Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Red Lion, Chalton


There's been a bit of a pause on blogging while I was back visiting the UK...

I grew up in a village neighbouring Chalton, home of the Red Lion, which is one of the older buildings I've written about eating in. The pub may date from as early as 1147 as a workshop for the Church built opposite. It first got a license in the sixteenth century and was a stop on the coach route between Portsmouth and London. The village hasn't grown much over the years and is still little more than the pub, church and a few houses, which all nestle in the South Downs National Park.

With its Thatched Roof, timber framing and low ceilings inside it is a fairly typical example of the local styles of the vintage. We ate in the original small front lounge, there is a new larger dining section to the rear that blends well with the rest of the building and has great views over the downs and up to Windmill hill. 

The menu had plenty of fairly typical English pub dishes on offer. We shared the fish platter to start, it featured smoked salmon, mackerel, trout, a mini prawn cocktail, crab salad, bread and dips/sauces. All the components were fresh and the trout and crab were probably my favourites.

The fish and chips, featured sustainable haddock in a 'Seafarers ale' batter, with peas, tartare sauce and other than the fish looking a little overdone went down well.

I had the grilled whole trout, which could have been presented a little more elegantly, but was nicely cooked.

The veggies came separately, and the carrots, swede and cabbage were all fine I think the leeks were the stand out though.

The mango sorbet was a nice way to finish things off...

The Red Lion is a truly historic spot to enjoy a meal and for me the sentimental attraction is strong, but it is worth a visit if you are passing.

Red Lion on Urbanspoon

View Foodscrazy restaurant map in a larger map

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Home Hotel, Launching Place

2170 Warburton Highway
Launching Place
VIC 3139

We've driven past the pub in Launching Place a few times, and the 'Home Hotel' chosen as a venue for Sunday lunch for 6 of us. From the outside it's hard to tell how what would await us. The sign in the glass above the door did provide a clue though...

It was definitely more traditional and cosy inside, with almost an English pub feel, although there were some traditional Aussie touches too. There were several other diners about, but it wasn't rammed. The menu featured some classic pub fayre, including steaks as well as some varitey. The specials list was as long as the regular menu!

Stu couldn't go past the chance to have his ritual Chicken Parma, a staple on every return visit to the country, and he wasn't disappointed on this occasion. 

The medium rare steak with vegies and roast potatoes, a special request which was easily accommodated, was highly rate. 

The special of duck on fennel and a rosti looked great, but was a little on the oily side.

I had the fish and chips, which was served with a good fresh salad. One of the pieces of flake was a little over done, but the other was great.

The service was good, attentive and efficient. The bill at just over $250 for 6 including a couple of drinks each and some coffees. It's a good place to stop if you are out and about exploring the beautiful scenery in the area.

The Home Hotel on Urbanspoon

View Foodscrazy restaurant map in a larger map

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Junction Beer Hall and Wine Room

15 Hall Street
Vic 3015

(03) 9391 8188

We caught up with friends at the Junction Beer Hall on a chilly and damp Thursday evening,  we'd been meaning to visit for a while. Inside the fit out was all polished concrete floors with nicely decorated white walls and high wood topped tables with multicoloured metal stools. Peaking through into the wine room, things were a little more swanky. The bar of the beer hall was made of wood and home to a pump with 7 different beers and a cider on tap, with many more available in bottles. The proliferation of beers easily available in Australia has certainly been noticeable since my first visit here 15 years ago.

After selecting drinks we then had to choose food, although the dinner menu was a lot smaller than the beer book!

We shared some of the fried chick peas with cumin salt, which were quite crunchy on the outside, but still soft in the centre and had a subtle cumin flavour.

The wood fired oven had been visible as we walked in, and that may have confirmed the selection of the prawn pizza. I'm not a massive fan of seafood on pizza, but the 4 decent sized prawns did look look. The small bit of pizza I tried, had good flavours and a nice thin base, but it may have been more crispy with a couple more minutes in the oven.

The beef burger came with cheese, beetroot relish and aioli in a sesame seed brioche bun and was served with some deep fried onion rings and 3 cornichon. Rick certainly seemed to enjoy eating it. 

 The fish of the day was salmon and came with a salad featuring spinach, cherry tomatoes boiled egg, anchovies and potato.

I had the kangaroo fillet salad with roast beetroot, blueberries and goats curd. The 'roo was tender and on the rare side which I like. I wasn't sure about the combo of salad ingredients, but the flavours complimented each other well.

The food was pretty good value, the pizza, salad and chickpeas came to $45. The portions aren't huge, but the quality and flavours were there. The service was efficient and friendly, at the bar they were happy to advise around beer options, including offering small tastes of the beer. I'm sure we'll be back and it's great to see so many decent pubs in the fairly local area really lifting the standard.

Junction Beer Hall and Wine Room on Urbanspoon

View Foodscrazy restaurant map in a larger map