Category Archives: Pub

Jokers on Ryrie

Jokers on Ryrie is one of those places that’s been a constant in Geelong over the years. In saying that, this was the first time I’d ventured in, after walking past countless times.

I was expecting the place to be packed, however there was only one table taken when we walked in at about 7pm. As we were there on a Friday night there was some discussion as to whether the Night Market had been a more attractive proposition on a warm Friday night. Usually the restaurant is a lot busier during the evenings.

The staff will come to collect your order, but head to the bar to order and collect your drinks. Expect a lot of the usual bar food on the menu, with a few extras thrown in. There is also a page of offers for those who are heading to a movie after eating. Check it out if you’re planning on heading across the road to the cinemas, as it could save you some money.

Prawn and scallop curry

The prawn and scallop curry comes served with rice. A few of us tried this one and all agreed the dish was tasty. I really liked the flavours of this dish.

Chicken parma

No complaints about the chicken parma or chips tonight, but I’m told the salad dressing was a little too acidic.

Red duck curry

I’m told the red duck curry was a good choice and I liked the presentation of this dish. Simple yet effective.

Calamari salad

The calamari in this dish was cooked well, and was soft to eat and not chewy at all. It definitely needed the lemon and I had to add some salt to the dish.

We were all fairly happy with our meals, they were a decent size and decent price. Don’t be put off by the plain exterior of Jokers, the quality and presentation of food surprised me. Definitely worth a visit if you’re after pub food in the city or if your group can’t decide on what to eat, as the menu has pretty much all bases covered.

Details:

Jokers on Ryrie

211 Ryrie St, Geelong
(Corner of Yarra and Moorabool Streets, opposite Mc Donalds/Village Cinemas)

Open: Monday-Sunday lunch and dinner.

Hog’s Breath Cafe

This was my first time at Hog’s Breath. The decor reminded me a little of the Hard Rock Cafe – with number plates, signs, posters and other random things scattering the walls. I was surprised at the size of this place and the amount of people that were eating here. I thought it would be about half the size, with a lot less people. But, I guess Geelong must not have been playing the footy this night, or else the place would probably be empty – as with a lot of other restaurants on a ‘footy night. Anyway, back to the restaurant…

There isn’t heaps in the way of vegetarian food, but apparently the staff can change some of the menu options around to make them vegetarian friendly. I was in the mood for a burger and got the Barramundi Burger with salad and fries. Other people on my table ordered a variety of dishes, some of which had steak, pork and ribs. I was tempted by the Seafood Plate for Two, but it has a lot of fried seafood. I think the only things that aren’t fried are the salmon and possibly the prawns. I would have definitely gone for it if there was a little less deep frying. Maybe another time!

So, how was my burger? Not that great. A bit tasteless. I had to salt it. But I was mainly very unimpressed with my ‘salad’. I got a few small leaves on my plate. Apparently that was my salad. A bit unfair, as everyone else who had their meal with salad had mixed leaves, red onion, beans and dressing on their salad. I was told that the steak, ribs and pork were all very tasty. The steak could be cut through with a fork.

As for other aspects of my visit… There was a good selection of cocktails (which tasted pretty good), including hot and cold options. But I couldn’t find the prices on the drinks list for them. Staff were friendly and checked up on the finer details if they weren’t sure.

Details:

Hog’s Breath Cafe

23 Yarra St, Geelong
(Under the Westfield Bridge)

Open: Monday-Sunday 11.30am – late.

The Belmont Hotel

Arrived at the Belmont Hotel on a busy Monday night, on what is their ‘International Parmi Night’. I had looked at their menu here earlier in the day and was quite excited about the onion and fig tart and the lemon and ginger calamari. Was also intrigued by the curry on the list, as I think it’s the first time I’ve seen curry on a pub menu, or maybe I’m just not looking properly.

Upon arrival at the hotel (bistro area) we were seated promptly and told about the parmi night. We were unaware parmi night here meant ONLY parmi. That’s it. No other menu items. Bit of a disappointment as I was not told this over the phone earlier when making a booking and asking some questions about making changes to the menu. So, you have a choice of the usual international parmis, in addition to a vegetarian parmi. So I knew what I was getting. After waiting about an hour for the meals to arrive, my parmi was lukewarm at best, and actually cold inside. I sent it back, while I watched my fellow diners finish their parmis. I rarely send back food, in fact I think the only other time I’ve done it is when restaurants have assured me there is no meat in the dish, but I can see salami floating around in it. Or when there is a stray hair in my food.

