THE Quarie Bar and Brasserie in bustling Hammond Park is as family-friendly as suburban pubs come.
It was the perfect place to take the new-born, three-year-old, mother-in-law and missus for a well deserved dinner after a couple of sleepless nights attending to a demanding baby.
The menu is a typically mismatched combination of fare, designed to attract all tastes. Vegetarians are catered for with a selection of starters and mains including bruschetta ($15) and Haloumi with spiced polenta cake ($21). Fish and meats rule this menu though, with a handful of modern-Asian dishes included.
None of us could agree on an entree to share so we each ordered our own.
Paula’s baked camembert ($15) was forgettable as it could have done with a few extra minutes under the salamander but Kylie’s aranchini balls ($15) were incredible. They were hot and crunchy and the sun-dried tomato and basil filling was creamy and rich. Easily the best dish of the night.
I intentionally ordered the spicy buffalo wings ($15) knowing Kylie and her mum couldn’t handle the heat. I told them they were really spicy, but they were quite mild (more for me, you see). Full of flavour though and the blue cheese dipping sauce made them even tastier.
Kylie and I couldn’t help but dive into Paula’s salt and pepper squid ($23) the moment it hit the table. It’s a standard offering but very moreish as calamari so often is when done right – not too oily and only lightly battered.
The ever-frugal Kylie ordered straight from the specials menu. Her chicken chow mein ($22) was saucy and heavy on flavour. It was full of chunky vegetables and thick noodles – nothing like that 70’s inspired, quick-dish our mothers used to throw together when we were young.
Pad Thai is my favourite Asian dish and the Quarie’s is a massive offering. The big bowl was chock full of stir-fried rice noodles, egg, firm tofu and a generous amount of moist chicken. It was delicious and would give some local Asian restaurants a run for their money.
The Quarie has a warm, friendly atmosphere with a terrific beer garden which includes lawn space for the kids to run amok, or for the bigger kids to kip if they’ve had a few to many brewskis. Don’t go expecting Michelin quality tucker, but it’s safe to say you won’t be leaving with any complaints.
by MATTHEW EELES
The Quarie Bar & Brasserie
2 Macquarie Blvd, Hammond Park
Sun – Thurs, 11am to 10pm
Fri – Sat, 11am to midnight