Thanks to the font of beery information that is The Crafty Pint, the Australian Beer Writers’ Guild convened at the Terminus Hotel in Clifton Hill recently. Good god, the menu is superb, as is the massive dining room.
Most of the folks went burgers and the like but I wanted to be difficult and test out the specials. They had a few asparagus dishes to celebrate its return to season. However, the first dish I chose was the house-made black pudding with pigs’ trotter sauce and kipfler potatoes. This is a rich dish and was perfect for the chilly not-quite-spring evening. Apparently as a (British) kid I loved black pudding. Thought it was about time I tried to reconnect with the childhood love.
As my main, I decided upon the asparagus baked in prosciutto, with pinenuts and feta. You might think not substantial as a main, but after the black pudding, it was just what I was after. Might be something I can try reproducing at home too? Divine.
This meant room for dessert…again on the specials menu: baked Alaska. I begged to share one with Tris as it was $9 per person, but meant for two. A little bit pricey for its size and not quite as much finesse as the one at The Lincoln. No matter, it was baked Alaska, squee! It had banana ice cream inside, and none of that fake-tasting banana either. I actually chose dessert over beer too!
In what seemed like an excellent balance, Tris tested out some of the offerings on the standard menu. You have your parmas, burgers, salads and many types of steaks but he went with a carpaccio of beef, rocket, caramelised vinegar, truffled pecorino. Quite refined for a starter!
For mains, his selection was the English cheddar souffle with radish, frisee and pickled onions. If not for my wanting to sample the specials, I would most likely have chosen this as a main too.
While the service was always courteous and friendly, it was a tad haphazard. There were a few mix-ups with our drinks orders, being the craft beer-swilling wanksters we are. They never seemed to give any of us who ordered the True South dark ale that when asked! We did also have to wait quite a while and despite indicating that we’d prefer entrées and mains to come out separately, they still came out together. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to other foodies despite this.
Craft beer aficionados should definitely put this pub on their radar to visit – there’s a damn fine selection of good beer on tap. I’m currently in the process of persuading my parents to have a long overdue family dinner here one evening!