MAROOCHY RSL CLUB

A NEW AP­PROACH TO THE TRA­DI­TIONAL PUB FEED

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | FOOD & WINE -

Gone are the days when an RSL club served bangers and mash or a well-done steak. A Ma­roochy­dore favourite is keep­ing the pace with an ex­cep­tional se­lec­tion of food in an up-mar­ket at­mos­phere.

The Maroochy RSL, led by head chef Gareth Collins, is lead­ing the charge with more than just the av­er­age counter meal and cheap spe­cials – all within a fam­ily-friendly en­vi­ron­ment.

Am­bi­ence and ap­peal

The Maroochy RSL is not your av­er­age club – the whole club was re­fur­bished quite re­cently and the foyer is very light, open and has great de­sign fea­tures in­clud­ing a huge wall of pop­pies and po­etry in hon­our of fallen dig­gers. The first im­pres­sion is very pos­i­tive and it looks like a mod­ern, wel­com­ing club. It is a very at­trac­tive club and has lots of glass, wood and muted tones, un­like many clubs with neon, loud car­pets and noisy gam­bling or bar ar­eas. This club is un­der­stated, am­bi­ent and on ar­rival, it feels more like you’ve en­tered an up­mar­ket ho­tel foyer.

Clean­li­ness

The bath­rooms were well-lit and easy to find with colour­ful touches and clever au­to­mated taps and dry­ers. Spot­less, too.

Pre­sen­ta­tion

Staff are smartly dressed in uni­forms and name tags, and smile as you ap­proach, giv­ing the whole club a friendly vibe. There was low-piped mu­sic through­out and plenty of ta­ble seat­ing and booths in the café. It’s more ca­sual with a big case of pre-made food but was clos­ing as we ar­rived early for din­ner which gave us no op­tion for the fam­ily to have cof­fee or food. Cut­lery and pa­per nap­kins are self-serve and they use an in­ter­est­ing buzzer that tells the staff which ta­ble you chose, so they de­liver food to you – a nice step up from the buzzers or sys­tems most clubs use.

Ser­vice

We moved into the bistro early to get a fam­ily-sized booth ta­ble and the smil­ing staff did not speak to us at all, walk­ing by. I had to go back over to the bar to or­der drinks and stood a while be­fore be­ing served as the staff cleaned at one end. Our drinks were then brought to our ta­ble but took some time and I al­most went back to check if we had been for­got­ten. We def­i­nitely felt we were “too early” and staff were pri­ori­tis­ing their prep for din­ner rush over ser­vice. The bistro area is well-de­signed and ap­pointed, with room to move and smart ta­bles, com­fort­able seats and earth tones.

Meals came out to the ta­ble quickly. We got our own wa­ter from the bar, but a waiter did bring us ex­tra cut­lery with­out us hav­ing to get up.

Food

The menu is quite large with many op­tions and some very in­ter­est­ing chang­ing spe­cials as well. We were tempted by the lo­cal seafood. There are dif­fer­ent spe­cials ev­ery night of the week, as well as a chang­ing value meal op­tion of roasted pork, beef or chicken. There were sev­eral op­tions for veg­e­tar­i­ans or di­etary needs and other clever touches – such as na­cho sauce with the huge onion rings, pearl bar­ley risotto, and the cau­li­flower and fetta salad was a big serv­ing and de­li­cious with flaked al­monds and a honey and le­mon dress­ing. Sim­ple fare yet so tasty.

We tried the slow-cooked beef pap­pardelle with red wine jus, edamame, mint and mar­i­nated fetta. Ev­ery mouth­ful was tan­ta­lis­ing, and it was so fill­ing. Fan­tas­tic value for $23. We also had Pesce Bianco: white fish with penne, ca­pers, gar­lic, chilli

and an ar­ray of herbs. It was spicier than we ex­pected and also a big por­tion. I chose the More­ton Bay bug and tiger prawn curry with steamed rice and pick­led veg­eta­bles. It was de­light­ful with very bal­anced flavours and more-ish.

Ex­ec­u­tive chef Collins is very ex­pe­ri­enced, with a long re­sume of cook­ing for ma­jor re­sorts, world lead­ers and along­side celebrity chefs.

He caught our eye and came out from the kitchen to ask how we were en­joy­ing the meals and pointed out the lo­cal pro­duce in the dish and shared how the club has a 100 per cent com­mu­nity fo­cus, giv­ing back to lo­cal causes and us­ing only lo­cal pro­duce whenever pos­si­ble.

Wine list

The range is good for an RSL club and suitably matched to the wide-rang­ing menu, with a few higher-priced op­tions by the glass and bot­tle than most clubs. Wine knowl­edge was not a strength of the staff that evening, and our bar­tender later told us she was new and bet­ter at cock­tails, which was true.

Value

The club’s ex­cel­lent food qual­ity, large por­tions and clear com­mit­ment to lo­cal pro­duce rep­re­sents great value and proved a won­der­ful din­ing out ex­pe­ri­ence. I’d highly rec­om­mend it for fam­i­lies of all ages, and then the ex­press dish, chang­ing spe­cials and bistro roast dishes are all ex­tremely good value. As we left, the café was open again, so we bought a brownie slice to try and it was moist, ob­vi­ously made that day and prob­a­bly on the premises. The ser­vice again was prompt and friendly.

Maroochy RSL is con­sis­tent across all ar­eas of the club for gen­uine ser­vice, ap­peal­ing pre­sen­ta­tion and a strong com­mit­ment to sup­port­ing lo­cal farm­ers and pro­duc­ers as well as of­fer­ing value for money.

MAROOCHY RSL

Ad­dress: 105 Me­mo­rial Ave, Ma­roochy­dore Phone: 5443 2211

Web­site: ma­roochyrsl.com.au

Hours: Open from 8am, seven days

2019 RESTAU­RANT OF THE YEAR AWARDS

PHO­TOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

TOP NOSH: Maroochy RSL Club rated highly with the Daily’s mys­tery judge, par­tic­u­larly when it came to value for money.

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