Thursday, 16 May 2013

A Win(e) for the Carrington Hotel Old City Bank Brasserie

The Old City Bank Brasserie wins over the whiners.
"Lets go for a drive into the mountains" says me the newbie to the area...  Its about sharing the vision of the day drive with LMM (lil miss morsel, 4), MLM (Mother in Law Morsel) & MM (Mr Morsel), you really don't know what to expect, especially when you are new in the region, which is the best way to review.  With the obligatory "I Spy" game underway for what seemed to be an eternity, we canned that game in lure of "nearly there"..."not far now".

On the way I was popping in and out of review sites like Trip Advisor and Urbanspoon looking for decent pub meal recommendations; the 'brief' was to find a traditional counter meal, I really felt like whole flounder, chips and salad, hard to get.
We negotiated the way and tracked to the location of The Carrington Hotel in Katoomba.  Although a few years back, past reviews had been less than favorable, the more recent were in favor of a 'peak my curiosity' visit.

So we found a park and jumped out of the car, donned on the jackets, looked up and saw a great entry point in our journey; "Deli /Cellar".  I just left my beloved job as deli manager in Qld, so it was nice to squander through the deli delights and a cellar full of local drops and hard to find wines.  The 'must have' labels were all in there, and I found a new outlet for my condiments. A lovely truffle infused selection as well as a hard to get Italian pasta range. A little pricier than what we used to sell items for, however, each to their own.

The local wines were well priced and there was considerable selection of them.  There was a small area for eat in cake and coffee, quite limited but they are obviously there to do what they do best; and that's deli lines and wine.
After feeling the urgency to move along by the 'morsels' we said goodbye to the friendly faces at the counter, assuring them we would be back and ventured around to the Old Carrington Hotel.
Complete with creaky floorboards and grand rooms, I counted 5 pianos and quite a few patrons.  A classy old girl that still has plenty of life, showcasing tradition to the utmost.  Didn't get much of a hello here, but we were having a sticky beak.

The brasserie sits next door, right on the street, the downstairs bar was fairly vacant, but the hustle and bustle was upstairs.  It was all go on the top floor with lots of full tables, luckily for us there were a couple spare and we were greeted by busy yet accommodating waitstaff.  Drink orders were taken after a short while, although the stout had to be pulled downstairs and usually it takes a while to settle and top up. The 'morsels were just starting to whine when the drinks arrived..Phew..

With a decent choice for kids meals, we decided on 'worms' (spaghetti bolognese $8.50), we chose the Beef & Guinness pies and a Banker Burger for us, (no flounder here) . All meals were very well sized.   LML had a fantastic serving of exceptionally tasty spaghetti (hate to say it but better than my own), it probably should of been out before ours, however, it was fresh. MLM & I had the Guinness pie (way too much for us but I got in first and palmed half of it to MM hehehehe), complete with chunky pieces of meat and decent gravy, the pastry is always a favorite and this time was no different. It was well seasoned and perfect for the cool mountain weather.  The burger was high and mighty and served up with chips. We were in no rush; we ate, we drank we talked and all was good in the world.

Old Bankers Burger w/ bacon,cheese & tomato sauce served with fries $15

Beef & Guinness Pie, chips & salad $19

After a great deal of belly rubbing, plates were cleared in a timely manner.  The staff were busy, but not so that they couldn't see us requiring any attention if needed.  The open kitchen was professional, with no banging of pots or loud voices; it displayed a cool calm collected team.
For an area surrounded by local product, it was a shame not to see the obvious use of local sources, even the wine list was lacking in local wines from Orange & the Central Highlands, which were carried by the deli.

p.s we did go back to the deli and indeed purchased truffle honey & local wines...

The Breakdown is;
Price:$$ - $7 to $24
Type:Bar/ Brasserie
Alcohol:Wine list available/ bar/ beers on tap
Service:Dine in
Payments:AMEX, Diners Club, EFTPOS, Mastercard, Visa
Features:Child Friendly, Live Music, Grand Hotel w/ cocktail bar/ piano bar
Use of Local product:NO

Brasserie Lunch Menus
Brasserie Dinner Menu

Carrington Hotel on Urbanspoon