Top End chef David Taylor gives you a taste of the good tucker to be found in the Territory
ADDRESS: 89 Mitchell Street, Darwin PHONE: 8942 0873 MANAGER: Giuseppe Pinna CHEFS: Trent Menzies and Jacob Lowe ENTREES: $7 to $12 MAINS: $15 to $40 OPEN: Every day for lunch and dinner STAR QUALITY: 4.1/5
What do you do with a guy who is so passionate about food he drops out of a Forensic Science degree to follow his love of cooking? You praise this young man’s wise decision and eat lots of his food. Chef Trent Menzies is worth following. Leaving uni to go to the Gordon Institute of Culinary Arts didn’t please his folks, but Darwin is a happier place because of that decision.
This is one of the smaller pub venues on the Mitchell Street strip. It’s an intimate place and a great spot for a decent lunch or pub-style dinner. The usual rules apply — order and pay at the bar, and meals will be brought to the table.
I was impressed at the selection on the menu. Everything from light snacks, mini burgers, chips and sandwiches to a full-blown 500g rib-eye steak that has trouble fitting on a plate, although you would expect that with a $40 tag. But don’t fear; full meals start at just $15 for lasagne and most dishes are in the mid $20s, so it’s good value.
I was also impressed with the small but wellthought-out wine list, with a good choice at non-gouging prices. We settled into a Gentleman’s Collection Cab Sav, which was right on the money
We dined on a Thursday evening. We noted that our table was to be moved by 8.30pm to make room for salsa night. I was glad we left enough time to enjoy our meal, as it does tend to get busy on special nights.
This place is attached to Discovery Nightclub, so weekends are full of fun and revellers. But if you are going to a show, it’s the perfect spot to get in an early pre-show feast.
I ordered the obligatory T-Bone. This was a full and generous cut cooked to a perfect medium. I like pink and no blood for this cut. Chef Trent did a sterling job. Served with chips, a beautifully dressed salad and one of the best pepper sauces I’ve had in a while.
The lamb shanks here are big, and boldly flavoured with a chunky rich, dark onion gravy. They sit proudly on creamy mashed potato, which works a treat with the green beans and broccoli. Fit to quell the hungriest beast.
Mr Steak Sandwich Man did not disappoint, and his usual pub meal did not disappoint either. Happiest with a face full of sauce and a mouth full of “the lot”, it was declared pretty damned good. Judging by the clean plate, he meant it.
We enjoyed our meal here and will return when we go to Darwin Entertainment Centre again. Give this place a go, if for nothing else than to praise Chef Trent for his altruistic life choices.
Trent Menzies dishes up a hefty portion of slow-cooked lamb shanks at The Lost Arc
Left: steak sanga. Top: lamb shank. Above: T-bone steak