Garden State Hotel – Melbourne, Vic, AU

Garden State Hotel
Melbourne, Vic, Aus

How to describe Garden state; It’s the epitome hit and miss.

I was super impressed by the pictures of the food, the fit out and organised to meet a few friends there for drinks and various plates off their menu.

Arriving I was taken aback how nice the atmosphere and ambience was, I was impressed and looking forward to both my meal and my time here.
I settled into a table in the “beer garden” and grabbed a beer while perusing the menu. Now, everything seemed good so I went all out and ordered a bunch of small things that would be followed by two of their larger plates.

To start I ordered the spice roasted sweet potato with honey and coriander with the smoked pork croquettes served with pepper mayo.
The sweet potato was spiced well and had the right amount of honey and coriander to lend just the right amount of each flavour to create a good balance but was undone by the potato itself being undercooked. The croquettes on the other hand were great, the right amount of crispiness and meatiness that went really well with the pepper mayo.

The next thing out was the Sher wagyu hot dog. It was sensational, everything you could want in a hotdog and more, a great bun; good quality condiments and quality meat. From here, there was nothing good to report. I ordered the lamb shanks and the Chicken Parma to finish and both were less than ordinary.

The Parma was essentially a bland piece of schnitzel in a bed of bland Napoli sauce covered in a mozzarella cheese sauce that was nothing short of awful. To top it off they added some crumbled black olives to go with the miss-match of the rest of the plate.
Lastly, the lame shank (see what I did there); a single lamb shank, braised but far too firm and what I would have thought was a frozen portion reheated. The jus was basic, the polenta was bland mush and the firm and tasteless lamb shank was definitely not worth the $19 price tag it came with.

If you’re going to the Garden State hotel and need to eat, stick to the stuff from the kiosk.

Garden State Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lady Bower – Reservoir, Vic, AU

Lady Bower
Reservoir, Vic, AU

I found myself with a little time to kill on the Friday before I started my new job back in Australia, not wanting to let the opportunity go to waste I found company and went to lady bower for brunch. I was feeling extremely peckish and I wasn’t sure what would curb my hunger and cravings so I bravely asked the waiter if he could give me a half serve of almost every side along with a poached egg and some sourdough toast.

Then it arrived, in all its glory, poached eggs, avo, toast, rosemary mushrooms topped with crumbled goats curd, fat bacon, potato rosti, tomato relish, sautéed Swiss chard and a sausage.

It was spectacular, every element of a breakfast you could want; washed down with a very good coffee.
I was very glad to see that 3 years later and the quality and service was as good, if not, better than what it was before I left.

Lady Bower Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato