*Thank you Sophia from FCBA for hosting and inviting us to this lovely event. Special thanks to Burwood Hotel for having us.
With a killer location smack bang in the centre of the fairway of travellers, lies the Burwood Hotel. It has been standing since 1923 and has since become a common watering hole for locals.
As expected, times have changed a lot since 1923, including the opening of the casual eatery on the hotel’s main floor. Burwood Eating House hosts an eats meets west vibe, reflected in the seating area and the menu.
The hosts had organized an array of starters followed by a main of our choice so we certainly had a feast ahead of us.
You can never go wrong with arancini balls. The eating house makes a beautiful starter filled with mushroom, pumpkin and a healthy serving of rosemary. The arancini had a nice crisp exterior with a warm rice filling. Personally, I would’ve liked a touch more cheese but I always could go for more cheese. A moreish and warming starter and certainly one I went back for a couple of times.
Korean Fried Chicken Drumsticks
The ‘KFC’ came in a huge serving, certainly much bigger than I was anticipating. Each drumstick was slathered in a sticky sweet chili sauce and the smell emanating from the dish tickled the inside of your nostrils with kicks of chilli.
The chicken itself was lovely and juicy on the inside and the sweet chilli exterior proved to a big contrast to the simple interior. Overall, well balanced and much more filling than it looks.
Spicy Chicken Katsu Bao
Pork Belly Bao
When presented with Baos it’s certainly hard to say “no” to the new popular dish.
The two Baos on offer had extremely generous servings of protein; the pork belly moreish and the chicken juicy and well seasoned.
Both Baos had a refreshing relish to relieve from the richness of the protein, the chicken with an added kick right at the end. I personally couldn’t stay away from these (I had at least 3).
Szechuan Salt & Pepper Squid
The spicy squid pieces were coated in a light crumb, adding a nice crunch to each bite. True to its name, the squid held some heat – we noticed a quick chilli kick at the end of each mouthful. This was probably my favourite element of the dish as it was a well-rounded and prominent spice which added great flavour.
Roasted Lamb Rump
The roasted lamb rump arrived pretty as a picture with a generous portion of lamb perched above a bed of vegetables. The light sprinkle of pomegranate was a pop of colour amongst the rest of the dish.
The lamb itself was a nice cut with a natural robust flavour that lamb often holds. Personally although I do like my lamb pink, I feel this could’ve done with a minute or two longer on the heat as it was a little too chewy and hard to cut through.
Nonetheless, the lamb took on the flavour from the seasoning, the jus and it balanced well amongst the pomegranate.
The Burwood Hotel have a number of steak cuts on their menu, and you can pair them with familiar pub-style sauces such as mushroom, Diane and gravy.
The NYC steak came a medium rare as requested, complete with a touch of charring that lent some smokiness. The steak was tender and well seasoned – a reasonable choice to enjoy over a few beers.
Chocolate Fondant, Black Sesame Ice Cream
As desserts began to fill the table my eyes were drawn immediately to the chocolate fondant. Knowing full well it concealed a gooey and melty secret, I was instantly captivated. As we cut into the dessert I was pleased to see the filling ooze out slowly from the inside of the dish.
Best eaten warm, this dish was a great example of a good fondant. Personally I felt that the black sesame ice cream could’ve been replaced with a vanilla ice cream which would’ve cut through the sweetness a touch better than sesame could.
Ginger Creme Brulee, Ginger Ice cream
This dish should come with a disclaimer; ‘Please note, we’re serious about the ginger’.
The creme brulee smacked you in the face with ginger which worked surprisingly well amongst the creamy custard interior. The ice cream had a milder and creamier combination which otherwise cut through the strong ginger flavour. I personally would’ve welcomed a complimenting flavour such as orange.
I’m looking forward to seeing Burwood grow and develop over time and starting from the Burwood Hotel, a longstanding landmark, we can already see the change happening. I can’t wait to visit this little suburb more and now I know I can always get a good feed at the Burwood Hotel.