Anyway, the waitress at the Belmont Hotel brought over a brand new hot parmi for me, and apologised for the mistake. She was fantastic, very apologetic and was not angry about me sending my food back. She even brought me over another drink without me asking. I’m normally a little negative when having to wait so long for my meal and then having issues with it, but the way the waitress handled it was better than what I’ve seen at some upmarket restaurants. Just be aware, if you’re going on parmi night – that’s what you’ll get – parmis! I need to go back another time to taste some of the other items on the menu.

Details:

The Belmont Hotel

77 High Street, Belmont.

Belmont Hotel on Urbanspoon

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Moriac Hotel

Moriac Hotel has recently undergone some renovations, and again started serving food from their kitchen. I went there a few weeks after the completion of the renovation. I’m not sure how well the kitchen is going, as when I went there the dining area was rather empty. But it is still early days.

The starting plate with dips, olives, cheese, crisp bread and other goodies was well worth it. The cheese was served at room temperature and the dips were creamy and flavoursome.

The mains were a bit of a mixed bag. There aren’t any vegetarian options on the menu apart from a pasta. Being the only vegetarian option, you would think the flavours would really be there, but unfortunately they aren’t.  There are a couple of fish dishes and one prawn dish, but the remainder of the menu is meat, meat, meat. There were no complaints about the mixed grill or Moroccan chicken. The parmas our table ordered were a bit of a mixed bag. One was cooked to perfection, while the other was a bit soggy on the outside. The parmas are definitely a decent size, and give some of the others I’ve seen around Geelong a run for their money.

The price of the food here is a little on the expensive side for what you get. It is still early days, so maybe they’ll bring the prices down yet. Not really worth it for a vegetarian in my opinion.

Details:

Moriac Hotel

1115 Princes Highway, Mount Moriac.

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The Bended Elbow

A few weeks ago the boyfriend and I went to The Bended Elbow for a Birthday lunch. We were tossing up between a couple of pubs we haven’t been to yet, but decided on The Bended Elbow after looking at the menu online, and seeing well priced meals, with some vegetarian options. Menus can be accessed here. The lunch menu has $10, $12 and $14 options, with desserts priced at $6. If you’re too lazy to click on the link and have a look for yourself, the menu has quite the variety, with meals ranging from steaks to burgers, from pasta to risotto, from tempura to voluvents.

Having never been to The Bended Elbow, I found the decor quite interesting. Some people may be put off by the deer head mounted on the wall, but overall, I found the pub warm and cosy, and a welcome change from the storm outside.

I had a hard time deciding between the Prawn and Avocado Voluvent, Flash Fried Calamari and Eggplant Parmagiana. But, ended up going with the Eggplant Parmi.

Eggplant Parmagiana

Was happy with how this tasted – good amount of sauce and cheese with thick pieces of eggplant.

The boyfriend ordered Chicken Schnitzel.

Chicken Schnitzel

Chicken was cooked well, wasn’t dry, and the gravy tasted good.

When we originally got the meals we thought the chips were a little light on, however, after clearing our plates we were quite full, so more chips wouldn’t have been necessary. The salad, pictured in both pictures had no dressing, and was disappointing. It really needed some dressing – even just something basic would have been fine.

Overall, the lunch menu seems like good value. Will be back to taste the calamari and voluvents. Head up to the counter to place your order.

Details:

The Bended Elbow

69 Yarra St, Geelong.
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Details:

True Spice

140 Moorabool St, Geelong.
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Bush Inn Hotel

After browsing through recipe books for far too long on a Saturday night, I decided to head out for some dinner. My group was originally planning on heading to The Carlton, but it was completely booked out. We took a suggestion from a girl at the bar and walked down to the Bush Inn Hotel.

The menu had a fair selection including frittata, veal and chicken schnitzel, veal and chicken parmigiana, Caesar salad, calamari, fish fillets, etc. Pretty much the usual pub grub. I was looking forward to the calamari with chips, but upon ordering found out that the kitchen was out of calamari for the night. I browsed the menu again and struggled to find a vegetarian or seafood dish. I could have ordered the catch of the day – flake, but have recently decided against eating flake for environmental reasons. I saw oven-baked salmon on the specials board and decided to go with that. Our table also ordered some garlic and cheese bread.

After waiting over half an hour for some food, and seeing a table that came in after us get their meals before us, we were starting to wonder how much longer it would be. The waitress came over and told us that our garlic bread had turned black in the oven, and would now be due to come out with our mains. I would have preferred getting the bread earlier, as the meals were quite large, and with the bread we struggled to finish our meals.

