We hadn’t seen our mates for a while and they were spending the afternoon watching the Collingwood/Carlton game at the Great Northern. We got there late, a little while after the game ended, but that didn’t matter. The drinking was still going strong so we joined in.
I started off with a Little Creatures Pilsner, which was light and refreshing, but for my second beer, I wanted to try the Raging Bull brew. At 7.1% alc./vol., this rich, dark brown beer has the subtle flavours of coffee and the sweetness of chocolate. While it had a slight liquor flavour, like kahlua or rum, it still tasted like beer, but without bitterness. A very unique beer and one that I will be drinking again in the future.
For my main meal, I ordered the chicken parma. It’s the staple dish at any new pub, and a great way to measure how the rest of their dishes will be. It came out on a giant square plate with beer battered chips and a dish of salad on the side.
While the toppings were flavourful and savoury, the heart-shaped chicken itself was a little rubbery and tasteless. I should have suspected this because it came out so quickly, and that isn’t always a great sign for quality food. The chips were fresh and crispy with a fluffy centre, and the lightly dressed salad was mainly onion and spinach but was still well received.
Smita ordered a vegetarian option – Tofu in some sort of curry with Asian cut vegetables and some pita on the side.
I only had a taste of one of the pieces of tofu, purely out of curiosity because it looked like potato. The tofu was freshly fried, crispy portions of melt-in-your-mouth silky enjoyment that derived most of their flavour from the curry. I love it how vegetarian food can be better than carnivorous food.
The one main disappointment was their Salt and Pepper Calamari. It came out looking very pale, with a wedge of lemon and some sweet chilli sauce on the side. I sampled a piece and while it was soft, it didn’t really have much salt on it and for something that is supposed to be fried, it was fluffy and there was no crisp or crunch, only the flavour of uncooked flour. The waitress came around to collect glasses and I sent the dish back, requesting another that was cooked properly. Promptly, she brought another plate of calamari back, but it wasn’t much better. The calamari was soft, but there was no crunch. Sounds like packet calamari to me! FAIL.
I like this pub because of the great beer garden that was abundant with heaters. The interior of the place was warm and had a real pub feel. Their food definitely has room for improvement. I’m giving this place an OK purely because of the Raging Bull beer and the tofu… the rest was not impressive at all.