There was a lot of running around to do on Saturday in the downhill slide to a particularly big day later in the year for GG and myself. So we applied ourselves to ticking a few boxes on the list of little jobs that actually seems to be getting longer than shorter at this stage. So our first stop was Claremont Quarter. We had a quick wander around and then realised we were in need of sustenance. We wandered through the complex but then found ourselves outside and along Bayview Terrace. And the first option along Bayview Terrace was the Claremont Hotel….. the used to be the Red Rock, which used to be The Continental. I visited this establishment when it was Red Rock and the cool place to hang out on a Thursday back during my uni days………. Many, many moons ago. On this particular Saturday, pub fare fit the bill for what GG and I were chasing so we wandered inside.
It was a touch before lunchtime, so the place was fairly empty. Décor wise it had the whole muso pub chic thing working for it. Sort of mismatched carpet, quirky lighting, walls plastered with posters for shows and concerts past and present, a mixed selection of tables and chairs and a little stage in the corner. There were two bars downstairs, with a few beers on tap and a wider range available in bottles. We found a table and chair and sat and looked through the menu.
They had all the usual suspects on offer, for which I was grateful because I had a steak sandwich in mind and the description they provided of theirs was hard to say no to! So I went with that and a Magner’s Pear Cider ($10), which I had with a tall glass with ice, after being offered such by the friendly girl behind the bar who I placed out order with.
GG decided he’d keep things lighter (perhaps suspecting as can be the case, that I rarely finish a steak sandwich and he’d be able to provide much needed assistance) and he ordered a Classis Caesar Salad – Baby cos lettuce, crispy bacon, golden croutons and grated parmesan with your choice of grilled chicken and smoked salmon ($14.50) and a D’arenberg Footbolt Shiraz ($8 a glass). Wine prices were fairly reasonable was one thing we both commented on.
GG’s meal arrived first and it did look nice. I mean it was a different sorta Caesar salad, it had alfalfa sprouts sprinkled on top and a few cherry tomatos, but it was packed with beautiful chicken breast pieces and crunchy lettuce, bacons bits and parmesan shavings. From GG’s reports, the chicken was the highlight of the salad, a decent amount of it and a really nice flavour to it and hey overall for the price it really wasn’t too bad.
Across the table I really enjoyed my choice of the Steak Sangar – Arguably Chef Django’s greatest culinary achievement, a medium grilled slab of prime rump, garden fresh salad, onion and relish, aioli all on his famous homemade Turkish bread and served with golden chips ($14.50). Talk about a hell of a description! The freshly baked turkish bread was tasty and full of flavour and a nice effort that they make it. I’ll admit that as soon as I had my first bite I was smitten with this steak sandwich. The relish was this wonderful combination of sweet and spicy. The steak I had just melted in my mouth and what a fabulous contrast this was against the crunchy lettuce. The chips were cooked to an ideal golden crunch and I thought the decision to have a dish with either tomato sauce or aioli on the side was inspired. It was all kinds of yum and just a bargain with the $14.50 price tag. Very reasonable! I was feeling fairly comfortable after my first half, along with more than a few of the chips so I shared the second half of the steak sandwich with GG.
He did enjoy it but unfortuantely his end of the sandwich didn’t have quite as amazing steak as mine did. His end was a little more chewy, but still he could agree that the all the other ingredients did well and it was a more than average steak sambo.
I was pleased with my first visit to the Claremont Hotel. Decent lunches, reasonable prices and the perfect casual vibe for a Saturday. If in the area again I wouldn’t mind stopping by….. whatever it is that their name is now