We’ve been told that the Palace Hotel is a restaurant which you must go to when you’re in Broken Hill. Not only is it one of the only two places where it’s legal to play two-up all through the year, but it’s also one of Broken Hill’s most iconic building, where Priscilla was filmed.
It’s also surprisingly busy, as we found out when we rocked up only to be told there’d only be a table available at 8:30. Luckily there’s a bar and pool table to keep us occupied whilst we wait, and if you go to the hotel side of the building, there’s quite impressive artwork to be seen on the walls!
The dining space is rather fancy, with a really unique outback atmosphere from the bush paintings on the wall. Service can be slow when it’s busy, but we’re not in a rush so it’s not an issue for us.
It’s not everyday that we order fries for entrée, but their fries with herbs and yoghurt do sound rather intriguing so we give them a try. It’s certainly a different way to have fries, as the mixed herbs impart an interesting taste to the fries and goes well with the yoghurt. We do wish that there was a little more yoghurt, or that it was served on the side though.
The black ling fish is another curious dish, named so because of the Cajun spice coating on the fish that gives it a rather dark appearance. Although we really enjoy the flavours, it’s rather dry, and the meat not quite as tender as we’d hoped. The side of creamy mash and seasonal veggies (asparagus and brocolini) are great too.
We’d originally intended to order a tasty eggplant dish (can’t remember what it actually was) instead of this but it had sold out so after some indecision, we settled on the lamb rump. And we’re glad we did order it because we were quite impressed by the lamb, which was cooked until beautifully tender. The bed of veggies and beans balanced the flavours well, and we love the sweet balsamic glaze which seemed to tie everything together.
The dessert platter was the perfect size for the two of us and it meant we didn’t have to choose from the many tempting dessert options on the menu. The pistachio macarons didn’t have much of a pistachio taste and were on the rather sweet side, but we did enjoy them. The lime cheesecake was light and refreshing, which was quite a contrast to the other components. But out favourite was definitely the chocolate mousse in the chocolate cup (with a chocolate spoon too!)- you’ll probably want to share, otherwise it’s chocolate overload!
Because we’re so impressed on our visit, and we had yet to try the eggplant dish, we return the week later for our celebratory end of week dinner. Alas, their whole menu has changed (apparently it does this once every couple of months) and the eggplant is nowhere to be found, nor are a couple of other dishes that we were hoping to try.
We’ve noticed quite a few people order calamari in all the restaurants we’ve visited so far in Broken Hill, and were wondering whether it was a Broken Hill thing, so we try the entrée of fried calamari. It’s a gluten free version, with a rice flour coating, so it only has a light crunch which actually works quite well as the calamari is rather soft. Served with onion, lemon and roquette, it does make for quite a satisfying entrée!
Slow Cooked Lamb Shank ($23.50)
There’s not an awful lot that we’re excited about on their new menu, but luckily, there’s also the handwritten specials board, though my short-sightedness meant that it took me a while to figure out what it actually said.
The slow cooked lamb shank is quite tender, and I loved that it was served with a generous amount of veggies. Between the lamb rump from last week and this lamb shank, I’d say I enjoyed the flavours of the lamb rump more though this one was also really enjoyable!
The dish named after the restaurant- you’d think it’s be amazing, but unfortunately, the pork crackling wasn’t crispy at all and rather chewy actually. The apple and pear chutney is a nice accompaniment, as are the roasted potatoes and seasonal greens, but the pork belly itself was such a disappointment!
The dessert menu hasn’t changed much, but our waitress recommends a dessert that isn’t on the menu and does an excellent job in describing it in a really tempting way. And when it arrives, it looks every bit as delicious as she made it sound, with delicious chocolate base, peanut cream filling and a generous scatter of caramelised peanuts on top.
And last but not least, the deep-fried ice cream, which is also recommended by our waitress! It’s two small scoops of vanilla ice cream, deep fried in a crunchy coconut and bread crumb coating with a drizzle of mango puree and cinnamon. It’s quite similar to the version that is served in the restaurant I work at, although the combination of fried ice cream, mango puree and cinnamon is definitely novel.