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Published September 1st 2012
Keeping the kids happy keeps you sane
If you have not dined with young children before, be prepared for war on a battlefield. Most young children have the attention span of a goldfish and sitting still at the dining table is not in their genetic makeup. To find child-friendly dining places is a godsend for those who want to catch up with friends and family over a meal in relative peace. One of these places is The Halfway Hotel on Port Road.
The Halfway Hotel was an unexpected find. Looking for a cheap meal to fill the belly, we were armed with Split the Bill coupons from The Advertiser. An impromptu lunch with a friend who worked in the area brought us to The Halfway Hotel. I suspect The Halfway Hotel is so named as it is halfway between the city and the sea.
It was a late lunch for all of us. It was 1.45pm and our friend had not arrived. The kitchen closed at 2.00pm for lunch. A quick word with the friendly bar staff ensured that the kitchen would stay open for that last order.
The dining room was open and spacious. Dark blue carpets and cream padded dining chairs gave the place a casual family bistro feel.
There were plenty of activities to keep children occupied. A colorful indoor playground kept climbers happy and four Playstation consoles kept older kids at bay. And if you were willing to indulge the kids by sparing some loose change, they may even win a few toys from the claw arcade machines parked near the indoor playground.
There were well priced options from the menu. Lunch specials at $10.90 gave options of usual pub grub fare like Salt and Pepper Squid, Schnitzel and Beer-Battered Fish. We settled on Pork Fillet Chickpea and Chorizo Ragout, Thai Massaman Curried Lamb Shank and Herb Marinated Barramundi.
The Pork Fillet Chickpea and Chorizo Ragout was a thick & hearty stew served with steamed potatoes. The pork fillet was tender and the chorizo imparted a slight spiciness to the stew. However, it could have done with some more flavour - a little more salt would have done wonders.
The slow cooked lamb shank was described in the menu as having thai curry influences. However, I found it tasted more like an Indian curry than a Thai curry and nothing like a Massaman at all. It came with jasmine rice & naan bread. The rice was cooked perfectly but I have tasted better naan bread.
The barramundi was served with buttery mash, steamed broccolini & hollandaise sauce. The fish was fresh but was a rather plain dish. It was good for the non-fussy eater who did not need any trimmings.
With Split the Bill coupons, we only paid half the normal price for each individual main. Considering the price we paid for lunch, I was fairly contented with my meal. The food at The Halfway Hotel was certainly not something you would be dreaming of and raving about but made for a filling meal. However it was adequately priced even without discount vouchers.
The Halfway Hotel's main drawcard would be its family friendly atmosphere. Children are well catered for with activities and have a dedicated children's menu. What parent would not agree that enjoying a meal when the children are happy is a little oasis in itself?
Wow, I had forgotten about this place as I went there many years ago. I'm pretty sure it's named because it's half way to Port Adelaide, which would have been a very common trip at one time
Another great find Yin Yin :).