A city girl moved to the country. A Diploma in Horticulture (Parks and Gardens), a Diploma in Fashion Design (pattern making), a degree in Communication (Journalism)...the perpetual student of life
Published July 28th 2015
A new lease on life for a grand old lady
In the small town of Noorat, in the Western Districts of Victoria, a grand old lady has been slumbering for the last few decades. She is shaking off her cobwebs now, and bringing herself into the 21st century with the help of new owners Richard and Michael.
The Mt Noorat hotel was built in 1909 and has had many incarnations as a pub, hotel, and restaurant over the last century. Extensive renovations are giving her a facelift, revealing many original features such as the pressed metal ceilings, ceiling roses, and a beautifully preserved wood lined ceiling in the bar. A coat of paint and some new furnishings, combined with owners Richard and Michael's flair for design is bringing an atmosphere to the hotel that easily reminds one of a golden age of elegance and style.
The menu has been given a fresh new look as well as the decor. What was a very nice, but simple menu has been enhanced to include some tasty additions such as the spiced chicken ribs with an extremely tasty dipping sauce I had as an entrée and a yummy 'Super Salad' served with my grilled fish; a mix including Baby Spinach, Broccoli, and Peas with a smidgen of mint.
My dining partners for the evening were more than satisfied with their meals. Crunchy, golden yellow Polenta chips, also with a tasty dipping sauce, were served as an entrée before they started their Chicken Parmigiana and Scotch Fillet. The Parma was a decent size, served with hand cut chips and Mesclun salad while the Scotch Fillet was served with scalloped potatoes, green beans and a choice of either garlic butter or mushroom sauce.
Another new item on the menu is the Pork Belly which is served on a bed of Red Cabbage, Pearl Barley, and bacon; this will be my choice to try the next time I grace this establishment.
The Mt Noorat Hotel prides itself on being a family pub and there is a good choice for children to eat from the menu. I was too full to try the desserts, but the Sticky Date Pudding my dining partners consumed looked very enticing.
From the full wine list, I chose the 2012 Hochkirch Organic and Biodynamic Riesling from Henty, Victoria, which went very nicely with my meal and greatly enhanced my night. There is a good selection of wines available, from both local and overseas wine-making regions and all are reasonably priced. The Mt Noorat Hotel serves a decent Guinness along with their very own Mt Noorat Draught, specially brewed for them.
At the moment the dining room menu is only available on Saturday nights, but plans are to extend to Fridays as well in the future. Friday nights are covered though with Fish and Chips and a Pizza menu that is begging me to try it out; plans are afoot in the near future for opening for a full menu on Fridays. Private functions can also be catered for by consultation with the owners.
The Mt Noorat Hotel is a family oriented, community hub nestled at the base of one of Victoria's biggest volcanoes. While there is no accommodation available at the hotel for the moment, there is plenty of accommodation in nearby Terang, which is a short, 10min drive if you're inclined to stay for a weekend in regional Victoria. There are, however, plans for the future to open the rooms upstairs, which would make it the perfect base for a country ramble up to the crater of Mt Noorat or exploring the hidden secrets of the area during a weekend away. Watch this space!