria….

Diners today we were at Montezuma’s in Glenelg.  Please don’t hate me when I say this is a guilty secret pleasure of mine. I’ve been wanting to come here for some time but my usual dining partner refuses to. So, as he was working today, I recruited a new member to the team and off we went.

I’ve been coming here for years, in fact the first time I went was when I’d just started seeing hubby and we’d gone to Noosa for the day and lo and behold, there was a Montezuma’s. Later on in the year we went to the Gold Coast Queensland for a week and spent a lot of time in the Montezuma’s there thanks to their half price lunch deal!

monte8.jpgToday I got to Montezuma’s before my dining partner and walked in to check I wouldn’t need to make a booking. It was a Sunday and a lovely warm day at that so I suspected it would be busy. Unfortunately, at 1pm, there were only a few tables being used. I was a bit shocked to be honest. And I was also shocked that they had the doors and windows closed. In fact, I wasn’t quite sure they were open at first.

monte7When I walked in it felt dingy and the air a little heavy with oil and cooking smells. I was worried about how this was going to affect my new dining partner who had never even eaten Mexican, let alone been to Montezuma’s.

I was happy to hear the Mexican music playing in the background and allowed myself to be transported.

Looking over the familiar menu I began to relax into my surroundings and was looking forward to eating the only main I ever order here. …

monte4But first, Sangria!!! The first time I’d ever had a Sangria was in a Montezuma’s restaurant.

My dining partner and I both had a glass. I was tempted to order a jug but I was driving so had to be responsible.

What makes Montezuma’s stand out is the gaudy (but lovable) colourful decorations. I kind of feel like I should hate them I kind of feel like if I’m supposed to be a “foodie”, I’m supposed to hate this place but I don’t, I love it. I love everything about it, even the gaudiness and though I’m not sure it’s authentic Mexican half the time, I don’t care!

 

Unfortunately these photos don’t show the bright colours of the decorations but trust me, they’re there!

While we were sitting in our booth, a gentleman came over to put one of the decorations, a sombrero, back on the wall. My dining partner said “oh no you don’t!!!!” which kind of surprised me, but then she added “I need to put it on first”  And, she did just that!

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Yes… and we have a sombreo photo to prove it!

I should probably also add that after I’d finished my Sangria I said “I’d love another but I probably shouldn’t seeing as I’m driving” and she said “oh, there’s alcohol in that? No wonder I feel a bit tipsy…” 

Enough chit chat, on to the food!

We ordered a full serve of Nacho’s to begin with….

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The lighting was pretty dim in there so I’m sorry that it doesn’t look too flash but let me tell you they tasted pretty good!!! Believe it or not, my dining partner had not had nacho’s before and hadn’t even had refried beans before so this was a real treat for her!

We had vegetarian nachos which was refried beans, salsa and cheese surrounded by corn chips. Delicious!!

No sooner had we finished those but out came our mains!
I’d ordered my tried and true favourite, Chili Verde and my dining partner went for the Durango which is Chicken and Sour Cream Enchilada, Beef Enchilada, beans and rice.

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Again I apologise for the poor lighting. Remember my dining partner had never eaten food like this before and she found it very delicious. She had nothing to compare it to though. She said everything was good and loved the refried beans. She said she was surprised at how much she liked it as she had always thought she wouldn’t like Mexican food.

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My Chili Verde was everything I’ve always expected it to be. The beef was tender and accompanied by that chili which lit my tastebuds!!! Delicious!! and I really really love the way they do their rice here. I’ve tried to replicate that crispiness at home but it’s never worked out.

I don’t pretend to be a snobbish foodie. I like what I like and I know this place isn’t for everyone but I’ve got fond memories attached here and yes, I really do love the whole experience from the gaudy decorations to the food itself!! Our waiter today also had an accent and yes that helps!!!
I’m sure we’ll be back many more times and I’m sure I’ll probably keep drinking the Sangria and ordering the Chili Verde….

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

Till next we chow…