Well, its been a little while since we have been able to get out and about and dine at a local restaurant. Before I go any further, I would like to acknowledge the devastating effect the COVID-19 crisis has had on the hospitality industry. I want to give a massive shout out to all the restaurants in and around Bunbury who adjusted their businesses to offer takeaway, and to all the customers who supported them during these troubled times. Whist we are not out of the woods yet as far as infection rates go, for WA the signs are encouraging, and we can now dine out again. Also, a huge thanks to companies like Townaround who delivered food to those who could not venture out. Thanks and well done to all.
Today was not a special day as such. It was no one’s birthday or anniversary. It was simply just a case of we can go out for lunch so we will. The question was, where should we go?
“I fancy the Rose” Lisa suggested.
The Rose Hotel, a Bunbury icon since 1865. Where else would be a better place to mark our return to eating out in Bunbury. A family lunch at the Rose it was then!
Recently, the Rose has sort of re-invented itself as a purveyor of fine craft beers. If —like me—you indulge in a few “crafties” they always have a huge selection, both in the bottle shop and behind the bar. I generally enjoy a glass of wine with my meal, but given their huge selection, Lisa and I opted for beer. I chose the Beer Farm Indian Pale lager. Quite fruity with a nice bitter hit of hop, one would say definitely a midpoint between a pale ale and a lager, not over gassy so went well with the meal. Lisa opted for the Otherside Harvest Red Ale. A bit of citrus with this one, and was that just a subtle hint of plum in the background too? Again, not too much gas…perfect. Our boys went for a soft option. Two lemon and lime bitters it was then.
Beers aside, The Rose has always had the reputation for huge portions. Today was no exception. If you leave here hungry, you either have worms, or you have not eaten in a week! Massive amounts of food!
The menu has something for everyone. There are vegetarian and vegan options as well as all the usual suspects. They have some nice salads to choose from and an impressive burger list.
I went for the Pork Belly and Scallops. Frequent readers would know about my love of this dish. The big surprise—big being the word—was the two pieces of pork, I was only expecting one so a big tick for that. The crackle on the pork was perfect. A huge crunch and that stickiness that latches on to your teeth.
The meat was cooked well and shredded beautifully when cut into. The scallops were textbook. A nice char on them which gave this classic mollusc their subtle sweetness. It was served with a creamy potato salad, some pickled red cabbage and all brought together with a plum sauce. Everything on the plate worked. It was like an office party where everyone just got on!
Lisa went down the traditional road and ordered the good ‘ol fish and Chips. Unusual choice for her as she is a lover of all things salad. The snapper was nice and dense, the batter crispier than a soldier’s uniform who is on report for not having a crisp uniform! A few salad leaves on there just so we don’t judge and a creamy tartare sauce. Simple but effective.
Our boys who had tagged along for a free meal also went away full, which is amazing in itself. Oliver our eldest went for his favourite Chicken Parmy.
Wednesday at the Rose is “Pimp My Parmy” day, (see what they did there?). He went for the Bushman’s which was bacon, fried egg, smokey BBQ sauce and cheese. Served with a generous supply of fries, this was another behemoth of a meal. To hear those immortal words “I’m so stuffed” come from Oliver is an achievement in itself, so well done to The Rose for that!
William, our youngest decided to mix and match a bit from the small bites’ menu, although I use the word small loosely! He went for the Rolled chicken and Cheese tacos and a side of chips. There were three tacos served, this could easily have been a main meal. They were stuffed full of all things Mexican, Pico de Gallo, (salsa to you and me), chicken, Mexican feta, and beans. This was all topped with guacamole and a wedge of lime. Ay Ay Ay…took me back to Lisa and I’s Mexican holiday nineteen years ago.
Being school holidays, it was busy, but that did certainly not detract from the service. The food took about fifteen minutes to arrive which was impressive given the amount of people there. The tables were spaced out and there were visual guides on the floor to ensure the social distancing rules were being adhered to.
This was one of those meals where afterwards, we all sat back in our chairs holding our bellies with a look of satisfaction on our faces. I really could not have eaten another thing. Oliver chirped up “Desserts?” But I think that was a joke…surely it was a joke. Wasn’t it?
The Rose Hotel is like a reliable mate. You just know where you stand with it and you know what you are going to get. In this case Great service, excellent beer, above average food, and terrific value. The bill came to $129.50 not bad for four huge meals and drinks.
Cannot finish without mentioning the bottle shop. I am always like a kid in a candy store when I visit. So many beers. I love the weird and wonderful concoctions one can buy these days. Had to try these two out of curiosity. Strawberries and Cream and Coffee milkshake style beers. The world really has gone a bit mad hasn’t it!