14 Jan Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld
After a weekend trip to the Grampians we dropped into the Royal Mail Hotel for lunch on the way home.
The bar has the cheapest menu options, but it isn’t open on Mondays so we ate in the bistro instead. It seems like the bar/bistro/restaurant are all in the same large room, just different menus for different areas.
Dad ordered the special of the day, which was a beef short-rib with a dashi glaze, capsicum, a leafy veggie related to cabbage and a long, bulbous shaped plant (I forget the name but it was sourced from Port Fairy. It may be called glasswort/samphire), which added saltiness.
I picked the Flinders Island lamb with potatoes, charred onions, olives, capers and rocket.
We weren’t sure if the mains by themselves would be enough so we also had an entree: slow cooked egg, salt fish and mussels, potato and fish crackling.
The entree serving size was small, but I can’t say it was completely unexpected. It was, however, a lovely treat with the different textures and tastes combining well.
The lamb was nicely cooked, and to accompany the succulent meat was a white, herby accompaniment that helped to add a refreshing note to the flavoursome sauce.
The dashi reduction on the short-rib was very tasty and it was a shame there wasn’t more of it. Just as the waitress said, the bulbous-looking plant did add saltiness to the dish, but I found that even when eating it with the beef, the dish seemed to lack the flavour punch that the lamb had.
While it was more expensive than the average restaurant, I was honestly expecting more pricey menu considering it’s a three-hatted restaurant. Although the short-rib was disappointing, the entree and the lamb shone through. I’m still interested in trying their degustation…but maybe after I start earning some money.
Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld
98 Parker St
(03) 5577 2241