NSW Holiday 2007-2008 – Day 12

On the 2nd of January it was, sadly, time to leave Nelson Bay. We said good-bye to D, who was staying home to study, while L drove us to Newcastle, where we would have lunch and then make our way to the train station. But just before we left, L told us that S who lives next door (a lovely lady, we met her and her daughters and thought they were really nice) suggested we go to Hamilton instead. We decided it was a pretty good idea, and drove to Hamilton instead, since Jac and I had already spent time in Newcastle.

L parked the car on Beaumont Street in Hamilton, where there seemed to be lots of restaurants and cafes to choose from. We walked up and down the street, and after studying the various menus on offer, decided on the Euro Grill & Bar.

Euro Grill & Bar
1/79 Beaumont Street, Hamilton NSW

Jac and I shared a serve of garlic bread (AU$4.00). It was crisp-edged, fluffy-centred and very tasty, though as usual, (go on, you know what I’m going to say!) not garlicky enough. It was a great savoury munch though, if you were feeling like a savoury snack or appetiser.

Garlic bread

L ordered the lamb mince burger (AU$14.50), with a homemade lamb mince pattie, oven-roasted tomato, spinach, jarlsberg cheese and rosemary chutney, served with beer battered chips. L said the flavour of the lamb mince burger reminded her a souvlaki, but overall the burger was just too dry – the chutney was literally just a smear. The cheese didn’t have much flavour – to her it was very mild and tasted more like emmental than jarlsberg. The bun was much too big for the burger pattie – one of the burger cardinal sins. L did say that she thought the beer battered chips were exceptionally good. She asked for some mayonaise on the side, to dip the fries in and to help with the dish’s overall dryness – and was given a dish of something that was evidently homemade, which was great – but it was very runny and much too capery.

Lamb mince burger with beer battered chips

Jac ordered the warm garlic mushroom, pumpkin and avocado salad with sundried tomato dressing (AU$15.00). Jac thought there was a fraction too much spanish onion, the roasted pumpkin was pulpy and mushy, rather than in pieces as she’d expected, and the inclusion of croutons didn’t enhance the dish at all – but it was still a very tasty combination of textures and flavours (the whole mushrooms were fantastic!) and she’d happily eat it again.

Warm garlic mushroom, pumpkin and avocado salad

I was informed after ordering the thick pork sausages with mashed potatoes, green peas, caramelised onion and red wine jus (one of the AU$15.00 lunch specials, available Monday to Wednesday) that they’d run out of the red wine jus – I was asked if I’d mind mushroom jus instead? To be honest, mushroom jus sounded much more appealing to me than red wine jus anyway, and it was just beautiful, buttery, mushroomy – simply and utterly delicious. I loved the sweet roasted tomato and the creamy mashed potato. There could’ve been more caramelised onion. I wouldn’t really call the sausages “thick”, as they’d been described on the menu. They were tasty, but they were Italian-style sausages – quite hard in texture and very peppery – I prefer English-style pork sausages which tend to be springy and meaty and less spicy. Don’t get me wrong – I really enjoyed this dish. I do reckon I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much if it had come with the intended red wine jus, though.

Pork sausages with mash and green peas

We ate our lunch sitting in the outdoor section of the cafe – it was lovely and sunny – it’s under cover, but with a clear roof/ceiling so the sun can shine through. A great idea for all seasons, as you’d be kept dry in winter. We’d intended to shout lunch, but L pulled a swifty and made it her shout instead, thanks, L! :)

She then drove us to the train station at Hamilton, where we said good-bye and jumped on the train to Central. It was quite a long train ride, over three hours. A sore bum from sitting too long was a prominent feature of my holiday – my bum was sore from the plane ride, and here was another sore bum on the train ride, before the presumably sore bum-inducing plane ride home. :) At Central, we grabbed a cab back to Jon’s place in Bondi.

China Moon Chinese Restaurant
188 Bondi Road, Bondi NSW

Jon was out for the evening, and we decided to grab more takeaway from China Moon, since we’d (well, especially me!) enjoyed the last lot.

We shared a large special fried rice (AU$4.80). It was okay, but not particularly flavoursome. Our regular Chinese home delivery from Perth has far superior fried rice.

Special fried rice (large)

We each chose a main dish – my choice was the chicken with vegetables, mushroom and young corn (AU$9.00). The sauce was really tasty. Lots of chicken, lots of vegetables. There was hardly any mushroom and young corn though, very disappointing. That goodness for the chickeny content.

Chicken with vegetables, mushroom and young corn

Jac chose the pork spare ribs with hoisin sauce (AU$9.00) . These were a little salty, but delicious. Finger-sucking good, with lots of garlic and chilli.

Pork spare ribs with hoisin sauce

Here’s my plate. I polished off a couple of rounds. So good.

My plate

And just because I can, and I have such fond, tasty memories of this dish, here’s another picture of my bangers and mash.

Pork sausages with mash and green peas

Only two holiday posts to go, both featuring tasty Sydney food. I still have emails and comments still to reply to, my study looks like it’s exploded. If only I didn’t need to work to pay for everything else I’d prefer to be doing.

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