Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rich Curry - Elsternwick Victoria

If asked what is my favorite food style I would have to say Italian. When looking at the amount of Indian food I am eating lately I may have to question myself here. I must admit I’m a sucker for a good curry. Tender lamb in a hot spicy source comes up for order nearly every time. Rich Curry in Glenhuntly Road Elsternwick serves up a very nice curry.

The restaurant is situated in a small group of shops and unless you are looking out for it you will definitely miss it. Evidently it has just changed hands, according to one patron, who also said it was one of the best places to dine in the local area. Though on a Thursday evening there were a few tables occupied I would still book. The restaurant is not all that large and don’t expect to enter the Taj Mahal the decor is plain. Service was excellent, warm and friendly but Ruby of India was in jeans. How hard is to slip into a sari.

The food was excellent from the pappadums, nahm bread to my spicy “Josh”. Saffron rice helped soak-up the source which itself was light, fluffy and lightly scented. My friend (Paul) and I both agreed – Nice. Lucky I have a someone who lives nearby who took me here for the first time. This eat house is definitely on the menu. I just feel a little more “India” in the furnishings and staff would add more spice to the experience. It may be the only ingredient to put this small restaurant on the “must do” list. Don’t miss this place, the food very good.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Baxter Hotel - Baxter, Mornington Peninsula

There are a number of quaint little towns down the Mornington peninsula. No wonder the area is such a tourist magnet. Being near the water on both sides is a double draw particularly during the warmer months. The whole of the peninsula is stunningly beautiful, easily accessible and comparatively inexpensive.

One of the small towns you may not pass through on your journey down the peninsula is Baxter. It is situated only about fifteen minutes drive from Frankston but well off any highways and main roads. Not a lot to see here but they do have a hotel and there is a motel associated with it. The Baxter hotel has been around for some time. Recently it has been extended substantially. It comprises a bar, huge bistro area, pokies and function rooms. Over the weekend the Baxter can be hard to get a seat being very popular and the only hotel in the area. Book in advance.

On a recent visit with family and friends we both ate and had a few drinks. We took up two large tables in the new and expansive bistro area. For such a busy and popular hotel they only have a single queue for taking meal orders. It is not unusual to line up for over thirty minutes to order your meal. I have seen the queue nearly out the door of this large hotel. Doubling the size of the bistro should have instigated the addition of another till allowing two shorter queues to order food. But strangely this has not happen.

You would think that after spending so much time in the queue and subsequent waiting for the meal to arrive you would be treated to some excellent food. Unfortunately this is not the case. My meal of veal parijiana and chips was tasteless and chips were soggy and floury. Asking some of the others about their meal brought similar comments. My wife’s salmon was uncooked and inedible. She waited far too long for it to be served well after others had finished theirs.

Don’t expect any unusual or exciting beers on tap because there are none, just the usuals. The live entertainment for the night was a single male singer singing 60s, 70s, and 80s hits to recorded backing tracks while he played guitar. As the night progressed he got louder and louder to point where we were yelling at each other at the table to be heard. We were well back from the “entertainment”. The Baxter, a few years back, was the place to go for good food and had a country and friendly feel about it. Not anymore. Check it out for yourself but there are better pubs on the peninsula. I wouldn’t waist my leisure time here.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Beewah Hotel - Beewah Queensland

While holidaying near the sunshine coast in north Queensland my wife and I decided to try a local pub meal. Beewah is a small town near the Landsbrough/Mooloola Valley area. The Beewah Hotel is a real oldie but has a modern makeover both inside and out. Should you visit take a look at the photos displayed inside the hotel of the early days of the hotel and area.

Like most pubs there is a bar, bistro and outdoor area. We found a table in the bistro area close to a window for a view of the side street. On tap you expect Queensland beers like XXXX which everyone drinks who lives in the state. Even Victorians living in QLD drink XXXX. But on tap were some Sydney beers. Tooheys Old and New? I was surprised. Of course XXXX was there and a few CUB beers. Just to go against the grain and I rarely get the chance to drink it on tap, I went for the Tooheys Old. A dark beer with a stout-like flavour, rich and a slightly bitter finish.

While staying with my daughter in the Mooloola area we had a steak meal consisting of the biggest steaks I have ever seen. The “Bushman’s cut” will see steaks as big as your plate begging to be eaten. The meat in the area appears a speciality and I’m told it comes from the “high country”. Not sure where that is but I’m grateful it exists because the meat is first class. Steaks featured heavily on the hotel menu so I felt compelled to indulge. But first I asked one of the kitchen staff if the meat was frozen and tenderised. I’m told it comes in fresh each day its not tenderised. I find tenderising allows the meat to dry while cooking. On the menu it did state the meat was “tender stretch”.

Regardless the meat was excellent and the meal big and hearty. The steak (rump for me, scotch for the good lady) was juicy and tender and perfectly cooked for me-medium to medium rare. A glass of red made for a good night out and a fine meal in pleasant surroundings. Drop in and take on a local steak. You will leave feed and watered and very satisfied. Beewah.