Pub fare hits the spot

Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES - Ver­dict:

The FATs (as it is col­lo­qui­ally known) has had a mixed rep­u­ta­tion in the past but ru­mour had it that it was pretty fam­ily-friendly th­ese days and worth a Fri­day night stop off. It’s a large pub and we set­tled our­selves at the far end next to the much an­tic­i­pated toy box. How­ever, on mak­ing our­selves known at the bar and seek­ing menus we were asked to move to the other end as a group had booked the ta­bles. They let us take the toy box with us but some re­served signs would have saved us the bother of mov­ing all of the jack­ets and an­cil­lary gear. Once we put our or­der in at the bar Karl was able to catch up with some of the neigh­bours for a yarn and the kids pulled ev­ery­thing out of the toy box (colour­ing and cards mostly). As more fe­male pun­ters and even a cou­ple of other kids turned up we felt a lit­tle more at home. No wine list here but a cou­ple of op­tions for each of the main va­ri­eties. I opted for old favourite Oys­ter Bay ($8.50) while Karl was de­lighted to have his beloved Speights on tap and even went so far as to or­der a jug as it was on a happy hour spe­cial ($8.50). There’s a se­lec­tion of sev­eral lam­i­nated menus at the bar and we were guided to­wards the ju­nior menu, din­ner and snacks, plat­ters and piz­zas. The chil­dren had a choice of some mind bog­gling items in­clud­ing a yeti burger and grilled gob­lin nose, which ac­tu­ally trans­lated into a chicken burger and bangers and mash. The meals were $12 each, the fish (hoki) was over sea­soned and the meals were very big for chil­dren.A bit smaller with a drink would have been bet­ter value for money. There were the tra­di­tional steak or deep fried pub op­tions for adults. Karl or­dered the Moroc­can chicken burger ($18) which had some pretty great flavour from the mango chut­ney and aioli and the slice of ba­con was en­joyed. The serv­ing of chips could have been big­ger though (it was smaller than the chil­dren’s). My Ca­jun fish and prawn salad ($19.50) was just what I needed. A great sized salad con­tain­ing lots of yummy sur­prises (av­o­cado, man­darin), while the fish was nicely spiced. It was clear ef­fort was made in pre­sen­ta­tion of all the dishes and they were a great mix of colours with a bit of cre­ativ­ity thrown in. We asked for dessert but were told it is not avail­able at present, how­ever a scoop of ice cream each was found for the chil­dren. Staff were friendly but busi­nesslike. Fri­day night is ob­vi­ously one of the big ones at the FATs al­though an as­sort­ment of an­nounce­ments around the bar (and in the toi­lets) tell of a num­ber of func­tions be­ing held at the venue dur­ing the week. The chef was ob­vi­ously un­der some pres­sure and over­hear­ing some snarls within the kitchen while pass­ing by the open servery wasn’t very com­fort­able.

The FATs serves clas­sic pub fare, but puts some ef­fort into mak­ing it just a wee cut above. There were some small nig­gles with the meals and ser­vice but man­age­ment and staff are ob­vi­ously work­ing hard to cre­ate a com­fort­able at­mos­phere and a menu con­tain­ing lots of choices.

Frank­ton Arm Tav­ern 14 Yewlett Cres, Frank­ton Phone: 03 442 2099 Li­censed: yes Hours: 11am till late Rat­ing: Food: 2.5/4 Ser­vice: 3/4 At­mos­phere: 1.5/2 To­tal: 7/10 Re­viewed by: Deb­bie Jamieson

De­li­cious: The Frank­ton Arms Tav­ern’s Ca­jun fish and prawn salad and

Moroc­can chicken burger.

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