Travel with us to cafes in Northcote and surrounds - click on ballon and see where it takes you.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Terminus Hotel - Clifton Hill

We read the hype and we just had to try it. The blogisphere has been full of tales of the rebirth of the Terminus Hotel. A "name" chef had hung out his shingle outside a well loved Clifton Hill Pub. The pub now had a restaurant, and the pub itself had a metamorphous to a "gastropub". A mate of mine quipped, "Did gastropub mean that you got the runs?" What could I do but LOL -- and throttle him. Everyone knows"gastropub", means that you can expect fine food and innovation. And this is what we got, fine food and service.

The space itself tend to be dark as there are no windows and the bluestone exposed wall seems to soak up any light, that said it was not an unpleasant place to be and we particularly liked the welcoming open fire. The tables are well spaced and it is very pleasing to be able to easily hear yourself speak and enjoy conversation with your friends with whom you have chosen to dine.

The wine list was comprehensive and we chose a lovely bottle of shiraz, alas I forget by who and I forget how much it was, enough to say that it complemented our meals beautifully and did not break the bank.

We began our meal sharing some calamari. No frozen rings here, this was the real deal, cut and prepared fresh making it something special. Pub grub people have not been forgotten when the menu was put together, there were the traditional favourites of parmagana and burger with fries. In this case they were made with top quality ingredients and love.

Mr Gen Y had the steak and said it was the second best steak he had ever had, (not sure where he had the best steak), seared to perfection on the outside and melting in your mouth tender on the inside.

Shaun and Vaughan went for the pub favourites, burger and parma respectively. I could not help myself, the chips looked so good I had to taste one, and I was rewarded with one of the best chips I have ever had - chuncky, crisp on the outside and ever so fluffy on the inside.

I went down the fish route and had blue eye with scallops - so fresh I wondered if it had swam in down the Merri Creek.

To add to this fine fare, we shared a large bowl of winter vegetables, carrots, parsnips, brussels sprouts and potato.

The serves were generous and even with four fine appetites between us, we could not finish our winter vegies, nor could Shaun finish his burger. We were in great need of a doggie bag.

Those of us who could find a wee bit of space, squeezed in some of the outstanding flourless orange cake, and of this not a crumb remained.

Would we go back in a hurry? Probably not, this is a place to savour, to go when you want to feel special, the quality of the food and the prices reflect this. However, it was so good that the Cafe Club passed a motion that in 2011, we may transform ourselves into the Pub Grubbers and instead of trying a cafe a month, we very well might try a pub eatery per month. And if any of them come to anywhere near the standard of the Terminus, we will be very happy campers.

Terminus Hotel, 492, Queens Pde, Clifton Hill, Vic. 9481 3182
Terminus Hotel on Urbanspoon

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