The best Aussie pub meal-Swiss Mountain Hotel, Blampied.
A hidden foodie surprise in Blampied in Regional Victoria Australia. One of the best Aussie pub meals you’ll come across at the Swiss Mountain Hotel!
It doesn’t often happen, but I love it when it does, that you stumble upon an un-assuming restaurant or cafe that you don’t have high hopes for, but ends blowing you away. Tonight I experienced that in a local country pub.
Venturing to the family country property for some rest before the big Asia trip, my fella and I ventured off in search of dinner. As regulars to the area I was confident that I knew all the great places to eat and that there was little that could surprise me. That was until when we drove past the Swiss Mountain Hotel in Blampied, about 10minutes from the centre of Daylesford/Hepburn Springs. There were rumours on the local country town circuit (some stretching back for years) that it has been bought out by the local hotel/restaurant family the Frangos who run many successful ventures in the main township. I had driven past this pub many times before and had always found it closed, and therefore assumed that it was no longer open for business. However on this particular night it was finally open when I spotted a few cars parked out the front. Intrigued we decided that this would be where we would head for dinner.
Expecting to find traditional pub counter meals I had low expectations. I was surprised to see many people sitting out the front of it enjoying drinks in the early evening breeze and that the dining room was practically full. This is a little pub with nothing around it for miles! How could it be packed and so popular? This is when my intrigued was spiked.
Securing the last available table, my fella and I found ourselves in the middle of a lively dining room, surrounded by other couples and large family groups. The atmosphere was warm and positive, and everyone seemed to be at ease.
The fella whisked away to the bar and returned with a Victorian apple cider for him, and a glass of the subtle, yet impressive Pinot Noir from Little Yerring in the Yarra Valley for me.
Assuming that the menu would be standard pub fare I had little expectation for the food, but was really surprised to examine the menu and found that not only did they have more than just pub fare, that I was in trouble- I wanted to order EVERY single thing on the menu!!!! There was nothing that didn’t sound appealing and utterly delicious! Pork cutlets, slow cooked lamb, mussels or beef ribs? It was incredibly difficult to choose. All great Aussie pub meals!
The fella ended up ordering the traditional chicken parmagiana and was so impressed with the meal. The ham and tomato based sauce were of high quality and in perfect ratio of the crumbed chicken breast. The crispy chips and fresh salad were the perfect additions.
Normally in a pub I’m a sucker for fish and chips, and tonight was no different. However there were two choices on the menu- the traditional fried gummy shark with chips and salad, or the pan fried baby snapper fillet with roasted potatoes. I went with the later, being swayed by the addition of asparagus.
This meal stopped me in my tracks. It was faultless. The two snapper fillets were both perfectly cooked, so that the skin side was crispy but the fish still was juicy and flakey. The fish came topped with a tomato salsa, made with kumato tomatoes, onion and fresh basil. This perfectly complemented the fish giving it a burst of sweetness and freshness. The fish was served on top a row of perfectly pan fried asparagus, sprigs of fragrant dill, and perfectly seasoned liquid of the cooking juices from the fish, olive oil, butter and lemon. The dish felt rich without being heavy. The kipfer potatoes were the idea side dish, giving the whole meal some substance.
There was nothing I didn’t love about this dish. I would happily eat it again. Every night if I had too/ was so lucky!
This meal at the Swiss Mountain Hotel was one of those unforgettable food experiences that makes me to continue to try new dishes and new places, in search of that one perfect day where you will find perfection. This evening I found the perfect fish dish served in a humble country pub, and I couldn’t be happier. I will absolutely be back.