STEP BACK IN TIME TO ENJOY A CUPPA OR MEAL AT A QUAINT RAILWAY DINING ROOM WITH BUCKETS OF LOCAL MAGIC
There’s more than a hint of old world charm at the Freshwater railway station’s Barrons Bistro. The former station tea room has been converted to accommodate modern dining, yet, as the business mantra states, it retains “a bit of country tradition”.
Effort has gone into recreating a quaint ambience of yesteryear, complete with ageing piano and a general discard for trendiness.
With seating choices of an old railway carriage (conveniently airconditioned) or tables on the railway platform (plenty of fans and natural breeze), we opt for the great outdoors.
It’s a weekday lunch and quiet, just a few tables occupied.
Our waiter brings menus (water is selfserve) and a specials board offers a couple of extra options which we momentarily consider.
Deciding salads are the way to go, my guest orders salt and pepper squid and I choose tuna and haloumi.
I hope out loud it is fresh tuna; my guest tells me not to expect it. Within no time our meals arrive. Plates brimming with food – every millimetre of surface covered in colour – are prettily presented.
My salad does indeed come with tinned tuna, but it doesn’t matter, among the forest of leaves, julienne carrot, cherry tomatoes, red onion, olives and a lattice of grilled haloumi slices sprinkled with a mix of delicate fresh herbs.
There’s a pot of soy dressing on the side and two slabs of buttered ciabatta toast for a little extra extravagance.
My companion has an equally visual feast. Thick tentacles of squid lightly seasoned and flash fried with fresh salad and chunky chips.
Did I say chunky? These are potato planks with a lightly crisp outer, fluffy inner and so decadently served with excellent aioli.
With views across the cane paddocks, Barrons is a great summer dining venue with character for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
There’s live music on Friday nights and a barbecue from midday to 9pm on Sundays with ribs, steaks and vegetarian options.
Having been so virtuous on the vegetable front, we agree on a shared dessert of pecan pie.
Served with fresh strawberry and cream and a hedonistic drizzle of chocolate, it’s home- made buttery, nutty heaven, in a substantial crumbly pastry shell.
Verdict: Quality and quantity.