I'm a teacher, musician, blogger and uni student living in Sydney and always dreaming about living & experiencing a new corner of the world. Visit my blog at www.jessiejournals.wordpress.com.
Published June 22nd 2016
Award winning family-friendly restaurant
After having lived in Sydney for my whole life, I think I have found my favourite pub. The Belrose Hotel is arguably one of North Shore's most popular place for family gatherings as it has a great atmosphere, great service, but most of all, amazing food. Hence, this place won the 'Best Family Friendly Hotel' award from the Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide in 2014.
The Belrose Hotel
What really draws families in about this place is that there is a liquor store that has a different entrance from the hotel. I really liked how about 80% of this hotel were dining spaces for groups of all sizes, 10% of land here were for a kids' playground, and only the remaining 10% were a bar (which was also completely separate from the dining area). I gathered that if locals want to socialise and drink, they'd just head straight to the liquor store to purchase them and then socialise elsewhere.
I came here with my parents on a Sunday night, thinking that it would be quiet, but when we walked in, we saw numerous groups of families there. We even had to wait for a seat. I mean, on a Sunday night?
We didn't have to wait for long though, as we were then quickly greeted by a couple of friendly staff, who also kept reassuring that our seats would be ready soon. Despite our initial ignorance in recognising this pub's table service, our waiter readily took our orders and even gave us some recommendations.
Flicking through the colourful menu, we all agreed that The Belrose Hotel had a good range of food choices (at cheap prices too!) that catered for everyone in the family- the grandparents, the parents and the kids. No wonder this place had so many families with young children here. It's a shame that I was definitely the oldest 'child' here...
Not only was this menu colourful, it was also quite special. I loved the range of sauce choices you have- from red wine jus to the classic gravy. Instead of choosing between chips or mash, what we had were 'crushed potatoes' instead- what is that? However, what we were most surprised with though, is that they offer frozen yogurt as a dessert, which I wholeheartedly believe to be a healthy alternative to ice cream.
My mother had a 250g sirloin steak (cooked medium) with red wine jus, crushed potatoes and herb slaw ($27). She thought the steak was cooked just how she liked- not too raw and not too overcooked- which was a rare phenomenon nowadays. She also really liked the balance between the heavily flavoured slaw and the naturally flavoured crushed potatoes. She liked it so much that she decided to have crushed potatoes and slaw for dinner the next day! For me, I'm not usually a fan of steak as they're normally too chewy for me, but after trying a piece of this sirloin, my beliefs have been changed. Every piece was so tender and of high quality that you didn't need anything to accompany it. However, the sauce was absolutely delicious, to say the least. It had the clear red wine aroma when you initially smell it, and luckily that smell is retained when you eat it.
My dad had an atlantic salmon with crushed potatoes, herb slaw and wine wine jus ($27). Although he liked all the flavours of the salmon, he NEVER cooks with salt or pepper and eats everything lightly flavoured, so he found it a bit too lemony. He also really enjoyed the range of veggies in the slaw and was pleasantly surprised by the crushed potatoes. However, his favourite part was also the jus, which I too tried a little bit of. It was very creamy with a hint of garlic, while having a strong proportion of white wine. Perfect!
I had a '4.5 hours slow-cooked lamb rump' with gremolata, crushed potatoes, herb slaw and creamy mushroom ragout ($27). I have always loved lamb and would order it whenever I can, but the first thing that I noticed was that the chefs had removed the gamy smell, which is quite hard to do as from my own cooking and dining experiences. While the smell isn't a bother for me, I know it is for someone like my mother... But we both had some and loved the natural flavours of what seemed like such a quality cut. I loved the inconsistent textures of the crushed potatoes as they have retained them to be as natural as possible. I loved the variety of vegetables in the slaw, especially with the hint of basil in it. Despite living in Italy for 2 months, I've never had gremolata before, but the simple yet scrumptious combination of lemon zest, garlic and parsley has inspired me to make some at home. Like my parents though, the absolute winning part of this dish was my sauce. You could clearly see remnants of mushrooms in it, with lots of cream and lots of garlic. The bags of flavours are bursting out at you just waiting for you to finish it. I loved it so much that I HAD to scape my cup clean so that there was no drop of the sauce left.
All in all, we all agreed that The Belrose Hotel is the perfect pub for families, no matter no young or old everyone is! They've definitely achieved their vision of providing "a comfortable and quality family dining experience." With delicious food, a family friendly feel and great service, this award-winning pub creates a home-away-from-home for families. To really prove to you that I loved this place, I've informed my parents that the next time I eat out with them, I have already chosen it to be at The Belrose Hotel.