My partner and I shared the special of the day for our entree, but had the main-sized version. It was the meat from lamb shanks in spring roll pastry, which created half a dozen spring rolls. It was served with a fruity chutney, rice and a small salad. It was very tasty and an interesting way to use the meat from lamb shanks (last night’s leftovers?) but a bit dry – a dipping sauce instead of the chunky chutney would have improved it ($19). I chose steak for my main course. It was grilled angus rib-eye served with pinot noir jus, potato gratin and vegetables, which were broccoli, cauliflower and carrots ($31.50 for a 250-gram steak). The steak and vegetables were well cooked and nice, not amazing, but nice. I also had a side of mushrooms which were nice and juicy, but I thought three or four small button mushrooms for $5.50 was pretty steep. My partner had the pasta. It was penne pasta with a creamy sauce, housesmoked salmon, basil pesto and parmesan ($26.50). Very nice flavours but there was a lot of pasta and not a great deal of salmon. We shared a dessert, a warm sticky date pudding with locally-made fig and honey ice-cream and butterscotch sauce. Again, very nice, not unforgettable, but nice. The wine list included some local options
by the glass at a reasonable price. It was unfortunate to witness a cross exchange between waiting staff over a confused coffee order at another table and very embarrassing, I would imagine, for the diners at that table, who were tourists. Otherwise the service was very friendly, however, we were not given cutlery for our entree so had to use dirty knives and forks for our main course and we were not offered a second drink. The specials board was also too far away to read and not brought to our table, so we had to leave our table a couple of times to go and read it.
The Lake Hawea Hotel is in a stunning setting. Our table was beside the window so we had a gorgeous view over the lake. The dining room is very spacious so, while it is not intimate, there is plenty of room between the tables. The fireside sofa looks like an inviting place to sit and have a coffee or a glass of wine. The tables had white paper tablecloths which I thought was a shame, given the otherwise reasonably elegant setting.
This has been a hard review to write because the food was fine – there was nothing wrong with it at all – it was just not that memorable. So I would not rush back for the food but the hotel is in a beautiful setting and the view is breath-taking, so it is worth a visit for those reasons alone. The deck, which overlooks the lake, is also a great place for lunch on a sunny day – I had a delicious burger there last summer.
Tasty: Lamb Spring Rolls at Lake Hawea Hotel.