Monday, June 05, 2006

The post that almost wasn't- Cowra's Lachlan Hotel

I recall a few months back saying I would go a bit more into pub grub here in Oz. In the excitement of moving and going away, it was neglected. I am missing Cowra a bit. Even though work keeps me busy, we haven't made any good friends here yet. Well, in searching through memories, here is a fine example of your typical Ozzie hotel which I only got more intimately aquainted with in Cowra. (Remember hotel as in licensed accomodation, not as in 4 star sleeping establishment ... we *are* in the country here! For those who are confused, here is a link to an earlier post) In fact as you will soon see, the Lachlan's style of dining is not even labeled 'bistro'. It is more commonly known as 'counter meals' as these are ordered over the bar counter and you sit somewhere in the bar area and someone brings your order out shortly. I was way too scared to go into the few remaining ones left in Sydney due to its dim smoky interiors. However, in Cowra, everyone knows everyone and even little old ladies go in for lunch together.

The exterior of the Lachlan was only re-painted last year. It was also sold to new owners but they fortunately retained the two little old ladies who ran the kitchen. These two ladies are so quick that you have hardly placed your order and gone to the bathroom before they are calling your number! It is due to the efficiency of their service and the close proximity to the dental surgery I used to work at in Cowra that myself and some of the girls often frequented the joint.

(insert resized pic of interior here. grr blogger!! old one pushed sidebar out and now can't upload new one)

The interior is extremely dim but if you can make it out, the board has the usual menu as well as room for specials to be written up on the right side. In a tiny corner of the blackboard, it is written "Established 1843" I always thought that was prety cool. The fluoro lights on the left side is actually illuminating a salad bar with a small selection of salads. These are usually green, pasta and coleslaw. However, I always opted for the cooked vegetables because the selection changes daily. They have a million and one ways to bake, boil and roast different vegetables. I even grew to like chokoes!

The daily special is usually rissoles or some sort of casserole and you get that for a bargain $6.60 and it is served with 2 slices of bread and salad or vegetables. I did not get to have one before I left nor did I get to take better photo of the menu :( Hopefully this gives some idea anyway. There is also the daily roast for $10 and the carvery changes daily.

This was Richard's choice one Saturday that we had lunch there together. It is the crumbed snapper with veggies. It is always beautifully done, the fish still sweet and firm and moist on the inside, and a nice tasty crunch on the outside. It is on the regular menu and it is usually about $12

The lady that usually takes my order did not work on Saturday and so when I ordered the steak dianne, I was surprised when I got about half a cow on my plate.

I did not realise that the usual lady orders a half serve on my behalf and it is a nice managable size. I should have realised when I usually pay $10 instead of the usual $15 for the meal. This steak was just about hanging off the sides of the plate, and I noticed, was about the same shape as Australia (Tasmania not included). Eek! I ended up packing some home for the dogs. It is a no nonsense what you see is what you get steak. So by about halfway (though I order med rare), the jaws and tummy get really tired. It is by no means tough, just ... beefy. The dianne garlic sauce is really yummy though, and made fresh too. (One needs lots of mints afterwards)

Well, in short counter meals are a great way to get a large quick meal and they have been a way of feeding tradesmen and farmers ... since the 1800s! No pubs really close currently to where I work, thus a lot of the girls actually bring lunch in. Thus I have begun to do so too.... *sigh* guess its a lot healthier. Tuna with green salad tomorrow. Hope the scales at least show the sacrifice the gut is making this winter!

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At 3:10 PM, Blogger KirkK said...

Hi Rachel - We call these greasy spoons.....looks like a hearty meal, and I'm sure Magic appreciated the "treat".

At 11:54 AM, Blogger milgwimper said...


Oh the foods looks really good. The fish looks really nice and light, and not greasy. The steak is HUGE! LOL I bet your dogs were so very happy! :)

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Dr. Mommy, D.D.S. said...

help, what does it mean to be tagged and what do i have to do???

looks yummy, btw.

At 11:06 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

Hi Doc mommy,

A meme is a post that bloggers write because they have been tagged by someone else to do so. The topic differs and this time it is the 5 items meme so, you follow a similar format and write
5 items in my fridge etc. and you write the items applicable to yourself. I guess its a way for your blog friends to get to know you better. If you don't have 5 people to tag thats ok :) Even one is fine, some meme's I have read, they don't even tag anyone and say anyone who feels inspired can write about the topic on their blog ;) If you feel compelled, I look forward to reading about you!

Milly yeah the fish was really fresh :)

Kirk, that is interesting to know. Are greasy spoons like diners? Do they serve alcohol?

At 1:10 AM, Blogger KirkK said...

Hi Rachel - Yes, greasy spoons are just another name for a diner.

At 9:31 PM, Blogger Flatfeet said...

Darling Rachel Jie,
I am back!
oooo i've noticed I've been tagged! Gotta start writing up soon.
Those food are way too yummy....*burp*

I've not had a chance to eat Kuay Chap in Singapore.hmph*!

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Alcifer said...

Hi - I like your blog.

I wish that I was having steak, chips and gravy now!

The Impy sure will be busy in three weeks time, hey? Friday, 7th of July, is the Cowra Picnic Race day.



At 10:52 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

Hi Pinko ! Thanks for visiting :) Yeah that is indeed Cowra Picnic races day ... the day that bakeries stay up till 2 am to feed the drunken crowds and where the next day, there are lots of people passed out in places all over Cowra. The biggest party day in Cowra ;) Pity I never went to it to at least see what goes on.


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