Here’s what we ended up ordering…

Oven-baked Salmon with Pesto

The oven-baked salmon with pesto ($19.95) came with chips and a salad made with rocket, sundried tomatoes and fetta, and was dressed in a balsamic dressing. The skin was sitting on top of the fish and was quite crispy, which to me indicates the skin was taken off before placing the fish in the oven to ensure the skin stayed crispy. The salmon was cooked to my liking, and the salad was tasty. I should mention the chips were a bit soggy, but I actually like them like that!

Chicken Parmagiana

The chicken parmigiana ($15) came with chips and a basic salad. The chicken was possibly a little dry, but the tomato sauce was tasty and had chunks of onion throughout.

Filet Mingnon

The filet mingnon ($29.95) was from the specials board and came sitting on a bed of mashed potato and spinach, covered in mushrooms. The meat was not cooked as ordered (slightly overcooked), but overall was a filling and tasty dish.

Beef and Guinness Pie

The Beef and Guinness Pie ($11) was also from the specials board. It came with chips and a basic salad. The pie had good flavour, but was let down by some soggy pastry.

Nobody from our group ordered dessert, but the specials board had Sticky Date Pudding, Mississippi Mud Cake and Passionfruit & Peach Cheesecake.

Details:

Bush Inn Hotel

58 Corio St, Geelong.

 

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Hahndorf’s Fine Chocolates

I frequently drive along Pakington Street, but rarely stop for a coffee or a quick bite to eat. I’m not too sure what I was looking for on this particular day, but I found myself walking into a chocolate shop, a few doors down from Rixon’s (River end), a pub and a couple of bakeries.

Hahndorf’s on Pakington St

The store is a cross between a chocolate specialty shop and a cafe, with benches and stands full of chocolate goodies placed close to the tables and chairs. On these benches you’ll find things like licorice bullets, chocolate coated jelly raspberries and much more. I was surprised to see so much variety on offer.
If you wander towards the back of the store, you’ll see baked treats on offer, in addition to individual chocolates that are available, with no minimum purchase.

I ended up walking out with the following chocolates…

Selection of Hahndorf’s chocolates

Left to Right -> Sticky Date, Devonshire Tea, Peanut Butter Cup, Lavender Heart.

I’m quite fussy with chocolate, having made my own and won’t settle for anything even average, so was eager to give these chocolates a go. The Sticky Date chocolate tasted of a good caramel, which reminded me of sticky date pudding sauce. Devonshire Tea was extremely creamy tasting. I was expecting more of a tea flavour that I’ve had in chocolates before, but really enjoyed the creaminess of this chocolate.  The Peanut Butter Cup was indeed peanutty, but not peanut buttery – as it should have been. It doesn’t compare to a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup at all. I’d feel a lot better about this chocolate if they had called it a Peanut Cup, because it definitely delivers on the peanut flavour. The Lavender Heart had a light lavender flavour, which could have been made slightly stronger. Definitely an unusual flavour, but it wasn’t unpleasant.

The chocolates are good quality and melt well in the mouth. I paid about $5 for four chocolates, which I consider a good price for handmade chocolate.

I’m not sure how popular this store is, as I’ve never had a good look when driving past. There was only one table of customers when I was in the store, with another customer waiting on an order at the back of the store. I’d like to go back and buy some packaged lollies, such as the licorice bullets and see how the chocolate compares to the handmade chocolates I purchased. Some companies tend to concentrate more on quality of their chocolates produced in smaller quantities, and aren’t as focused on the quality of larger batches.

If you’re thinking of buying chocolates for a gift, come and see what’s on offer. There seems to be more variety in the handmade chocolate here than what’s on offer at The Chocolate Room, a few minutes down the road. Chocolate lovers are sure to like the chocolate sold here.

Details:
Hahndorf’s Fine Chocolates

354 Pakington St, Newtown.

Open 7 days a week.
Monday – Saturday 9am – 6pm
Sunday 10am – 5pm



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Bush Inn Hotel

After browsing through recipe books for far too long on a Saturday night, I decided to head out for some dinner. My group was originally planning on heading to The Carlton, but it was completely booked out. We took a suggestion from a girl at the bar and walked down to the Bush Inn Hotel.

