Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday Evening at the Kent Hotel

On a balmy Melbourne summer evening, such as the one we had last Friday, a drink and a meal at the pub is a pleasant way to end the working week.

Having arranged to pick up a
Flexicar on Friday evening after work, just across the road from the Kent Hotel, I thought it a good opportunity to try dinner there. However after making a booking at the hotel and then reading reviews of it, it was with some trepidation that I approached the hotel. I shouldn't have been. We thoroughly enjoyed our meals.

The menu at the Kent Hotel is quite extensive, offering a large range of entrees and main meals, desserts and specials board listing several extra dishes, including a seafood platter for two ($45) on the night we were there. To start with we ordered chicken polpetti and the fried saganaki with a gherkin and rocket salad and horseradish dressing.

My entree arrived as three large, chunky polpetti studded with pinenuts in a tomato sugo. I liked these but they didn't have the 'wow' factor for me. Don't get me wrong, they were good but I have very high standards when it comes to polpetti and often make them at home. Polpetti need to be absolutely amazing for me to swoon about them.

It's hard to go wrong with fried saganaki with its salty, chewy and squeaky taste and texture. However I found the side salad of gherkin, rocket and horseradish dressing a slightly unusual, even a weird combination (gherkins and horseradish, together?). I think S. enjoyed it though, even if he did say the horseradish dressing was somewhat underwhelming.

Our main meals were the stars of the evening. I ordered the parmesan crumbed veal scallopine and received a generous serve of three pieces of succulent and moist veal, cooked to perfection. These were sitting on a bed of steamed and sliced kipfler potatoes and a colourful mix of fresh, crunchy green and yellow beans, finished with butter, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Overall, I thought this was very impressive for a pub meal.

S. ordered the beer-battered Rockling with shoestring fries and a pickled onion and chilli salad. He was served two pieces of perfectly cooked Rockling in a crispy, light beer batter (did they use rice flour for the batter?) that was still moist and tender. The shoe string fries were good and crunchy, and the tartare sauce had a delicious tang and a decidedly home-made look about it. The only let down was the ordinary salad said S., but he did not let that get in the way as he tackled the entire plate with relish!

The Kent Hotel is somewhere we wouldn't hesitate to go to again. The meals were delicious, generous sizes and very good value, service was attentive and friendly throughout the evening. With a sunny aspect overlooking Curtain Square, it's a pleasant pub in which to enjoy a meal.

What we had:
Fried saganaki, gherkin, rocket and horseradish dressing $14
Chicken polpetti, tomato sugo $9
Beer battered fish fresh market fish (rockling), shoestring fries, pickled onion and chilli salad $22
Parmesan crumbed veal scallopine, kipfler potato, green & yellow beans, chargrilled lemon $27

The Kent Hotel
370 Rathdowne Street
Carlton North
9347 5672 ‎

Kent Hotel on Urbanspoon