Aldgate Pump Hotel

 

 

Today on the Dining Diaries..

I find where the Play School “round” window went!
Stone grill dishes make our mouths water and
A little seasoning never goes astray….

Aldgate Pump HotelDiners today we are in Aldgate at the Aldgate Pump Hotel. I wondered how it got it’s name. What did the “pump” part of it mean?
Well as it turns out, a century or so ago, bullock drivers, travellers and colonists would travel from Adelaide past the pub. At that time, the trip from Adelaide to the pub took a good part of the day. A hand-pump and trough outside gave horses a welcome drink while their owners were inside refreshing themselves with something to eat and drink.

Although it didn’t take us half a day to get here, we were looking forward to being refreshed ourselves.
There are lovely pubs scattered throughout the Adelaide Hills and we weren’t disappointed by what we found at the Aldgate Pump Hotel.

I was a little dismayed as we walked in though, to see dated carpet and older style furnishings but the longer we sat there, the more I realised that it’s part of the charm that the locals expect.


The staff were friendly and we found a nice table that let us enjoy the views to the greenery outside.

The menu sounded a little ambitious at first glance. Were they trying to be something they’re not or could they really deliver?
The most interesting aspect of the menu is the Hot Rock  section. In fact we saw a couple of dishes coming out and the sizzling sound of that meat cooking on the hot rock was really making us question our menu choices!

In the end we decided to go for the chef’s selection : Trio of Dips as a starter.

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Look at that beautiful colour! I have to say, these are the best selection of dips we’ve had in a while. Each dip had a wonderful texture and we were given quite a generous amount of each! We guessed the flavours as being (from left) beetroot, sundried tomato and tzatziki. The pita bread was fresh and warm and we were almost full after sharing this plate!

We both really felt like a good pub burger today so hubby went for the Pulled Pork Burger, and I went for my usual Steak Burger.

The Pulled Pork Burger made hubby’s eyes light up when it came out.

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There seems to be a generous amount of pork in there! Unfortunately hubby said it was really lacking in seasoning and flavour. We both found the burger bun to be a little…
I’m not sure how to describe it, only to say it seemed like it had been thawed out and reheated.

My Steak burger looked pretty good when it came out too.

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I can’t remember seeing it on the menu but there were fried onion rings in there! Sadly, these too could have used some salt but it was still exciting to see.

The meat itself was beautifully cooked; Tender and succulent just as it should be. The rest of the burger had flavour enough so I really enjoyed mine.

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While we were dining I glanced over and saw what reminded me of the Play School Window!

Those Australians, who like me, grew up with ABC’s Play School will know what I’m talking about.

All in all, we had a nice dining experience here despite the lack of flavour in some of the food. I just think they might be trying to be something they’re not.
People come to this place for the charm and the history and I think that’s what they need to promote.
While they say “change is as good as a holiday” I think they need to be calculated changes and the skills to cope with the changes have to accompany them.

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

Till next we chow…

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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….