On my recent hen’s weekend, we dropped into the Rosebud Hotel for a quick late lunch after a morning spent horse-riding. It’s a gorgeous art deco style building, right across the road from the beach. With a big outdoor beer garden and outdoor bar, there were heaps of people there enjoying a cold drink in the warm afternoon.
Hot after our morning horse-ride however, we elected to sit inside in the bistro, joining what looked like the entire local bowls club and a motorcycle enthusiasts club. Luckily, we managed to place our orders at the counter mere minutes before the bistro closed for last lunch orders at 2.30pm as we would otherwise have been limited to the small bites menu available at the bar.
My health-conscious friend ordered the warm cous cous salad, topped with a generous serve of grilled chicken breast. The chicken lacks that smokiness that comes with perfectly grilled meat, but other than that disappointment, the salad was quite enjoyable. The sweet potato and beets really helped to offset the bitterness of the rocket, and the ratio of cous cous and chickpeas to vegetables was just right.
Another friend ordered the pub classic of the “Roast of the Day” – thinly sliced roast lamb on this particular day, absolutely slathered with thick gravy made from concentrated powder. The highlight here was probably the roast vegetables – the crispy skin of the chat potatoes and the soft sweet potato is very more-ish especially when you’re after a simple classic meal.
After something a little bit more special than standard pub grub, one friend ordered one of the daily specials of grilled fish with greens and a polenta smash. From memory, this was around $30, so a bit pricier than the other dishes on the menu. The serving size was surprisingly small for the price though, and my friend ended up picking some of the chips off my plate to fill her up. Not the best value meal on the menu!
The fish and chips was another classic pub meal choice, especially given that we were seaside on the Mornington Peninsula! Unfortunately the fried fish wasn’t as fresh as the seaside location might suggest, and the batter was too thick and gluggy as well. My friend ended up stripping away most of the batter and eating the fish sans batter to avoid a greasy oil overload.
The arrival of my beef and mushroom “pie of the day” had everyone gasping with amazement at its sheer size. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something truly remarkable about a good pot pie that beats a normal pie, hands down every time. The chips were a bit so-so, and the salad overdressed, but there was really nothing to fault about the pie itself.
Ah, the money shot…prying off the crispy flaky puff pastry top to reveal the steaming hot, well-spiced and flavourful beef and mushroom stew mix inside. The photo doesn’t do justice to the size of this pie though – I barely touched my salad and chips, and still found it difficult to reach the bottom of this bowl.
There’s plenty of other eateries in the Mornington Peninsula that I haven’t tried yet, so I probably won’t be back to the Rosebud Hotel any time soon. There’s not too much to fault, but honestly standard pub grub can be found anywhere. I want something a bit more special on my next visit…perhaps one of the many winery restaurants in that area?