I am a stay at home mum trying to be a freelance writer - or a freelance writer trying to be a stay at home mum. I enjoy getting out and about with my two little girls and am Chief Editor of Perth Mums Group perthmumsgroup.com.au
My first visit to the Kalamunda Hotel started off so promising – a beautiful, heritage-listed building, simple décor, welcoming staff and an extensive menu.
And then lunch was served.
Finding a WA eatery offering the winning combination of high quality food and good service is becoming increasingly rare. Most restaurants seem to lack good service to accompany quality food.
Service was not the issue at the Kalamunda Hotel. Apart from witnessing one of my pet peeves – wait staff talking behind the counter whilst 'working' – the service was prompt and friendly.
I was looking forward to my entrée of bruschetta, which I shared with my mother in law, but overall it was an odd take on one of my favourite starters.
It was a reasonable $10.90, but the tomato was chopped into chunky strips rather than finely diced, and this interpretation of bruschetta proved the deciding factor as the tomato chunks were just starting to turn a bit soft.
The chef was a bit stingy on the feta, whilst the honey walnut pesto was a bit on the sweet side and didn't compliment the rest of the dish in any way.
The Turkish bread wasn't toasted properly, so became a tad soggy when paired with the pesto and tomato.
My husband opted for the chef special 'dozen' oysters, which at $15 seemed a good bargain. 'A dozen' turned out to be 15 incredibly small oysters that looked like they could've washed up on the rocks in Port Hedland rather than from the oyster farm at Coffin Bay in South Australia.
My husband also took the opportunity to point out that the black tablecloth looked like it could do with a good wash. The white paper topper doesn't always cover the entire table.
There are plenty of main courses to chose from at a varied price range, from $16.90 for the hawaiian pizza, to just under $40 for a 500g T-bone. There's plenty of choice including salads, burgers, steaks and plenty of others in between.
The pub staple fish and chips sounded promising - beer battered barramundi and chips, but proved fairly average for the $22.90 price tag. The barramundi was cooked well but was just let down by the greasy batter and far too much oil.
The chicken parmigiana - complete with ham – was well received at a nicely priced $22.90. The chicken schnitzel was crisp and cooked to perfection.
My choice of coq au vin is a rarity on a pub menu, and was the most expensive of our three mains at $26.90.
There was little imagination involved in the piece of chicken thigh and wing, dumped in a mish mashed blur of onion, mushroom and bacon and swimming in a rich, almost overpowering red wine sauce.
The chicken was surprising bland and lacked flavour, so I almost felt like the chicken and the rest of the dish were two separate meals clumped together in a dish.
The chat potatoes were beautifully cooked and I managed to dig them all out. Unfortunately four potatoes cannot save a meal and I left unsatisfied, and with the taste of disappointment lingering.