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Broken Hill

In Australia, Café, Dessert, Dining, Travel on
March 7, 2016

Travel | Broken Hill: Bell’s Milk Bar

Before I begin, I’ll confess I did find this at the bottom of my ‘drafts’ folder, and may have forgotten to post about it. I’m leaving the best for last I guess?

One of the few remaining 50’s milk bars left in Australia, Bell’s Milk Bar is an attraction itself in Broken Hill. Not only is it fitted out with vintage 50’s style decor- there’s also a milk bar museum out the back!

And what’s a milk bar without milk shakes and spiders? Boasting over 50 different milkshake and spider flavours, the choosing one is definitely a difficult task. And for those who don’t have enough time to try all the flavours, they also have their flavoured syrups for sale so customers can recreate their drinks at home.

Vegetarian Lasagne ($7.95)

We popped by to check it out, but as we had no car our long cycle took left us quite hungry and wanting something a little more substantial than a milkshake.

There’s not much on the menu in terms of food, but there is a small display fridge of pies and other small snacks. The vegetarian lasagne is surprisingly tasty, and quite filling too as it consists mostly of potatoes.

Hawaiian Delite Milkshake (Sml $5.85)

Milkshakes are available in small and large, and after much indecision I settle for the Hawaiian Delite which is a blended mixture of pineapple, coconut and chocolate powder. It’s a rather refreshing combination, and I quite enjoy the addition of chocolate powder- just enough to add some sweetness and flavour without overpowering the classic pineapple coconut pairing.

Peaches and Cream Waffles ($7.95)

Because one visit wasn’t enough to try all the flavours we wanted to, we came back a week later to have another taste of the menu. We’d had our eyes on the waffles from the moment we read their menu online, but unfortunately their waffle machine had been turned off the first time we visited (they turn off their machines about half an hour before closing!) so we returned again at an earlier time to make sure we’d get a chance to try them!

Trash Spider (Small $5.65)

This time we’re after the spiders, which are mostly a mix of their flavoured syrups with soda plus a scoop of ice cream to top it off. I’ve had coke and lemonade spiders before, but nothing like the variety of flavours they offer on the menu here!

In attempt to try just about everything in one go, I try the Trash Spider- which is a mix of every flavour except for Sarsaparilla, Lemon and Ginger Beer (which is just as well as I’m not too much of a fan of those). I can’t say that I enjoyed this flavour combination too much- it’s a bit of a mess as you’d imagine.

Sarsaparilla Spider (Sml $5.65)

Sarsaparilla is a curious flavour offered on the menu- I’m not a fan of sarsaparilla myself, but my friend who ordered this seemed to enjoy it.

Bell’s Milk Bar  
Address: 160 Patton St, Broken Hill NSW 2880
Phone:(08) 8087 5380

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, Café, Dining, Lunch, Travel on
December 6, 2015

Travel | Broken Hill: Temptations Cafe and Dessert Bar (2)

Continuing on with my overdue Broken Hill posts is another one on Temptations Cafe which seems to be the only one where we’ve managed to say that we’ll come back and have actually done so on numerous occasions is Temptations. A total of 4 times actually!

We can’t help it- the opening hours are so much more convenient than every other place, and their dessert selection is, well, tempting.

 Flourless Orange and Almond Cake ($6.90)

Our second visit was a quick dessert stop where we actually got a chance to have a look at their dessert selection properly- it’s located at the back section of their shop which was booked for a function the first time we visited.

Iced Chocolate ($6.90)

And while we’re at it we thought we’d explore the drinks menu a little further as well as we’d quite enjoyed their drinks last time. Unfortunately, the ice chocolate was rather disappointing- a rather bland mixture of chocolate topping and milk.

Coffee Frappe ($6.90)

The coffee frappe on the other hand wasn’t quite as bland, with a nice mix of sweet, milky and bitterness of coffee. It was a bit of a shame that it was made using a coffee syrup rather than a real shot of coffee because it would have tasted much nicer!

Vanilla Slice ($4.90)

I couldn’t go past the Aussie classic- vanilla slice with a nice thick layer of creamy custard sandwiched between two layers of puff pastry. It was a little on the overly sweet side, and the pastry wasn’t as flaky as it could have been, but it did make for a satisfying dessert.

