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In Australia, Dining, Dinner, Modern Australian, Restaurant, Travel on
December 19, 2015

Travel | Broken Hill: The Exchange Restaurant @Royal Exchange Hotel

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!

Parmesan Crumbed Oysters (half doz $14)


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.

Moroccan Lamb Tagine ($29)

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.

 
Chicken Royale ($28.50)

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.

 
Honey and Yoghurt Panna Cotta ($10)

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!

In Australia, Dining, Dinner, Modern Australian, Travel on
August 25, 2015

Travel | Broken Hill: The Palace Hotel

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!

Shoestring Fries with Herbs and Yoghurt (Lge $8.50)

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.

Black Ling Fish ($28.50)

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.

Lamb Rump ($28.50)

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.

Dessert Platter ($13.50)

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.

Calamari ($11.50)

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 Palace Pork Belly (28.50)

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!

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pie ($10)

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.

Deep Fried Ice Cream ($8)
 

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.

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Travel | Broken Hill: Tydvil Bistro

 
There isn’t a great lot of places open at night in Broken Hill- the pubs are really the only the place to go. We’d been to Tydvil Hotel previously with friends for drinks but spied the waffles from the bistro at the last minute and decided to go for some waffles instead of a drink- and they were so good we decided we’d come back for a proper meal!
 
Tydvil bistro is a small dining area next to the pub. It’s nicely set up, but like any pub bistro the service is minimal- grab a table, grab some menus, order at the counter and wait for your food to come. They specialise mostly in steaks and schnitzels, with a complete menu dedicated to schnitzels and various toppings you can add on top. 

 

 Chicken Schnitzel with King Avocado ($23.50)
 

Seeing how popular the schnitzels were, we decided to get one each. The basic chicken schnitzel is $19.50 and comes with gravy and a side of chips and salad or roasted vegetables. But of course, we don’t want to boring like that so we choose from their 20 or so different toppings available.

 
It’s not everyday that you eat schnitzel with avocado so we try the King Avocado topping ($4). It bears a startling resemblance to a Hawaiian pizza, with a topping of not only avocado, but also bacon, pineapple, sour cream, sweet chilli sauce and melted cheese. And it makes for a rather large serving size too!
 
Because there is a heap of topping, you don’t really notice the avocado but the combination of all the flavours is quite tasty. We do find it rather salty though, as the bacon, cheese and schnitzel are all quite salty themselves! 
 
Chicken Schnitzel with Chef’s Special ($27.50)
 
And how can one pass a topping named ‘Chef’s special’? 
 
It’s a tasty combination of squid, chilli, lime and cherry tomatoes in garlic and white wine sauce. The sauce goes quite well with the perfectly cooked squid, with a slight zing of lime making it taste rather fresh. It does however, taste a little odd with the schnitzel as the heaviness of the schnitzel contrasts greatly with the lightness of the sauce. 

 

Belgian Style Waffle ($10)
 
There’s no dessert menu, but there are three different waffle flavours scribbled on the blackboard behind the counter. We’d tried (and loved) the strawberry and banana version last time, so we decided to go with the English Toffee variant this time, which comes with almonds, cashews and salted caramel. 
 
Be prepared to share, as their waffle portions are rather large, with three big scoops of ice cream. The waffle is nice and crispy, and we love the sweetness of the English toffee as well as the crunch of the nuts. Definitely a very satisfying way to end a meal!
 

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In Dining, Modern Australian on
July 14, 2013

Orient Hotel, The Rocks

The Orient Hotel was probably not the best option for a family dinner, being situated above a (quite noisy) bar, but I couldn’t resist buying a voucher for a 3 course meal as it was quite cheap at $99 for four. Luckily, the soundproofing in the restaurant was done pretty well, so despite the large party just outside the restaurant, we managed to enjoy a relatively peaceful meal!

Crumbed lamb’s brains, speck, sauce gribiche

I rarely ever eat Modern Australian, so I wanted to try pretty much everything on the menu, but ended up deciding on the lamb’s brains as I’d never tried them before. Their soft squishy texture was quite similar (to me at least!) to tofu, and they were cooked beautifully with a golden crispy crumbed exterior. The small pork cubes were also deep fried until incredibly crispy and were amazingly addictive, although it didn’t feel all too healthy as there were a lot more pork fat cubes than meat ones!

Smoked salmon, toasted brioche, celeriac remoulade
 
The salmon and toast was much less exciting, with the brioche tasting rather much like normal bread than what we’d expect of brioche. The smoked salmon was quite enjoyable, with a deep, rich smoky flavour whilst not being too salty. We prefer our smoked salmon a little more on the colder side, though that might be just us. 
Seared scallops, black pudding, cauliflower purée
The scallops are also cooked and presented beautifully- which got me pretty excited as I could finally take one of these typical scallop shots everyone has 😉 The insides of the scallops were quite soft, so we weren’t sure if they were a little undercooked but we liked the polenta, which was nice and soft and fluffy like mashed potatoes
Rock Oysters
The oysters come in a generous serving of 8 and are quite cute, sitting on a bed of salt. We do find them rather salty, though we couldn’t really point out the reason.
 
Lamb rump, caponata, broccolini, rosemary jus
 
The orders must have gotten mixed up at some point, as my lamb, which was supposed to be done medium, came out medium-rare- I don’t mind raw(ish) beef, but raw lamb isn’t exactly my thing, so tasty as it was (and it was pretty good!), I did feel a little uneasy eating it. The serving was quite substantial, as I really enjoyed the caponata- a tasty, soft cooked vegetable salad, though it was a lot more tomatoey than I’d expected.
 
