The Subiaco Hotel has sat proud on the corner of Hay Street and Rokeby road for over 115 years. The grand old lady, affectionately known to many as “The Subi”, has recently undergone a dramatic makeover. My bet is that it cost much more than the 4500 pounds it originally cost to build the Subiaco Hotel in the 1800s.
Chef, Little Chef and I arrive for an early dinner. We are warmly greeted and seated at a table with a crisp linen tablecloth in the classy brasserie, next to the now enclosed courtyard. We don’t want to compromise on venue or quality of food too much for the sake of choosing somewhere “child friendly”. To our delight not only does the Subiaco Hotel have a children’s menu and colouring-in to keep Little Chef amused – the staff are also very friendly, engaging him in conversation and making us all feel welcome.
The Subiaco Hotel has an extensive wine list – though there isn’t a lot available by the glass. I love the French 2013 Château La Gordonne Grenache, at $9.50 a glass. The rosé isn’t overwhelmingly sweet and has a smooth strawberry aftertaste.
For entrée I enjoy the BBQ’d quail, $18. Whilst the quail is petite – the entrée as a whole is a generous serve. The succulent quail sits upon a pumpkin puree, sautéed oyster mushrooms and is finished with an acidic Chinese black vinegar sauce and deep fried crispy pork crackling.
As Chef eats the “blow torched” hiramusa fillet, $18, it’s apparent that it’s over cooked. This is disappointing, as it’s best served just cooked and it is an excellent fish for sashimi. The warm wasabi noodle salad contains a very spicy kick. The noodles are tossed in chilli, as well as having three very liberal serves of wasabi – a softer wasabi aoli would have been more fitting on this dish.
The tender school whiting fillets, $36, are very tasty. They are served with a salsa of sweet corn, tomato and coriander – which bursts with freshness. The charred asparagus is cooked perfectly and delicious slice of pressed potato finishes the dish well.
The BBQ’d New York strip, $38, is nicely cooked medium rare. The steak is covered in lettuce leaves and lashings of spicy Asian sauce which overpowers the dish. It is accompanied by a kim chi apple salad and noodles.
Desserts arrive and my sticky date pudding, $14.50, is as moist as I’d hoped. Double cream, as well as vanilla bean ice cream, is heaped on top. It is a warming, satisfying end to my meal, though there is too much of the sweet sticky date sauce for my liking.
Whilst the food suffers from a few technical errors, it is explained by the kitchen being in a transitional mode at the moment. The long standing Head Chef Brad Burton recently departed and a new Head Chef is due to start soon. Just like the renovated building and surrounds, the Subiaco Hotel’s food is classy pub fayre. The prices are reasonable – you can indeed live a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget at The Subi.
**First Published in the Post newspaper**
At a glance
■ The Subiaco Hotel
465 Hay Street
Phone 9381 3069
■ Opening times
Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday: 7am – 12pm
Thursday, Friday & Saturday: 7am – 1am
Sunday: 7am – 12pm
value for money 4
■ style – Modern Australian
■ wine – extensive list, mostly
available by the bottle.
■ Chef – to be announced
■ Owner – Judy & Michael Monaghan
■ feel – sophisticated, yet relaxed.
■ wheelchair access – yes
Entree – $14 – $18
Mains – $20 – $38.5
Dessert – $14- $15
■ all in all – Friendly service, excellent
drinks list & pleasant surrounds.
Food needs some tweaking.