The Conservatory: Just the place for that special lunch or dinner
An exciting dining experience has arrived in Hamilton with the official opening this week of a new `a la carte restaurant, The Conservatory. The freshest ingredients is the starting point for all dishes with everything prepared onsite under the direction of a head chef and sous-chef who together have more than 20 years' experience in hospitality. Two of the most popular mains since the restaurant's soft opening last week have been the Bacon-wrapped Apricot Chicken and the Venison & Blue Cheese Burger. You'll find pork, fish, vegetarian and steak mains too. Plus some enticing entree selections and salads. Then there are The Conservatory weekly seasonal specials and some tempting desserts. Check out the separate lunch/brunch menu and the carefully chosen wine selection. Probably the most interesting aspect of The Conservatory is that the new upmarket table service restaurant is an extension to the popular Hamilton Workingmen's Club in Commerce St, Frankton. But forget what you may think you know about oldfashioned club food and service. The Conservatory is a long way from chips with everything or collect your food from the counter when your number is called. It is even a step-up from the club's wellfrequented carvery, which will continue unchanged along with the popular bistro. “The Conservatory will establish its own identity as our new restaurant at the HWMC,” says club manager Ken Marcum. The colour scheme, d´ecor, and design of the 80-seat restaurant are certainly more down-town dining than social club and is already receiving much positive feedback. As Ken explains, “It is not about attracting new members — although they would be welcomed — as membership is
holding steady at more than 7000. “We want to encourage our existing members to come more often for more reasons. “We are fortunate to have a strong club, a club that is constantly growing; to be relevant 10 or even 20 years from now it has to adapt, offer more than the traditional club environment,” says Ken. With the club aiming to cater more for its 30 to 50 age group, as well as everyone else, the carvery by itself is just not going to cut it, so to speak. “The Conservatory will, we hope, attract people who have a special occasion to celebrate, a wedding anniversary, a birthday or other special anniversary,” says Ken. “It is a bit more upmarket than the usual club members' restaurant that may not be quite right for that special dinner or lunch.”
Some of the Hamilton Workingmen's Club staff team at The Conservatory (from left) maıˆtre d' Dee Tengu, head chef Angela Donaldson, and sous-chef Mark Slade.
Some of the first guests enjoy the new restaurant, The Conservatory.