The menu had a fair selection including frittata, veal and chicken schnitzel, veal and chicken parmigiana, Caesar salad, calamari, fish fillets, etc. Pretty much the usual pub grub. I was looking forward to the calamari with chips, but upon ordering found out that the kitchen was out of calamari for the night. I browsed the menu again and struggled to find a vegetarian or seafood dish. I could have ordered the catch of the day – flake, but have recently decided against eating flake for environmental reasons. I saw oven-baked salmon on the specials board and decided to go with that. Our table also ordered some garlic and cheese bread.

After waiting over half an hour for some food, and seeing a table that came in after us get their meals before us, we were starting to wonder how much longer it would be. The waitress came over and told us that our garlic bread had turned black in the oven, and would now be due to come out with our mains. I would have preferred getting the bread earlier, as the meals were quite large, and with the bread we struggled to finish our meals.

Here’s what we ended up ordering…

Oven-baked Salmon with Pesto

The oven-baked salmon with pesto ($19.95) came with chips and a salad made with rocket, sundried tomatoes and fetta, and was dressed in a balsamic dressing. The skin was sitting on top of the fish and was quite crispy, which to me indicates the skin was taken off before placing the fish in the oven to ensure the skin stayed crispy. The salmon was cooked to my liking, and the salad was tasty. I should mention the chips were a bit soggy, but I actually like them like that!

Chicken Parmagiana

The chicken parmigiana ($15) came with chips and a basic salad. The chicken was possibly a little dry, but the tomato sauce was tasty and had chunks of onion throughout.

Filet Mingnon

The filet mingnon ($29.95) was from the specials board and came sitting on a bed of mashed potato and spinach, covered in mushrooms. The meat was not cooked as ordered (slightly overcooked), but overall was a filling and tasty dish.

Beef and Guinness Pie

The Beef and Guinness Pie ($11) was also from the specials board. It came with chips and a basic salad. The pie had good flavour, but was let down by some soggy pastry.

Nobody from our group ordered dessert, but the specials board had Sticky Date Pudding, Mississippi Mud Cake and Passionfruit & Peach Cheesecake.

Details:

Bush Inn Hotel

58 Corio St, Geelong.

The Bush Inn on Urbanspoon

Fyansford Hotel

A friend and I went to the Fyansford Hotel on a Sunday evening for a pub meal. Being somewhat limited in what I can eat, I was a little worried my whole meal might be grease-filled. The menu left me pleasantly surprised. No pictures of the menu, however, expect the usual pub grub plus a bit extra.

After arriving at the pub to find all the seats taken, we grabbed an empty bar table and had a look over the menu board. Chicken Caesar salad, battered fish and chips, Thai beef salad, scotch fillet, selection of dips, calamari with aioli, chicken parmigiana, and more. The menu seemed quite extensive for a pub, with around 15 items available.

I went with the calamari and my friend ordered the chicken parmigiana. Both $13.50. I’m told by a regular that eating in the dining section of the hotel is quite a bit more expensive than eating in the pub section. I’m not sure whether the quality of food is different, or whether it’s just the ambiance that makes all the difference.

After discussing the menu some more, we were quick to whisk away some bar-stools from people who had just finished their meal. I was told by a friend the next day that there is actually a large beer garden out the back which would have had sufficient tables and chairs. You can get there by walking into and through the second room.

The meals didn’t take long to come out, and we by no means felt rushed.

Lemon peppered calamari

I was glad that the calamari was done a little differently to what is normally seen in pubs, and was pleasantly surprised it came with a salad. The calamari didn’t come out hot – I’m not sure if that’s how the chef intended it to be served, or if it cooled down quickly when placed on top of the salad. Regardless, the taste was great and it came with the right amount of aioli. The salad underneath had different types of salad leaves, red onion, red capsicum, carrot and some tomato on the side. It was well-dressed in a mustard based dressing.

Chicken Parmi

The chicken parmi had the option of being served with vegies or salad. The salad seemed the same as the one served with the calamari. The meal was tasty, but could have done with a little less oregano in the tomato sauce. Being a pub, we were expecting a giant-sized parmi – this one was reasonably sized, but not as big as we were expecting. Still, a really good deal for the price.

Being a pub, I wasn’t expecting fantastic service, but we had no complaints. The meals came out within what we thought was a reasonable time, and the plates were cleared in a timely manner.  Although, it would have been nice to have been pointed in the direction of the beer garden we had no idea existed.

Details:
The Fyansford Hotel (Pub section)

67 Hyland St, Fyansford

Open Tuesday – Sunday for lunch and dinner.

Fyansford Hotel on Urbanspoon