High St high­light

Geelong Advertiser - - TAKE TWO - with CAMERON BEST

FOOD re­viewer Cameron Best says Gee­long has some great ‘‘gas­trop­ubs’’ and the Bel­mont is right up there. Good food, good value.

Bel­mont Ho­tel 77 High Street, Bel­mont Ph: 5243 2802 Type of cui­sine: Gas­tropub

FA­MOUS FOR

Hugely pop­u­lar pub on High St.

WHAT IT’S GOT

The Bel­mont Ho­tel has been the heart and soul of the High St shop­ping dis­trict for many, many years. The fab­u­lous art deco feel has been well pre­served inside and out with din­ing and lounge rooms along­side the bar.

THE TASTE

Be­ing a pub, it would be a crime not to have some of the stan­dards on the menu, but there’s also a cer­tain flair to the dishes.

We went for the pan-seared At­lantic salmon on a le­mon and dill potato rosti with dressed rocket and a dill, ca­per and le­mon beurre blanc ($ 27.50), and the spe­cial of the day, Asian spiced pork belly on a fresh veg­etable slaw and hot and sour glaze ($25).

I must ad­mit, the dishes ini­tially looked a lit­tle like that scene out of The

Flint­stones when the wait­ress brings out a bron­tosaurus burger for Fred. They are more-than-gen­er­ous por­tions with a big hunk of meat on top.

But, while im­pos­ing, the dishes weren’t ham-fisted and each was packed with flavour.

The salmon was nicely cooked and was per­fectly ac­com­pa­nied by the potato rosti and rocket. The dill and le­mon dress­ing tied the dish to­gether, giv­ing it some at­ti­tude, and cut through the oils in the fish.

The pork belly had a beau­ti­ful Asian dress­ing cov­er­ing the veg­etable slaw and the pork was well cooked, so the fat was ren­dered out through the meat, mak­ing it de­li­ciously moist. Un­for­tu­nately, the skin was a lit­tle rub­bery still and didn’t have that lovely crack­ling crunch that would have sent this dish over the top.

THE AT­MOS­PHERE

The Bel­mont is a pop­u­lar spot and has a great at­mos­phere as a re­sult. Wait­ing staff were ex­tremely friendly and at­ten­tive, and were happy to make sug­ges­tions.

THE BOT­TOM LINE

Ex­pect to pay about $14 for en­trees and there are some tempt­ing of­fer­ings there — duck and fen­nel sausage with house-made tomato and chilli jam or a Greek-style stuffed egg­plant with a basil oil and fig vinocotto.

Be­cause it is a pub, you can cer­tainly get the clas­sic chicken parmi­giana ($16.50 for lunch/$ 22.50 for din­ner). Other mains range from $22 up to $33.

THE VER­DICT

Gee­long has some great ‘‘gas­trop­ubs’’ and the Bel­mont is right up there.

Good food, good value. Taste of food: Scored out of 10 Am­bi­ence, ser­vice, value for money: Out of 10

PACKED WITH FLAVOUR: Pan-seared At­lantic salmon served on a le­mon and dill potato rosti with dressed rocket and a dill, ca­per and le­mon beurre blanc.

Asian spiced pork belly on a fresh veg­etable slaw and hot and sour glaze.

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