 Flourless Orange and Almond Cake ($6.90)

They had the labels in the cake fridge placed incorrectly, so my friend’s order of flourless orange and almond cake was not exactly the one she was after but she did enjoy it, even if it was a little dense.

Strawberry and Banana Smoothie ($8.90)

A week later, we’re back yet again for a late lunch,  and as usual, the place is pretty quiet. We take another stab at the drinks menu with the strawberry and banana smoothie, which proves a much better option than the iced chocolate/coffees we tried previously.

Mocha $3.80

And of course you can’t go wrong with coffee!

Tandoori Chicken Foccacia ($10.90)

I had eaten breakfast and a sausage sandwich earlier so I was after something light, so I chose the Tandoori Chicken on Turkish Bread (which ended up coming as foccacia instead)which seemed like it wasn’t too big or heavy considering the price and the description.

Let’s just say it was much bigger than I had anticipated!

Veggie Foccacia ($10.90)

The veggie foccacia was quite similar, with a roasted vegetable filling instead of the chicken. Both were delicious, with the bread toasted til nice and crispy with a nice balance of salad and warm chicken/veggies for the filling.

Turkish Baklava ($4.90)
And because we weren’t sure if we’d have time to revisit before leaving Broken Hill, we thought we’d try one more dessert, even if we were feeling quite full after the sandwiches. The baklava seemed the smallest dessert on offer, although in hindsight it probably wasn’t the lightest. But what’s not to love about paper thing filo pastry and lots of nuts soaked in syrup?

In Australia, Café, Dining, Lunch, Travel on
November 30, 2015

Travel | Broken Hill: Temptations Cafe and Dessert Bar

Apologies for my lack of posting over the past couple of months- they’ve been quite hectic and stressful, trying to put everything we’ve learnt over the previous year into practice within a short time period of 10 weeks. But it’s over now, and I can finally say that I’ve finished uni for good this time.

I haven’t had a chance since I got back from Broken Hill to properly finish my posts from then, so I thought I’d quickly put them up on my blog before I forget, starting with one of my favourite Broken Hill cafes, Temptations.

The problem with staying up late on Friday night in Broken Hill is that you end up waking up late on Saturday morning, so by the time you cycle your way into the main street of town, most of the cafes and shops are just about closed.

I can’t say we’re too fond of the 1-2pm closing times, because it leaves us with little time to explore and not much to do in the middle of the day. Luckily, Temptations Cafe is open almost all day, and this so we end up here for a late lunch when almost nothing else was open.

Mocha (Lge $4.50)

We’d been meaning to visit Temptations since the first week we’d arrived in Broken Hill, being the only dessert bar in town but we hadn’t really considered visiting for lunch as their menu didn’t seem quite as exciting as everything else on offer in town.

Housemade Strawberry and Dragonfruit Iced Tea ($4.50)

Their drinks menu was quite exciting with a selection of smoothies, shakes and teas in addition to the standard coffees. The house made strawberry and dragonfruit iced tea was surprisingly good, a refreshing drink with a hint of strawberry and dragonfruit. There’s no dragonfruit used in the tea of course so its flavour is quite subtle.

Steak Sandwich ($16.50)

The menu mostly consists of your typical cafe fare- burgers, sandwiches and pastas. We’re not sure what to pick so we go for the waitress’ suggestion of the steak sandwich.

And boy are we glad we did!

It’s an unexpectedly impressive steak sandwich, with so much filling it is not possible to eat it without a mess! It’s a delightful combination of steak (of course!), bacon, egg, onion jam, tomatoes and salad between the two lightly toasted pieces of Turkish bread. It’s quite similar to my all time favourite steak sandwich at my local cafe and I must say, it does come close to being my favourite!

Caramel Macadamia Cheesecake ($12.90)

And we can’t leave a dessert bar without trying their desserts, so we pick the caramel macadamia cheesecake of their specials menu. There’s also a dessert display inside the restaurant, but most options are on the menu anyway.

The caramel macadamia cheesecake was a one off special, we’d been trying to order it again for a few weeks after but they didn’t make it again 🙁

Caramel Macadamia Cheesecake ($12.90)

Temptations Cafe and Dessert Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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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