The Stables Bar has probably been open close to a year… I think. Maybe it hasn’t been that long, but it has long been on my list of places I wanted to go and I had just never got around to.
Thankfully though I finally made it there last weekend and it was wonderful! It was a much bigger venue than I had expected. As we wandered up Hay Street and found the small sign heralding that we should turn and head down the short lane way into Stables. I had made a booking through Dimmi before we rocked up but on Saturday at lunch time in early January it wasn’t too busy in town and we had our choices of tables. We did look at the upstairs at the more formal dining area but we found ourselves drawn to the seating downstairs outside the bar….. mainly because they had a big screen showing the Ashes…. sold!
It was a lovely day and we perched at one of the higher tables with stools and ordered our usual – glass of white for me (Howard Park Riesling – joy!) and a glass of red for my handsome dining companion, the lovely GG (A D’Arenberg Footbolt Shiraz). Two delightful drops and a very reasonably priced wine list.
Open for lunch and dinner, or order from our all-day grazing menu. With a commitment to innovative food and seasonal produce, The Stables Bar is a refreshing take on modern Australian dining.
On the food front, there were several menu items that were very tempting so we chose a few dishes to share between so we could maximize our menu item potential 🙂 From the small plates menu we chose one of the specials, the cuttlefish with sichuen pepper and from the regular menu the pork sliders w pickled zucchini, red cabbage & chipotle mayonnaise ($15).
The food didn’t take too long to arrive and it looked delicious! I loved the presentation of the three pork sliders, served with crunchy potato grills. And taste wise they were sensational. The pork was slow cooked and full of punchy spices. I really enjoyed the additional of the crunchy red cabbage and the zesty pickled zucchini, along with the mild heat from the chipotle mayo. Now I would have fought GG for the third but I knew I had the schnitzel coming so was fairly well restrained. Lovely sliders and I like the different presentation of token spud on the side. Looked the goods and a great introduction to the Stables kitchen.
Up next was the cuttlefish and while perhaps it wasn’t quite as wow in the presentation stakes when compared with the sliders, what it lacked it colour it made up for in flavour because it was really delicious. Spice from the sicheun, along with the underlying heat from the creamy wasabi mayo, paired well with the lightly battered cuttlefish. It has been cooked perfectly and was melted in your mouth. Having the wedge of fresh lemon on the side to spritz on some citrus added an extra kick to this dish. Very nice.
My Chicken schnitzel w white cabbage herb salad looked so lovely! A generous mountain of salad, along with a crumbed piece of chicken that looked like a whole breast! Was a much thicker serve of schnitzel than usual, but it presented beautiful and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. The crumb on the chook was well seasoned and had been pan fried to a crisp perfection. Really enjoyed it.
The salad made for a refreshing finish to the dish, but I wondered whether a really light dressing could have been added to the salad. It still worked how it was, I suspect just with a little lemon, but just to tie it together slightly it might have been nice. It was a great dish though and a real boys sized schnitzel which would keep the lads happy. My lad did try it and thought it was lovely!
What GG had chosen as his ‘mains’ was the Lamb cutlets, which came served with a ratatouille, another from the specials menu. I had some worries that for $22 you wouldn’t be getting many lamb cutlets. I was definitely wrong! A generous dish with 4 large cutlets arrived, served on an ample pile of ratatouille and topped with rocket. It looked excellent! I did sample some of the lamb and it’s no wonder that Lambassador Sam Kekovich is always singing the praises of this meat. Cooked well, as it was in this instance, it is just so good! Plenty of flavour throughout the ratatouille too and ticked the box for a few veg that day 🙂
Now by some miracle I had room for dessert 🙂 Ok perhaps it wasn’t a miracle perhaps it was the norm but either way I knew what I wanted to try – Blood orange bombe alaska ($13). So as our friendly waitress came to clear our plates I locked in a serve of the bombe Alaska with two spoons, because I figured GG would want to give it a whirl.
It was just so pretty! All those perfect peaks of meringue, all so carefully torched to golden loveliness! It was a vision. A dessert vision. I took a spoonful of the meringue and it was divine. A silky wonder with more of a subtle sweetness that I expected. Oh yum. I also enjoyed the fresh fruit and mint on the side. It was a nice fresh contrast.
Probably the only slight issue I had with this dessert was that the centre was really, really hard. The blood orange flavour was zesty and refreshing but it was quite a solid centre. I only wish it was a little softer so I could have sampled it with some of the meringue. Great flavours though!
What a lovely spot! Loved the fit out, plenty of space and seating options – plus you can book! Service had been friendly and knowledgeable about any questions we’d had about the menus. It had been a really delicious first visit and I could wait to head back, especially to try the Stable’s Bar Wagon Wheel!