28 July 2008

Kalgoorlie Hotel

319 Hannan St, Kalgoorlie
Ph: (08) 9021 3046

DURING a recent trip to Kalgoorlie I had an amazing dining experience that had little to do with the food and everything to do with the sunset.

As I sat on the balcony of the Kalgoorlie Hotel and watched the sky turn from bright blue to yellow to orange and then finally to bright red, I realised that sometimes food has very little to do with having a memorable night out.

That’s not to say the kitchen of the Kal Hotel didn’t turn out a decent feed. In fact, the tucker was great, just a bit slow finding its way to our table. After getting to the hotel at about 8pm we didn’t actually eat until 10pm local time which was actually midnight to my Victorian time-zoned stomach. According to our local guide, the slow service is partly due to the slowed down pace of the outback and partly to the worker shortage in the isolate town, which is about 600km east of Perth in fair dinkum gold-mining country.

But just because Kal is in the outback, it doesn’t mean the hard-working locals settle for second-rate food. At least, not at the Kal Hotel where entrĂ©e options included a Thai scallop salad ($17), duck spring rolls ($16) and Japanese crumbed oysters with dipping sauce ($17). I went with the beef carpaccio with parmesan, rocket and lemon ($16). Admittedly I was ravenous by the time the dish arrived at our table but the beef was the melt-in-your-mouth variety and there was plenty of parmesan and rocket on top as the garnish so it was quite a filling option.

Mains included a selection of wood-fired pizzas, a tasty a wild mushroom risotto with mascarpone and Jerusalem artichoke ($24.50), grilled lamb cutlets with lemon and herbed potatoes ($28.50) and pan-fried barramundi with rice and Asian greens ($29.50). The risotto and lamb cutlets were ordered by others on my table and both looked brilliant. I opted for the twice-cooked pork with kumara mash, Asian coleslaw and chilli caramel ($30.50). The pork was first poached in a homemade stock and then oven baked and it was deliciously tender and fell apart as soon as my fork touched it.

By the time our plates were clear we were all too tired to even contemplate dessert. I’ll save that for next time I’m crossing the Nullarbor when I’ll hopefully be more in tune with the local time and be quite content to sit on the balcony of the Kal Hotel and watch the world go by and the sun go down.


- Zoe

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