Thursday, December 15, 2011

Apart from my previous philosophical rantings about my life direction, I've fallen woefully behind in updating this blog! And, like a large percentage of people, I am going to blame 'this time of year'. For me it's been a combination of the crazy at work, and the crazy that is my studies (in horticulture). Plus hitting on a pretty fab idea to make a (possible) living... but I'll divulge all that at a later date!

Have I been eating out much the past few weeks? Well, the answer to that is both yes, and no. I have at lunch time (HELLO CENTRAL MARKETS FOOD COURT!!!) and a smattering of times for the evening meal in the usual haunts. This does include the most favourite of favourite comfortably cheap(ish) eat haunts, The Seacliff Beach Hotel. I am pretty lucky to be able to call this place 'my local'... and when you see the view, you'll understand why I bold-type lucky...

If I was ever to compile a list of the most picturesque pubs in the world, this place would be vying for a spot in the top 10. Even in winter, it's divine sitting inside, by the window, watching the dark clouds become one with the tempestuous ocean. The only thing that possibly could ruin the atmosphere of this divine place is the fact that the local Surf Life Saving Club have plonked a hideous shipping container smack-bang in the middle of the view! And no, painting it with a mural which looks as if it would be more at home on the wall of a high school gymnasium does not endear it to the diner who wishes to gaze upon the infinity of the oceanic horizon. If it must be there (and I believe this may have to do with providing temporary storage until the club has been refurbished) why not have some local artist produce a pseudo-Turner seascape?

Anyway... I digress.

Not withstanding it's current view-fail, The Seacliff is pretty tops when it comes to fairly decent gastro-pub fare. There are the usual offerings of an Australian pub such as The Parmi (Parmigiana), Schnitty (Schnitzel) and Sul N Pippa Skweed (Salt n Pepper Squid). But then they throw in a few interesting ones like Green Chicken Curry, Pork Belly and Pasta Bosciola (which tries so hard to be a good, solid pasta dish but just lacks that little bit in flavour). One item off the menu you MUST try however, is their towering Beach Burger! As all good monsterous burgers should be, this one is chock full of patty, salad, egg and beetroot... all secured together with a skewer. The fries they serve are decent, and don't have that 'frozen' taint that so many eateries can't seem to escape (unless they make their own). The one dish I will have to steer you clear of however, is the pie. Look, it may have changed since I last had it (mid-winter), but back then it was a sort of Four-And-Twenty affair with a crust that could repel bullets. The meat was a gelatinous gravied mess of snouts, tails and other unmentionables. A definite disappointment.

Having said that though, the price is right with most fare sitting around the $15-$25 mark. And the wine list is hardly disappointing (hello D'Arrenberg Olive Grove Chardonnay!). The decor in the main dining room does border on the slighly tacky with a carpet that is dating fast, flat-screen TVs silently spewing out their radioactive commercial glare and a Keno screen constantly ticking over in the corner (let's keep that sort of stuff in the bar, hm?). You also get the occasional ne'er do well who wanders through the dining room blearily looking for the front bar. But the view... it's worth all that just for that perfect (bar the current shipping container!) view of the sun slowly sinking into the sea* ....

The infamous Beach Burger... film noir style. With a 'schnitty', chips and mushroom gravy, lurking deviously in the background.

*Yes I know it doesn't literally sink, but let me have the artistic license to finish on a poetic note.

No comments: