We’re towards the end of our six weeks in Broken Hill, and we’ve started to develop a routine where we celebrate the end of a week with a fancy dinner.
This week’s fancy dinner takes us to The Exchange Restaurant, located in the Royal Exchange Hotel. We’ve rode past it countless times on our push bikes on our way to Argent Street (the city centre) so we’re a little surprised when the interior is much more fancier than what it seems from the exterior!
It’s easily the fanciest restaurant we’ve been to so far in Broken Hill, with dim lighting, candle lights, a pianist and some cozy couches by a warm fireplace if that’s your preferred method of dining. We stick with the table and chairs, though we do spend some time lounging in front of the fireplace after dinner- it’s awfully comfortable, so try not to fall asleep!
We’re keen to try the oyster shots, but unfortunately they’ve sold out for the week, so we order the Parmesan crumbed oysters instead. Not quite as exciting as the shots, but they fried beautifully, with a crunchy light batter, and and go well with the accompanying aioli and lemon.
We notice that the Moroccan Lamb Tagine on their menu outside has been renamed to ‘Slow cooked lamb’ on their actual menu, probably to account for the fact that the lamb isn’t actually served in a tagine. Nevertheless, it is a great dish- the lamb is nice and tender and there’s quite a big serve too! I love the sweetness of the apricots and sultanas, which is quite an unusual pairing for me. The only thing I did wish was for there to be vegetables on this dish to balance out the meat.
The chicken royale, sounds super fancy, as it’s slow poached for four hours and stuffed with prawns and bacon cream cheese. We’re a little surprised that it comes already sliced in half, though we realise it does make for easier eating! The chicken is surprisngly tender, and the stuffing is enjoyable, especially with the garlic dijon sauce (though there aren’t really many prawns in the stuffing!). The sauteed baby carrots and cocktail potatoes are a delicious side too.
And for dessert, the dessert menu isn’t overly exciting so we settle on the honey yoghurt panna cotta which is something different. The spiced honey sauce is a nice touch, and the yoghurt adds a distinctive tartness, though I can’t say I was the biggest fan.
We’re keen on trying those oyster shots so we’re back again the next week to celebrate our last day here in Broken Hill, despite having eaten lightly earlier in the night. There’s not many light options on the menu so we decide to have entrees as our mains instead.
We realise only after dining here that the head chef is John Hart, the son of one of Broken Hill’s most famous painters. The artistic influence shines through on the some of the dishes, especially this slow cooked pork belly, which is much fancier than we’d imagined!