Sunday, September 29, 2013

Dorset Gardens Hotel - Croydon, Victoria

I’m a fan of ambiance.  When I go out and have a drink or meal or a big night I like the surroundings to be congenial. It adds to the whole experience. Where we eat Indian regularly I would like to see the staff in traditional dress. It doesn’t happen but the food is good enough to bring us back, sari or no sari. Apart from a few Indian posters on the walls and Bollywood on the big screen the ambiance is poor.

While traveling between appointments one Sunday I dropped into the Dorset Gardens Hotel in Croydon for a lunch. Now you have to imagine a community centre hall which has been decked out with tables and chairs, a bar and staff to serve meals and drinks to get an idea of the bistro decor. There are no prints on walls, which are a bland tone or no art pieces or fine furniture. It is just stark, bland and plain and lacks any sort of ambiance. Thank God the food is good.

Though there are mostly very basic Vic. beers on tap there was at least Fat Yak, a beer I have enjoyed for some years. The meal I ordered was Veal Scaloppini. This was a huge meal which sat on a sold inch of mash potatoes.  The scallops tasted fresh and where at most pubs are tough and tasteless due to the fact they have been frozen and cooked and re-heated these were glorious. The veal was OK but a bit too much gristle, bacon and sauce very flavoursome and plenty of it. This meal would fill the big eaters amongst us.  The bread rolls were stale leftovers from the day before, disappointing.

Staff is very friendly and appear genuinely interested in ensuring you will have a good experience. They evidently didn’t have a bread roll that day! There is plenty of parking and even a Motel as part of the complex. Apart from the boring and drab decor and lack of atmosphere the food quality is good to very good and service great. The wine list is a little thin and beers on tap limited but for a good size meal at pub prices, it’s a sure bet.

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