Time to chill out at the Daylesford Hotel

February 24th, 2020Time to chill out at the Daylesford Hotel

IN THE centre of Daylesford, with a prominent balcony and lush beer garden, the majestic Daylesford Hotel

IN THE centre of Daylesford, with a prominent balcony and lush beer garden, the majestic Daylesford Hotel has been lovingly restored by its owners and boasts a great range of Australian and imported beers and a great wine list.

It is also the perfect choice for eating out with dinner available seven nights a week from 6pm, lunch Friday to Sunday 12pm to 3pm with a diverse menu to suit all tastes and a range of daily specials. 

Living a life of leisure as we do, it was no problem to head along to partake in a nice Friday lunch and sample some of the drinks on offer. The obvious choice was a couple of DH sauvignon blancs at $9 a glass. It’s a light, bright easy drinking wine with distinctive fruit flavours and ideal to go with our selection of entrees.

Amanda decided on salt and pepper squid which can be found under Bar Bites on the menu at $14. The fried pieces of calamari were tossed in a mixture of crunchy stir-fried garlic spiced salt and came with nuoc cham, a classic Vietnamese-style dipping sauce. I went for the crusted silken tofu with steamed vegetables in black bean sauce, coming from the Smalls menu for $16. This is a great choice for those vegans out there who know how tasty silken tofu can be when it’s fried until golden brown, coated with a savoury, spicy and sweet chilli sauce.

For the mains, how could I pass up the pan-fried Atlantic salmon fillet? ($33) The portion was expertly grilled and placed upon a traditional nasu dengaku or miso-glazed roasted eggplant by chef Gavan Anders. Atlantic salmon has a strong flavour but was perfectly complemented by a creamy miso sauce and topped off with a wakame seaweed salad.

Naturally a good cool-climate chardonnay was in order to truly bring out the exquisite flavour of this dish and I chose the Poppet Head offering from Hanging Rock Winery at $10 a glass or $50 for the whole bottle. Why not? It was Friday afternoon after all.

Amanda settled on a Sher wagyu beef burger with chips ($26) which came served on a milk burger bun with bacon, swiss cheese, cos lettuce, tomato, dill pickle and mayonnaise. It was a hefty creation that handled well, meaning the whole thing did not come to pieces the moment you started to eat it and the wagyu patty, created from beef produced by the Sher family at Ballan, was juicy and rich. So, what do you drink when you are taking charge of a wagyu burger? Why, a Smythes Creek pinot noir of course at $12 a glass or $60 a bottle!

Time slowed, stopped, ebbed out. The afternoon light flowed softly through the stained glass windows as our thoughts turned to dessert. We contemplated the specials board and chose the queen of puddings at $15. No idle dish this one and best shared. It featured a base of bread and butter pudding with sultanas layered with a rhubarb and berry coulis topped with an ornate crown of baked meringue stars (browned with a blowtorch, I suspect). There is nothing to add here. Words fail you before the queen of puddings.

The Daylesford Hotel has a menu (and those great specials on the blackboard) that is sure to keep every visitor happy. It is a combination of classic pub meals mixed with the best flavours of Asia and not only that but with Thursday steak night and Sunday night roast there is plenty to keep folks coming back. Booking are not necessary but if you happen to have a party of eight or more, give them a call.

Words & images: Anthony Sawrey

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