An Aussie twist on clas­sic meals

Central and North Burnett Times - - FLAVOURS ADVERTISING FEATURE - Jack Lawrie jack.lawrie@cnbtimes.com.au

THE Colo­nial Mo­tor Inn’s new restau­rant is on track to open in Oc­to­ber, of­fer­ing some­thing new to din­ing op­tions in Monto.

Ge­orgie Dekker and War­ren Drahm have been hard at work get­ting the inn ready for its se­cond pur­pose as a 60-seat din­ing venue.

With an ex­cit­ing menu that puts a mod­ern Aus­tralian twist on old favourites, the Colo­nial Restau­rant staff plan to of­fer event nights, func­tions and ca­ter­ing for par­ties.

Ms Dekker and Mr Drahm ar­rived in Monto in June 2015 with their six-year-old daugh­ter Tess af­ter mov­ing there from Cairns and fell in love with the town.

“It was the charm of a small coun­try town mixed with a great com­mu­nity spirit and fan­tas­tic lo­cals who made us feel wel­come and at home,” Ms Dekker said.

That year, the busi­ness was put on the mar­ket and the fam­ily had to re­turn to Cairns, but even­tu­ally they man­aged to pur­chase it for them­selves and took over the Colo­nial on May 15 last year.

Since then, they’ve worked hard on re­fur­bish­ing the 108-year-old build­ing, with the restau­rant as the cul­mi­na­tion of their ef­forts.

“Presently we only open a bistro to in-house guests as we’re both per­fec­tion­ists and want ev­ery­thing to look right be­fore we open our mod­ern Aus­tralian restau­rant to the lo­cals,” Mr Drahm said.

“I must ad­mit, Ge­orgie’s vi­sion has paid off, the build­ing looks amaz­ing.

“The whole at­mos­phere’s changed and it’s nice to stand back and see what a great job we’ve done to­gether.”

Ms Dekker has a back­ground in hos­pi­tal­ity and ca­ter­ing, while Mr Drahm has one in civil works and main­te­nance, which bal­ances out the needs of the busi­ness.

Where Mr Drahm has done a lot of work on the gen­eral ren­o­va­tions, Ms Dekker has been hard at work on the restau­rant menu.

There will be some cross­over with the cur­rent bistro menu but the goal is to draw at­ten­tion with an Aussie nam­ing con­ven­tion.

For ex­am­ple, ‘Nanny Goats Gruff’ is a de­lec­ta­ble goat ragu served on riga­toni pasta with a herb gre­mo­lata and a side of garlic bread.

In other words, it’s Ms Dekker’s take on spaghetti bolog­nese.

“I love to have fun with my menus and give peo­ple a new way to taste old favourites,” she said.

“For ex­am­ple, I love a reef and beef, so I thought how can I make it bet­ter?

“My so­lu­tion was the old ‘70s clas­sic car­pet­bag steak (steak stuffed with oys­ters) us­ing lo­cal Monto eye fil­let mignon and prawns and scal­lops in a tra­di­tional brandy sauce.”

This par­tic­u­lar dish will be called Bil­l­abong Bounty.

The Colo­nial Restau­rant will be open in Oc­to­ber, on a date not yet con­firmed.

For in­quiries, call the inn on 4166 1377.

PHOTO: JACK LAWRIE

PER­FEC­TION­ISTS: War­ren and Ge­orgie will open the Colo­nial Restau­rant in Oc­to­ber.

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