I must be getting old(er) because I’ve become a big fan of going out for lunch in the weekend, rather than dinner.
Why? Well, some positives: Lunch is more relaxed. Plus there’s more light in restaurants, which means it’s easier to take photos – always important to a food blogger. It’s nice being home in the evenings, particularly when the weather is shit, as it has been this year. And in addition, lunch tends to be a bit cheaper and some restaurants do lunch specials (oh joy!).
But there are negatives: I can’t eat as much at lunch time. And having a big lunch means I skip dinner. (Although maybe I should put this in the positives column?)
Speaking of big lunches, we recently caught up with Maria and Daz for lunch at the Station Hotel. The Station Hotel in Footscray is in a building that was built in 1864, and was reinvented a few years ago as a gastro pub. Food wise, there’s an emphasis on steak, pub food, and food with French influences.
We took far, far too long to decide on what we wanted to eat because the menu is quite varied. When we finally decided, we all opted to have soup for starters.
Alastair, Daz and Bro had the French onion soup ($10).
Maria had the seafood chowder ($15).
While I had the Provencal fish soup ($10). It came out piping hot, and with two toasts and mustard. There was a strong presence of fennel, though the aniseed element wasn’t overwhelming, and it was smooth and rich.
For mains, Alastair and Daz had steak. I can’t remember which cut it was exactly now, but I think it was the 200g Goulburn Valley (VIC) grass fed Black Angus tenderloin ($38). This was served with salad and hand cut chips. Both of them requested their steak medium-rare and that’s how it came out – perfect. I wish I had taken a photo of the inside to show you. I know I shouldn’t have been surprised since Station Hotel do have an emphasis on steak, but so many places seem unable to cook steak the way it’s requested. On the occasions where I do eat steak, I sometimes order it rare, knowing that it will come out medium-rare!
Both of them enjoyed their steak, with Alastair claiming that it was among the best steaks he’d eaten. Result.
Maria and Bro had the Braised pig’s trotter “Pierre Koffmann” with veal sweetbreads, morels, pomme mousseline and Madeira sauce ($32). God, this dish was INSANE. The trotter had been deboned, and then stuffed with the sweetbreads mixture, and then cooked until it was super, duper tender. It was very gelatinous and fatty – and also very delicious! It somehow all worked with the sweetness of the sauce, and the richness of the stuffing. The pomme mousseline was silky smooth and tasted like there was a scary amount of butter in it.
This was a massive dish though, and could have easily fed two people. Both Maria and Bro struggled to finish it. Well, Maria struggled and was defeated half way through, but Bro bravely soldiered on, refusing to leave something so delicious behind. What a hero!
I had the Station Hotel’s rare breed Welsh Black beef and Guinness sausages with colcannon ($28). I loved the colcannon (mashed potato with cabbage or kale) – I think it was kale in mine, and the earthiness of the vegetable helped offset the smooth creaminess of the potato. The sausages were also good, two big fat ones. My only small criticism is the sausage casing was a bit tough, but there was no criticism about the flavour – they tasted fantastic.
Phew. After our mains we were all absolutely stuffed and couldn’t even think about dessert. In hindsight, perhaps we should have skipped the starter or shared the mains.
I think the food at the Station Hotel is really, really good and generously proportioned. It’s a bit more expensive than a regular pub, but it’s definitely worth the extra bucks.
For more on Station Hotel, check out these blogs:
[googleMap name=”Station Hotel” width=”600″ height=”300″ directions_to=”false”]59 Napier Street, Footscray, VIC, Australia[/googleMap]
59 Napier St
Phone: 9687 2913