The Rex Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We experience feel good “feels” as good as a nanna’s hug
We find the salad bar is more like a boiled veggie buffet and
Great food surprises and delights!
d66b3d7ce9584a6ff41e7ea3eb0ccfdc_featured_v2Diners today we find ourselves at The Rex Hotel.

To be honest I’m not sure I knew this place existed. Hubby suggested it as we were in the area and had a ravenous hunger, so we stopped in.

It seemed to be quite busy when we stepped in. Looking at the other diners I’d have to say the average age was probably about fifty five.
Still, there was something very embracing about the Rex Hotel. It was as comforting as going to nanna’s house when you were a kid. I almost expected someone to whip up a secret stash of boiled sweets and hand them to me as I walked through the door.

It was a very relaxed atmosphere and the staff and other diners were just so friendly. We even struck up a conversation with the couple dining next to us. It just felt like we were at a family or work function! Comfortable and predictable.

Hubby and I were soon perusing through the menu and I was impressed with the selection and the prices.

We ordered our food and made our way up with hopeful expectation to the salad bar. I know I’ve said negative things about salad bars in the past but there’s always that expectation isn’t there? Maybe this one will be a good one? Sometimes you do get lucky.
Today was not a lucky day.

It wasn’t awful, probably just boring. Some peas and carrots, broccoli etc. There was even some sliced potatoes in cream. I’m pretty sure it was supposed to be scalloped potatoes but it tasted like over boiled potatoes in fresh cream. Even though this part of our dining experience was not great, the meals we ordered seemed like they came from another kitchen!

I ordered Hokkien stir fry with added prawns.

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I could barely contain myself when this was put in front of me as it smelt so good!!! The added prawns were $6 extra and there were six of them on my plate. I guess that’s a pretty good deal.
They tasted soooo good! So juicy and full of garlic goodness that disgusted impressed my family for the rest of the day
The rest of the dish was pretty good. I particularly liked the snow peas as they just added so much flavour and freshness to each mouthful.

Hubby, the steak man, couldn’t go past the 500 gram Graziers Rump. It just looked so massive when it came to the table.

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The size of it actually is what initiated conversation with our neighbouring table.
To be fair, hubby did share some with me and I’m so glad because it was just so flavourful and tender. A beautiful cut of meat!

I hope it’s clear that although this hotel is clearly catering to an older crowd, I would happily come here again as the food (apart from the average salad bar) was great and the people, including the other diners, were just friendly. There’s a sense of familiarity about this place.

Like you’re stepping back to a time where things were simpler.

No doubt, hubby and I will visit this hotel again in the near future!

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

Till next we chow…

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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

 

 

 

The Royal Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

I can now say it’s a fact, Salad Bar + Carpet = Seniors
I’ve learnt a nice wine makes a meal taste better and
Sorry to harp on it, but when it comes to some local pubs, seniors rule the roost.

Diners after my last entry, I vowed not to eat in a place that was specifically geared towards seniors. I love seniors as much as the next person, but it’s very clear that when it comes to dining, we have different needs and expectations.

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Today we were at The Royal Hotel. Seeing as this hotel looked nice from the website, looks nice from the road, and is right on the edge of the CBD, I didn’t think it would be a seniors pub.

I was wrong.

The moment I walked into the dining area I smelt boiled vegetables. I should have turned and walked away but I didn’t.
Hubby saw the salad bar and gasped. We didn’t turn away.
The place was furnished with an old carpet. We didn’t turn away.
It’s completely our fault. We walked in and we sat down.

royal5Having said all that, the guy working the bar was really lovely and friendly, helped us find a seat and handed us a couple of menus. The prices were really good I have to say and yes, they did also have a seniors menu. I’m not sure why we were given one of those!

We ordered a couple of mains and checked out the salad bar. It was fairly average as far as salad bars go. There were three hot choices and a few more cold salads.
It wasn’t dreadful but it was on the mushy side. For example the potatoes were boiled with a bit of soft onion on them rather than crisply roasted. One tray I think was a veggie bake but it was just full of corn. I believe our last senior experience had an abundance of corn too. Not sure if there is a connection.