Eye fillet steak (220g), broccolini, potato and bacon croquettes

 
Because of the mix-up, the steak came out much more cooked that we’d prefer, though we loved the tastiness of the meat and the contrasting textures of the cripsy grilled exterior and the meaty, chewier interior. The croquettes were delicious also, tasty enough to be eaten without sauce. We found the overall proportions for this dish to be rather small though, not quite enough to fill one person up.
 
Wagyu corned beef, carrot, kipfler, white onion sauce

 
We’re not quite sure what exactly corned beef is, as we’d thought it was that stuff in cans that we’ve always had but the ‘wagyu’ part of the name sounded too good to resist so we ordered it anyway. Turns out that corned beef isn’t really our thing, as we thought it tasted rather much like ham, just less salty.The potatoes and carrots were tasty and cooked nicely though!
John Dory fillet, burnt butter, capers, lemon, mash potato

 
And because we love our seafood, we couldn’t go past the grilled dory fillet which unfortunately was a bit of a let down as it was rather plain and bland though we loved the mashed potatoes, which are incredibly light and fluffy.
Chocolate fondant pudding with Brnady Anglaise
 
We’re not too fond of the wait for desserts, which take over half an hour to come out- it’s not that we’re in a rush or anything, but once we’ve started eating, we don’t really like stopping until we’ve reached the end……if you know what I’m talking about?The chocolate fondant is great though, cooked beautifully with a crispy exterior and warm melting interior- definitely our favourite dessert of the night and we’re glad we ordered two!

Passion fruit panna cotta, strawberry coulis

 
The panna cotta was smooth and creamy, and we finished it in no time as the flavours were very light and refreshing. 
Affogato – espresso coffee, ice cream and Frangelico 
A quick google search after the meal reveals that affogato is a drink, and I wish I’d known earlier as I was a little perplexed as to how to ‘eat’ this ‘dessert’. I did eventually figure out that it was probably easiest to pour everything onto the vanilla ice cream, though I found the espresso to be much to strong and bitter for me (as I’m not a coffee drinker) so I ended up having to fish out the remaining bits of vanilla ice cream……yes I’m a bit of a noob 😉 I really enjoyed the ice cream though, with specks of vanilla which misled us to thinking that it was cookies and cream for a second or two. Interestingly, the flavour didn’t really taste much like vanilla, though that might have been because I’ve never had ‘real’ vanilla ice cream before-but it was nice and really creamy!Upon leaving, the strange stares by the bouncers (which pretty much say ‘how on earth did they get in?’) make us realise that it’s probably a good thing we came relatively early as my sister probably would not have been allowed in had there been bouncers when we arrived!

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In Dining, Modern Australian on
May 7, 2010

Black Stump Bar & Grill


One of the best things about being in the last year of high school is that we get so called ‘study periods’, or as we refer to them ‘free periods’. If your free period happens to be the last period of the day, you get to go home an hour early. If you have a double free period, that mean you can go home before lunch =]

Eating out after a hard *ahem* working day of school is quite fun, although walking around in your school uniform at such early hours does guarantee a few stares (especially when you’ve got a huge ’10’ written on your back).
On this day, we decided to try out the Black Stump restaurant and Rouse Hill. We’d walked past it on the weekend, surprised to find that it actually existed. My mum had dinner at a Black Stump restaurant before, and thought the steak wasn’t too bad so we decided that it would be worth a try. We decided to return on a weekday, when they had lunch specials =]

I was surprised to find that most of the restaurants are relatively empty in the afternoon- the restaurants at Castle Towers are usually quite full at this time! But the quite-ness is really nice and comforting anyway…….

The sign in front of the restaurant had advertised their lunch special from $9.90 but we soon find out that the only thing for this price are the entrees (chicken wrap or salad). The rest of the menu ranges from $10.95 (spaghetti) to $14.95 (lamb chops/rump steak). The menu is quite short, and ….well….boring. I had intended to order lamb chops but they ran out of them so I ended up ordering rump steak because nothing else on the menu was appealing. That’s partly the reason why it takes us so long to decide what to eat- the waitress was getting awfully impatient! On our table of 5, we ended up ordering two fish and chips (because, my dad thought that ordering fish and chips on a friday would be cool *rolls eyes*) and three rump steaks.

Rump Steak $14.95

The wait for the food is sort of long considering there is only one other table there. Not that we actually minded- the slower the food came out, the more time we got to sit there and chat. Because sitting in a restaurant for a long time after you’ve finished your meal is slightly awkward- even if there’s no one else in the restaurant.

The char grilled rump steak arrives with a large serving of fat chips and brocoli. The sauce comes in a small container which is interesting, although having sauce poured directly over the steak would have been so much more convenient (the thought of pouring it myself, strangely enough, did not cross my mind). The sauce is more watery than the usual gravy that comes with steak and has little pieces of mushroom in it- I would have liked to have more sauce though. It’s a bit peppery but I can’t quite identify what the sauce is. I suspect that if I had read the menu properly, I could have found out……hehe….The steak itself is quite good- it is quite juicy and definitely better than that one at Atrium Brasserie.

Fish and Chips $12.95
I love the char grilled lemon. And I love the chips- I like big fat chips =] But that’s probably the only thing I liked about this. The fried fish was disappointingly ordinary- almost like the type you get at fish shops, only this is served on a plate. Unfortunately, the fish shop at Rouse Hill make a good fish and chips for about $8 (although that was probably only because I had it when it was feezing) which only makes this fish and chips even more disappointing.

Black Stump Bar and Grill Restuarant
ROUSE HILL TOWN CENTRE
Shop 110 level g
10-14 Market Lane
Rouse Hill NSW 2155

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