ONCE the haunt of old codgers leaning on the bar and a dining room with no diners, the South Beach Hotel was hardly a salubrious joint.
But when the South Terrace hotel was renovated and the attached bottle shop turned into a courtyard bar/eatery, things began to look up.
The whole pub was pumping when the Herald dropped in last Sunday, and the indoor tables were nearly full.
One of the most notable changes in recent years is the menu, which now caters for vegetarians and carnivores in equal measure.
My vegetarian friend’s eyes popped when she spotted a vegan quinoa fettucini ($12).
The gorgeous beetroot-coloured dish was topped with pumpkin seeds and was beautifully al dente.
Vegan pasta can be stodgy, my friend, a former chef said: “But this is not sticky and the sauce isn’t soggy. It’s just right and so fresh.”
The share-sized plate was on the small size so she added garlic bread ($8), which we all enjoyed.
“This is great garlic bread,” Brigitte said sinking her teeth into a thick moist slice.”
Meanwhile I was tucking into the chickpea and sweet potato Indian curry with naan bread ($22).
The hearty dish was packed with flavour and the chunks of sweet potato, fresh coriander and baby spinach give the curry a healthy twist.
For regular readers they’ll be no surprise that D’Angerous Dave ordered fish and chips ($23), but in his defense he needed comfort food after a two hour battle with the Internet, which continually ended with “computer says no”.
A mulled wine ($8) helped put the smile back on his dial.
Carnivores need not despair, the South Beach Hotel has a heap of meaty dishes, including porterhouse steak ($36), burgers ($22) and a steak sarnie ($23).
by JENNY D’ANGER
South Beach Hotel
396 South Terrace, South