Another pre-Christmas post! This one, lunch with work colleagues at the Grosvenor Hotel (339 Hay St, Perth).
TC had the Morrocan chicken panini – the bread was toasted and filled with grilled fillets of Morrocan spiced chicken, as well as bacon, cheese, avocado, tomato, lettuce and ranch sauce, served with seasoned beer battered chips ($AU$18.50).
B ordered the salt and pepper squid (AU$19.50), which was served with tossed asian greens, beansprouts and fried noodles, drizzled with a soy and ponzu dressing. Do you ever get dish envy when you dine out with friends? Although I enjoyed my lunch, I thought the squid and noodles looked really quite good – just a touch dish-envious. :)
L ordered the steak sandwich (AU$18.50), with lettuce, tomato, red onion and swiss cheese in a toasted Turkish roll, served with chips. The steak was drizzled with aioli and smeared with kasundi. The steak was too well done for L’s liking and, despite the two sauces, she found it very dry – someone in our group ordered the chunky potato wedges, with sour cream and sweet chilli sauces (not pictured); L gratefully accepted a donation of sweet chilli sauce to help moisten her sandwich.
There weren’t many choices on the menu for the vegetarian in our group, JC; she ordered the bruschetta (AU$16.00). On top of the toasted bread was the standard bruschetta mix of chopped roma tomato and red onion, basil, garlic and olive oil -this was all fancified with bocconcini cheese, roasted red peppers and pesto. JC enjoyed the bruschetta but thought there was a little too much onion in the topping.
T had the tandoori chicken (AU$22.00) – breast meat flavoured with a tandoori yoghurt marinade and served with jasmine rice and a warm roll of roti. I would tend to save ordering Indian food for an Indian restaurant or a food hall rather than a pub, but T said the chicken was very nice.
J had the catch of the day, which was sweet lip snapper served with chips. I have written about this before, and I am as irked by it as ever – this practice of serving fish on top of chips really needs to stop. I understand that the fish is presented on top of the chips because the chef doing so believes it looks best served that way – it gives height to the dish. But I loathe this practice because all it does is soggify the chips that are directly underneath the fish (or whatever protein is involved – chefs really love doing this with steak too). It’s not a problem if the protein is sitting on mashed potato – in fact, I love mashed potatoes soaking up meaty juices – but when it sits on top of chips, the very quality we love about chips – their crispiness – quickly turns to sogginess under the steamy heat of the protein that’s been plonked on top. Aaaargh.
I woke up that morning in the mood for a burger (yes, really!) and ordered the 100% beef burger (AU$18.50). The grilled homemade beef pattie had a gorgeous charry flavour, and was topped with lettuce, tomato, beetroot, cheese, caramelised onions and a sticky bourbon barbecue sauce. The menu claimed the bun was a poppyseed bagel, and while it was bagel-shaped – its spongey white bread flavour and texture and its lack of bagel chewiness made me doubt that it really was a bagel. Oh well. The rest of the burger was great though – each bite was big, cheek-smearingly messy, and most satisfying. I did pick out the beetroot, though. As much as I try, I just can’t get into beetroot. :)
A few comments on the venue:
1) We were seated next to the front counter, on a wooden floor. A fair amount of traffic pased by throughout our meal, as the waiters bustled to and from the kitchen. Every single time a waiter walked past with that heavy-footed brisk stride waiters in a hurry tend to have, our bums literally felt every step. That was probably the least enjoyable aspect of my dining experience that day. :)
2) You pay when you order, which is good for a group, as there’s no stuffing around trying to work out how much everyone owes at the end. The only problem with this is food comes in dribs and drabs rather than all at the same time. This resulted in some people finishing their meals just as others on the table only just received theirs. But having the food arrive at different times did make it easier for me to take photos of everyone’s food – it’s tricky if I’m dining with a group of people and all the food arrives at the same time – inevitably, I’m not able to photograph everything all at once, so I have to rely on my dining companions’ goodwill and patience as I quickly take the photos of all the dishes. In certain group dining situations with people I don’t know really well, I won’t even attempt to take photos.
3) J, B,TC and I would’ve loved to order dessert, but quite strangely (we thought, anyway), the display case where desserts would normally be was completely empty. I would’ve thought in the days leading up to Christmas when your pub is fully booked for Christmas work lunches, surely it would make good business sense to have a display case fully stocked with desserts so you could maximise profits? Just saying.
I’d be quite happy to return to the Grosvenor another time for lunch. I’d still like to try that salt and pepper squid dish for myself.