Saturday, 23 February 2013

Wild Brumby Schnapps Distillery, Thredbo

Kransky, saurkraut and mustard, Wild Brumby Schnapps Distillery
The style: The Wild Brumby Schnapps Distillery is like a quirky little piece of Bavaria right here in the New South Wales Snowy Mountains. Wild Brumby is part schnapps distillery and restaurant, part art gallery. There are sculptures throughout the gardens which add an interesting side-attraction. It is set in a beautiful valley and sitting outside on a sunny day is heavenly.

The taste: The food here is described as 'continental'. The menu is small and dominated by sausage, schnitzel and  gulasch. The food is nice but the sides are tiny so it can be a little bit difficult to chomp through a giant schnitzel with not much to break it up with. Its a shame because it is delicious but a little bit more generosity with salad and sauce would make the meals a lot more satisfying. There is German beer on tap and the schnapps which is distilled on-site is a must try. 
Wild Brumby Schanpps Distillery
The service: This is one area Wild Brumby really falls flat. I have eaten here a lot and each time, I am shocked by a)how few staff they have, especially at peak tourist times; b) how downright unfriendly some of the staff are (a friend even got hit in the head with a large branch by one who was hell-bent on ignoring us and redecorating around our table right in the middle of a busy lunch period); c) how the staff who are friendly seem to have no idea about the menu. Rant over. Don't be put off, it is still a great place to go, it is just frustrating that somewhere so popular still can't get basic customer service right...

The price: Lunches range from $9 to $20. 

The location: Wild Brumby Schnapps Distillery is located on the Alpine Way between Jindabyne and Thredbo.

Beer with a view, WildBrumby Schnapps Distillery
Useful links:

Wild Brumby Distillery on Urbanspoon

Wild Brumby website

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Jade Palace(Chinese), Cooma

Sizzling garlic prawns, Jade Palace, Cooma
The Style: Jade Palace in Cooma is hard to miss - from the outside, it is all pagoda roofing, lanterns and lions. The inside of Jade Palace has had a tasteful renovation and looks crisp and fresh. The atmosphere is warm and inviting. Jade Palace has done something amazing for a country town Chinese restaurant - it makes you want to dine in rather than grabbing your takeaway and running! 

The taste: The menu at Jade Palace has all of the classic Chinese restaurant favourites. The difference is they are not greasy or stodgy and the sauces (thankfully) missing the fluorescent colour which seem to pop up in a lot of the 'dodgy' Chinese places. The helpings are generous without being ridiculously huge, the flavours are tasty and the vegetables are fresh. 
Mongolian lamb, Jade Palace, Cooma
Sweet and sour pork, Jade Palace, Cooma
The service: The service at Jade Palace is efficient - the staff are attentive and friendly without trying too hard. 

The price: Prices at Jade Palace, Cooma are on par with your average country location Chinese restaurant. Expect to pay between $12-$20 for your main.

The location: Jade Palace is located on Amos Street, Cooma overlooking Centennial Park (the park with the flags). It is on the right if you are heading from Canberra. The exterior makes it hard to miss!
Jade Palace Chinese, Cooma

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Roppongi Japanese Restaurant, Wollongong, NSW

Chicken teriyaki set course, Roppongi Japanese Restaurant, Wollongong
The style: Roppongi in Wollongong is on Japanese style overload - think red lanterns, sushi posters, fish place mats paper cranes hanging from the roof and a fish tank of koi. There is a tatami room which takes up half of the restaurant (remember to wear good socks if you are sitting here - no shoes). There are a few seats along the sushi bar where you can watch the chef slice and dice and also standard tables at the front of the restaurant.
Salmon sushi, Roppongi Japanese Restaurant, Wollongong
The taste: I have been eating at Roppongi since my high school Japanese class went there for an excursion in 1993. I love it as much for the fact that the menu and prices have never changed as for the predictability of the food. The chicken teriyaki set course is a long-time favourite. It is on the salty side but comes with a variety of seaweed salad, Japanese coleslaw and rice which soak up the sauce. The shabu-shabu is tough to beat on a chilly winter night with it's hearty mix of meat and vegetables and the sashimi and sushi are always fresh and tasty. All the usual favourites such as agedashi tofu, edamame beans, spring rolls, tonkatsu, udon and many others are available and all are delicious.
Edamame beans, Roppongi Japanese Restaurant, Wollongong
Fish teriyaki set course, Roppongi Japanese Restaurant, Wollongong
The service: Like the menu, the service here never varies - polite, quiet and efficient. And the same staff seem to have been there forever. 

The location: Roppongi is located at 102, Market Street, Wollongong between office blocks and a tattoo parlour. It is only a short walk from Keira Street which is one of the main restaurant areas in Wollongong and not hard to find.

Miso soup, Roppongi Japanese Restaurant, Wollongong
Useful links:

Roppongi on Urbanspoon