Now onto the mains. Hubby was excited because the menu said “Lamb Shanks” and that “s” on the end means he’d be getting more than one! It looked semi impressive when it came out.

Now it wasn’t that it was bad. The meat was tender and fell off the bone. The jus was nice mixed with the mash. It was all as should be but about the lamb shanks, hubby said it felt like someone had just removed them from a boiling pot and set them on his plate. It didn’t have the flavour he was expecting. He didn’t hate it, it just wasn’t what he was after.

I had ordered a Cabernet Merlot and it was just divine! My mood certainly lifted with that.

I didn’t hate my menu choice either. I ordered the Vegetarian Lasagne. In fact, it was quite nice. The only thing I would have changed about it is removed the pumpkin and have more of the delicious capsicum. The capsicum was sweet and really lifted the dish. The cheese and tomato sauce on top were quite delicious too!! There was a nice flavour in that, just not enough of it.

The prices were really good so I guess we pretty much got what we paid for.

As for the hotel itself, aside from seniors there were a few business people in there too and there was even a meeting going on in a room adjacent to the dining room which some company must have booked out. I think if we hadn’t eaten here on the back of my last review, it may have been ok but we are pretty much over mushy veggies and carpet.
This is especially true after I visited all those exciting places on the Food Porn Tour.

This is not a bad place, but you need to know what you’re getting into before you decide to dine here.
As for the Spoon You Fork Me team, the next time we see carpet and a salad bar, we’re turning around and walking back out!

Have you eaten at The Royal Hotel?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…

The Windsor

Today on the Dining Diaries…

 

It’s been a long time since I was the youngest person in a dining room,
We suspect the salad bar was filled with leftovers from the nursing home down the road and
An odd combination of flavours turns out OK in the end.

front3Hello Diners and I’m sorry to say this will not be a stellar review today. The team dined at The Windsor Retirement Home.

Probably our biggest dissatisfaction came from the fact that they are heavily geared towards Seniors.
The reason we came here in the first place was that hubby had been hearing ads on AM radio for The Windsor and how they had just renovated etc etc… The ad also mentions they have a salad bar – but hubby didn’t reveal that to me until we were actually entering the establishment…

Now in hindsight, there are two red flags there. One, the ad was on AM radio and two, they have a salad bar. I’m sure the Windsor is a wonderful place for seniors to gather and if you are one and want to give it a go, you’d probably love it, but I’m NOT a senior and I wish we had gone with our instincts and left – but we didn’t so here is the review.

img_6999First the good. It has a big clean dining area (with carpet).
I’m really struggling to come up with more. The food wasn’t terrible but I’ll get to that later.

So we grabbed a couple of menus and took a seat. The server had also told us “Specials are on the board” but the board was blank. Hmmm, I think that could have been another clue  for what was to come…

The menu was ok. Hubby and I chose a couple of items and I went to stand in the line of seniors to order and pay. The line grew longer and longer and didn’t move. I tried to see what was going on at the start of the line and discovered an elderly gentleman was disputing the price he’d been charged. You see the Windsor have a regular menu and a Senior’s menu. Apparently there was an issue because he’d ordered a Parmigiana and there was a two dollar surcharge for that. At least, I think that was the gist of what I was hearing. It just went on for ages then another server came over to explain the charges to him and the line just got longer and longer.
Nobody apologised to those waiting in line and no one moved us over to another register so we could order while the man continued to dispute this two dollar charge.

Finally I ordered and went to sit back at our table. That’s when I realised I was actually the youngest person in this place.
Hubby and I went to check out the salad bar and it was pretty average. Lots of mushy things in there – things that don’t need a lot of chewing.

Our mains looked pretty good when they came out. Hubby ordered the Windsor Stack – Layers of crumbed chicken on papadams with tzatziki and sweet chili sauce.

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Hubby said that it was a little weird at first because there was a pappadam with chili sauce and tzatziki – flavours that you normally associate with different cuisines but he really liked it. He said the chicken was cooked well and all those different flavours made it really interesting to eat.

