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…

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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…