Nestled near the Melville Oval, in Hamilton, is the historic building of Alexandra House. Built in 1874, it was the female dormitory of the Alexandra College. In 1992, the Hamilton Sporting Cub consortium consisting of 4 parties namely the Hamilton Football Netball Club, Branxholme Wallacedale Football Netball Club, Hamilton Harness Racing Club and Hamilton Racing Club purchases the property and transformed the space into a leisure venue with a restaurant, bar, event space and TAB.
Today, Alexandra House is a local family favourite for no-frills and affordable Australian-styled food in a relaxed environment. It has a large and busy bar with TAB and the restaurant was more like a dining hall.
I popped in for lunch after countless recommendation from the local residents. I'm sure a local talking tree instructed me to do the same. It happened that the the alpaca breeders and classic car owners were in town.
The menu offered up a neat selection of familiar cafe dishes at reasonable prices like schnitzel, mix grill and roast of the day. In addition, all meals came with unlimited refills from the salad bar. It was Greek salad, pasta salad, potato salad and beetroot salad during my visit. There was also unlimited filtered coffee and tea in sachets. I took a punt on the fried fish and purchased a pot of beer on special at AUD3 from the bar. It turned out well. The batter was golden and crisp but not oily and the fish was still moist and tender.
Alexandra House is definitely a hidden gem for tourists exploring the Southern Grampians who want a decent, home-cooked Aussie meal without breaking the travel wallet. For European-inspired finer food like tempura oysters and fillet steak, there's always Darriwill Farm Cafe Restaurant.