Lunch Date at The Villager

Mike and I decided we would need to wind down a little after our written GP exam last Wednesday. We booked a 50% off lunch deal for Gastrobar at The Villager Hotel ahead of time and were seriously looking forward to checking out a new place and having some good food.

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We showed up nearly 40 minutes before our reservation time but were happily shown to our seats and given menus.

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For drinks, Mike tried a 4 Pines Pale Ale for the first time that he was quite happy with.

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I got a Lychee Lime Mint Frappe. Refreshing, although lychee flavour was completely overpowered by the lime and mint. I ordered this drink specifically for the lychee so it was a little sad not to taste it at all!

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We shared a plate of Crisp Pork Belly cooked in a sticky caramel, orange & chili sauce. Although the pork belly had a nice crisp and the sauce was sticky and delicious – I dont think the meat was actually cooked in the sauce (rather tossed in it once cooked) because the flavours were not infused into the meat.

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BIG Bad Boy Chips were piping hot, crispy and delicious with the jalapeno aioli

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For mains, Mike ordered the Lamb Cutlets with chunky potato gems, smoked aubergine, yoghurt & spinach leaves. Lamb was nicely cooked although way too much sprinkled salt. His mouth was burning a little by the time he finished his meal. He also wasn’t a fan of the potato gems, they were chewy/starchy and had such an odd texture!

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I got the Morcilla & Manchego Kiev – stuffed chicken breast served on king brown mushrooms with chunky pumpkin & mushroom puree. Chicken was perfectly cooked and I loved the perfect crisp. I wish there was more of the black pudding and cheese stuffing though, I could barely taste them. The pumpkin was delicious and the mushroom puree was thick and full of flavour. Would’ve liked more mushrooms than 3 little slivers though, especially when the menu says, “served on king brown mushrooms.” 🙂

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Gastrobar invites you in with a relaxing atmosphere and a great selection at the bar. Definitely the kind of place we would revisit with friends for drinks to unwind after a long day. Food was overall delicious with great presentation but a little pricey at regular price (ie. $9 for side of chips).

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The only negative aspect of our visit: We were overcharged around $15 and lucky had a receipt to prove it. When we returned a few minutes later to ask for the difference, an employee who just started her shift wouldn’t listen to our explanation and kept interrupting, insisting the bill was correct until the 3rd or 4th attempt at pointing out the mistake. Everything was completely fine in the end, but it just left us with a slight sour taste in our mouth.

The Villager on Urbanspoon

50% off @ The Greek Club

We had the opportunity to dine at The Greek Club – Odyssey Taverna + Bar for 50% off – thanks to Urbanspoon’s Weekly Flash Specials! I received the promo email because I’m an Urbanspoon member, but these deals are open for everyone! 🙂

Our dinner reservation was for March 04 at 5:30pm. We were initially a little confused when we arrived because it was completely empty but turned out we were just the first guests to arrive. The Greek Club has a nice outdoor seating area with a view of the kitchen and out to the park. Since it was a rainy evening, we opted to sit indoors and check out the restaurant ambiance.

Our server, Vincent, was friendly and prompt with his service. He advised us which options were not available that night as he gave us the menus, which we appreciated. He also confirmed that our 50% off special was applicable to any food item on the menu (drinks are regular priced), which was great because we were expecting to only be able to choose from a selected number of choices.

We started off with a glass of Greek wine each. Rose for me and a red for Mike. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the brands we chose and they don’t have their drinks list online.

Without much hesitation, we decided on the Greek Delight platter for two (reg price $35/person). Delightful indeed, it included a selection of: grilled haloumi cheese, calamari, dolmades, chicken souvlakia, lamb cutlets, spanakopita, pita bread & dips, and Greek salad. Vincent explained that the pita bread and dips would come out first, followed by the salad and everything else on a large platter.

Warm, thick, chewy pita bread – delicious! Loved that I could taste the fact that it was heated over a charcoal grill. The homemade three dips were (left to right) eggplant, taramosalata (made with fish roe) and tzatziki sauce (yogurt & cucumber) – all of which were tasty!

By now there were other patrons in the restaurant and 2 more servers looking after the diners. We noticed that the servers would check up on us from afar to see how far along we were with the pita bread and dips to alert the cook to start on our platter.

We were not disappointed. The platter was piping hot when it came out. And huge, there was so much food!

  • The lamb cutlet was cooked beautifully – so nice and tender.
  • I always love grilled Haloumi, but I especially loved the fact that this was not intensely salty like I’ve had at other restaurants.

  • The calamari (I think was actually baby squid) was the best I’ve had in Brisbane, really! The batter was nice and crisp (not overly greasy or salty) and the squid soft and tender. Yum!
  • Chicken souvlakia was well seasoned and perfectly grilled – so moist!

  • Dolmades – warm, very flavourful filling!
  • The salad was very fresh but underdressed for my tastes. However, the feta cheese was nicely seasoned and the kalamata olives were delicious!

As much as we tried, we couldn’t finish the platter AND have any sort of room for dessert. So we decided to have some of platter packed to take home in order to try some of their desserts.

I chose Baklava…

And Mike chose Poura (phyllo pastry filled with almonds and honey) and a side of icecream (only $0.50 extra! Haha).

Although the desserts were good, I did not think they were great. I have had the pleasure of eating lots of delicious Baklava in the past, and this one just didn’t measure up.

By dessert, we agreed that plating and presentation at this restaurant was not that great – but overall, the food most definitely was.

Two glasses of wine, the Greek Delight platter for 2, and 2 desserts cost us a total of $55. 🙂 Considering the platter is normally $35/person, what an awesome deal!

A really great evening with amazing food (we left so stuffed that our lungs couldn’t fully expand when we breathed) and wonderful service. The menu is also quite reasonably priced and I would definitely recommend coming back with friends. Apparently, they also have live entertainment during the weekends, so we’ll have to come back then! 🙂

         

Odyssey Cafe & Bar on Urbanspoon