Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Australian Youth Hotel

“I hope you’re proud of yourself”, came the voice over the phone.

It was Miss L.

I grunted.

“I swear! NEVER on a school night!” she moaned.

“Console yourself with the fact that you are sitting within the womb-like confines of a quiet workstation and I have The Wiggles at 60,000 decibels in the background”, I said.

“Ok, you get the sympathy this time”, she agreed.

You see, our longtime school buddy R and her 5 year old son A, who live in Montreal, are in town and staying with me. In what seemed a sensible celebration at the time, we had downed many bottles of bubbles and other mysterious beverages in the spirit of fun. From the look of it I will win the ‘most recycled glass’ award this month.

Score: Recycling – 10, Brain Cells – zero. Headache ranking: Aspirin is having no impact; I may as well put a band aid on my forehead. Simultaneously I’m receiving an unsolicited tutorial about the intricacies of Pokemon from an excited and well rested child. The cat is now officially irked at having matchbox cars parked under her tummy. You have the complete picture.

Personally, I think there’s nothing better than lunch in the fresh air when you’re feeling a little seedy, with a generous helping of stodge and a wee hair of the dog. So while maman et l’enfant head off for adventures in Manly, this is just what I do.

This cute little corner pub has undergone extensive renovation in the last few years, giving it a warm colour scheme and cosy wooden-lined bar feeling. There are some images to look at on their website, as well as sample menus to peruse. The restaurant out the back has a rustic-paved beer garden, which at this time of year doesn’t get much sun (a plus in my current condition, but the sunglasses aren’t moving from my nose anyway) but rains yellow autumn leaves as the cool breeze blows. Perfect. The pub fare comes in an à la carte menu as well as a bar menu, and contains the satisfying bangers, steak, burger and pie pub staples you’d expect.

We share an entrée of salt and pepper squid salad with black sesame seeds and basil oil (second pic, above) which, while not as crunchy as you might expect, is tender, warm and tasty. Burgerman goes for the slow cooked lamb shanks (above) which are meltingly tender and rich, G goes for the prawn and salmon pizza (left), but for me there’s no going past the James Squire beer battered fish and chips (below), elegantly meeting my stodge and fat requirements du jour.

The food is all very reasonably priced, reliably decent, and the menu extensive enough to meet most needs.

The desserts look pretty tempting, but while it’s not on the menu, I know they do a mean affogato – morphed into more of a dessert than a coffee – and served in a martini glass with your shots of liqueur and espresso on the side (below). Today we choose Frangelico. Divine.

I feel well equipped to get to know the Wiggles on a first name basis when I return home.

The Australian Youth Hotel
63 Bay Street, Glebe
(02) 9692 0414
Lunch and Dinner 7 days.


Blogger neil said...

Wiggles at only 60,000 decibals, your friends child was being kind. I'm sorry, no sympathy from me, that's my everyday life, lol.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Reb said...

oh well - I'll give you the sympathy then!

10:46 AM  
Blogger neil said...

Okay, we can share.

1:05 PM  

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