THERE’S been a bit of controversy down south of late about the Seaview Hotel, rebadged as The Local, with some South Freo-ites harrumphing it’s not their local as they head instead to the other South Freo pub.
Having had a very average meal at The Local back in January, I too had vowed never to return.
But those are words I’m happy to eat after a very enjoyable lunch in the revamped bottleshop, now The Garage.
Back in the mid-‘80s this was a popular spot for Sunday sessions, with families flocking and kids bopping to bluegrass, often by Jim Fisher and his band.
The mellow, old-brick walls are still there as is the part-alsynite roof, with some funky additions, including raw timber plank walls, massive hanging baskets and a forest of greenery in huge pots.
Like the good old days, a group of us headed down for lunch last Sunday, to be greeted by friendly and efficient staff. We were seated next to a palm tree that almost touched the soaring ceiling.
The wine list has improved since January, and a couple of us sipped on the house dry white (a very quaffable $7), while the blokes went for a mix of ales and ciders.
There were two menus, one for the garage and the other for the rest of the hotel, which was a tad annoying as it meant half our mob headed to one till and the rest to the other.
My baby brother stuck to the garage’s brunch menu, ordering the breakfast parma ($19): “The meat was very tender, and the savoury tomatoey sauce really good,” he said after tackling the huge plate topped by two smiley eggs.
The pumpkin, corn and quinoa burger is on both menus and was magnificent, with red onion, chutney and smoked saffron yoghurt ($19.50). It certainly needed two hands to handle this vego whopper, and it had a fantastic smoky taste.
D’Angerous Dave was in seventh heaven to discover sardines on the menu and ordered them a la bruschetta ($12), which came on a slab of locally made bread, with basil, olive, tomato fig saba and lemon oil.
The last two members of the party went for a good old fish and chips, the fish served in the currently trendy long, thin slices, encased in perfectly crisp and golden batter.
Inside, the old hotel has been revamped with a whiskey bar, with deep, red leather-look lounge chairs and settees, and a couple of dining areas added to the existing pavement tables.
It deserves a second look.
by JENNY D’ANGER
282 South Terrace, South Fremantle
open 7 days lunch to late, and brunch Sat/Sun