I chose the Vegetarian Frittata – topped with tomato and grilled cheese.
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When it came out I thought they’d brought me out a chicken parmigiana! And I have to say that the topping was the best thing about this dish. The tomato and cheese were just delicious! The frittata was ok – It just didn’t seem to have the right consistency. I’m not sure I would have liked it at all if it didn’t have that grilled cheese and tomato on top. It was a generous portion so I was happy with that.

Hubby and I ate quickly and were eager to leave as we just felt so out of place. I could almost imagine seeing nurses and  carers coming out of an invisible nurses station to assist the remaining diners with their food and take them back to their rooms.

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

Till next we chow…

 

 

 

 

Sussex Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We see a platter that captures hubby’s attention for the duration of our meal – unfortunately it was not on OUR table…
An unexpected salad bar sighting has hubby in raptures and..
We experience a burger without the works….

thumbDiners today we were at The Sussex Hotel. We got here quite by accident because we’d actually gone into another establishment a little down the road and after sitting down and looking at the menu for over five minutes, hubby and I looked at each other and said “you know, there is another place down the road….” And that other place was the Sussex!

I was so glad we’d decided to come here instead because from the moment we walked in the mood was different. The staff were really friendly and there were lots of people eating what looked to be good food! Hubby was sold as soon as he saw the salad bar.

dPic8They’ve got a couple of different dining areas. We chose to sit inside, but overlooking the nice outdoor area. There was a tv screen, music playing, people dining – all made us feel comfortable and welcome.

We checked out the menu but hubby was having a hard time because he couldn’t get his eyes off the table next to ours. They had ordered a share plate that just looked phenomenal. I later tried to find it on the menu online, and although there is a share plate listed on there, I don’t think it’s the same as the one we saw. A couple of girls had ordered it and it had all sorts of meats on there which was not in the description I saw for the share platter online – Ham, salami, that kind of thing! Hubby was almost begging me to get that with him but I just didn’t feel like eating finger foods. He contemplated getting it on his own I’m sure…

Hubby ended up ordering the Sussex Burger and I went for the Barramundi – oven baked, served with mash potato, wilted greens and beetroot hollandaise. The beetroot hollandaise sounded interesting to me!

dPic4So after ordering we went to check out the salad bar.

I must admit, I didn’t check out the cold salads really.

They had the general fare- scalloped potatoes, creamed cauliflower, broccoli and beans… It all looked ok. Some things tasted better than they looked – not sure if that’s a good thing. I was a bit disappointed with the bread. It was just regular sliced bread, not cute little dinner rolls as I would have liked.

Now on to our mains!

I always rib hubby that I order better than him and today, it was true once again.

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I don’t think there is anything I could fault about this dish. Look at how pretty it looks on the plate. That beetroot hollandaise really is a gorgeous colour!
Looks are one thing, but this dish also had taste. From the greens on top to the Barramundi and mash on the bottom… everything was a pleasure to eat. I was really hoping hubby wasn’t going to ask me for  a taste because I didn’t want to share. The peppercorns on top of the barramundi lit up my tastebuds! The dish itself was also temperature hot which I loved. I would definitely have this dish again.

Hubby went for the Sussex Burger.

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It looked pretty good when it came out. Surprisingly, it was the only burger on the menu… unless we missed something?? Hubby thinks he even saw a sign boasting they had the best burgers in Adelaide (plural) but this was the only option on the menu.
As he was eating it he realised there was no cheese, no bacon, no egg… and we didn’t have the option of asking for these to be added either.
The menu does state that it comes with cheese, but there was none in hubby’s burger. He said the patty seemed too small compared to the size of the bread and seemed a bit mushy. He did like the bread though. I would have liked it toasted (it wasn’t).
Overall it was really disappointing for him. There was nothing “bad” about it, it just wasn’t what he’d expect to get when ordering a burger.

You have to remember that as he’s eating this less than perfect burger, he’s still ogling the next door table with that share platter. They had to end up getting a take away container as they weren’t able to finish it all and I had a teensy weensy bit of guilt as hubby kept muttering “I never get what I want” – which for the record, is a lie.

I feel that there were mostly positives about our trip to the Sussex today and I would definitely recommend this place – perhaps just don’t order the burger!

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

Till next we chow…