We traditionally celebrate Australia Day in our household by throwing a Triple J Hottest 100 countdown pool party. Joined by our close friends we devour lots of good food, drinks a plenty and generally end our night with a short stroll to the end of the street to view the fireworks show. In the ten years we have lived in this house we have only had one year off when I had the misfortune to be rostered on to work.
On the weekend prior to Australia Day this year it was my Hen’s day. It was a fabulous day out in the Swan Valley which turned into a Hen’s night with many of us boogying on the dance floor of Geisha nightclub until the wee hours of the morning. I had an absolutely ball of a time and am so grateful for all that came to the various parts of the day and night to celebrate with me.
However what goes up must come down and the following day I seriously began to regret my stubborn choice of monstrously high shoes that I had spent the night dancing in. Within 24 hours the whole side of my neck swelled up and I could barely move my head without sharp pinching pain. After a few days in a cloud of pain killers I popped my head up out of the self-induced haze and ta-da; it was Australia Day! No party for us this year!
Having such a quiet and empty house felt like a bit of a fizzer for us so in order to liven things up the Boy suggested we walk down to our local; The Broken Hill Hotel. I donned some boringly flat shoes in a moment of complete sensibility and off we set down to the pub.
We were greeted by the sounds of the DJ spinning many dance music hits that all seemed to be released in the same year; 1989. We both found this very entertaining until we both realised that although it felt like yesterday we were dancing in the clubs to these very songs, it was indeed over 20 years ago! We really are getting old!!
Our waitress was very helpful in negotiating with the chef what could be done gluten and onion free. We started with the seared scallops served on a bed of apple purée. The chorizo was excluded as it couldn’t be guaranteed gluten free. With the second main ingredient of this dish omitted it did seem slightly unfinished however the scallops were adequately browned to a rich honey colour whilst maintaining their delicate softness within.
The chermoula prawns were the least enjoyable dish of the evening. The prawns didn’t taste very fresh and lacked that exquisite crunch that I love. After failing to taste much in the body of the prawn the Boy proceeded to suck out all the heads in a quest for something with more flavour. This was something my family introduced him to over Christmas and he is now converted to dedicated prawn head sucker for life.
Having recently subjected myself to a predominantly vegan diet for both bridal weight loss and health reasons I was desperately craving some protein. I ordered the crisp skinned salmon with pumpkin purée and broccolini. I never grow tired of this simple dish and although I would have preferred my salmon rarer, it still flaked apart delicately and had a fresh light flavour.
The Boy was also feeling a little carnivorous being that his diet generally mirrors mine as I do most of the cooking. His thick cut of Scotch fillet was succulent and it’s sweetness enhanced by the caramelised onions. I tried my hardest to get more information out of him about his dish but he was pretty keen to kick back absorb the tunes from our youth and relax. Fair call. ‘Tis a public holiday after all.
As Skyworks began to explode its fireworks extravaganza into the sky above, many punters gathered on the balcony to watch the bursts of colour in wonder. Having lived in the area for over ten years we are both a bit fireworks bah-humbug and looked to the waitress for some dessert.
During my last visit to The Broken Hill Hotel I recall there being not a single gluten free option on the dessert menu so I was ecstatic to hear that this has changed. Pannacotta never fails to disappoint me; its comical distinctly feminine wibblywobble is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. Tonight’s pannacotta was vanilla bean and was served with berries and mandarin. Although it looked like it nearly wanted to collapse on serving, it managed to hold its somewhat leaning shape long enough for the two of us to literally inhale it.
Having deprived myself of sugar for a few weeks, the dessert hit me like a shot of espresso and we power walked all the way home, barely even stopping to watch to last blasts of the fireworks between the gaps of the sky rise apartments. We were far too busy in grossed in chattering away to each other about our fast approaching wedding! Not long now!The Broken Hill Hotel 314 Albany Highway, Victoria Park WA 6100 | (08) 9361 1038 | www.brokenhillhotel.com.au Price: $$ Food: 3/5 (reasonable for pub food but could improve greatly using fresh ingredients) Service: 4/5 (bright, bubbly and a can-do attitude) Ambience: 3/5 (not bad for our local) Drinks: 3/5 (limited wine list but has some goodies on there) Total: 13/20