Thursday, March 10, 2011

THE CROWN INN Old Reynella

Continuing on from our recent round of trying different casual eating establishments, my wife and I visited THE CROWN INN, located in Old Reynella, on Old South Road. This very old Pub is right opposite the original Cobb & Co stage coach depot (Now restored) and dates back to the early colonial days of South Australia.
The Crown Inn has however had many additions and one is an excellent Bistro attached to its Pokies gaming area. I might add that it is also the closest such eating house to where we live in beautiful Old Reynella, so its surprising we did not visit it earlier as part of our round of visits.
Car park is adequate but with nice trees and plants as well as being alongside a walking park along the Field River. So there is a nice green feeling to it. The added on section is also tastefully done and does not glare against the pleasant surroundings.
After the Warradale, this was Heaven. Nice seating, good carpets, pleasant surroundings. For me the music was rather too loud and competing with the noise of the Pokies, but I was delighted that when I asked if there was a nice quiet corner we could sit at, the management actually just turned the music down. That allowed us to choose to sit where ever we liked. Very thoughtful. Far too many establishments fail to realise that if people want to chat over a meal, then loud music is of no help. Similarly music that is too low cant be distinguished and therefore becomes a blur of background sound that is meaningless and simply annoying. Fortunately the manager, who was the one that turned it down, must have had some experience in that because it turned out perfect. We could chat, people at other tables could chat, and yet the music was loud enough to provide a pleasant background.
The prices had us amazed. We chose from the lunchtime specials available to pensioners. They were far lower than the Warradale and indeed matched anywhere we have been in recent weeks. When delivered the meals were of high quality too. But more of that later.
Service was friendly and staff levels looked sufficient for a lunch time period without over doing it. That probably helped them provide such an economical menu.
All diners have access to the salad bar and after we ordered we were directed too it and invited to help ourselves. Nice selection of crispy salads plus cooked vegetables too. The baked potatoes were very nice, and we both liked the way the Broccoli had been given a light coating of creamy cheese.
The pasta salad actually had lots of taste, which is of course something we had seen lacking in virtually all the other establishments we had visited recently. There were even serves of cooked beetroot available, and a tasty coleslaw that also exceeded anything we've had recently.
Bread rolls with the meal were fresh, warm and tasty. That always helps make the experience enjoyable.
The main meals came promptly. My wife ordered roast of the day as she has done previously. This was a lamb roast that she declared tender, cooked just right and with the right amount of accompaniment. With the very adequate content of the salad bar, one would not have needed too much with it. I could see she enjoyed it.

I had 'Salt and Pepper Squid' which is a favourite of mine. It was not quite the Chinese style and I fancy was probably a personal version of it created by the Chef. But none the less it was crisp, tasty and the serve was quite good for the money. It had fried potato chips with it and after our experience at the Warradale where there had only been nine, I could not resist the temptation to count them. There were 12 large chips and one small chip! Even though still a little few in number the chips had plenty of crispy taste without being too fatty. High on the list of the best we have had recently, but another half dozen in number would have been a better accompaniment.
Drink prices were quite standard for Pubs of course. But the selection was nice.

Thursdays are T bone steak days and there were plenty of things offered to accompany them. Other Chef or daily specials were available as well as the printed menu. So all in all I think the range of meals was perhaps a bit higher than we have seen elsewhere, and for price they were definitely worth the visit. I had a curry at this establishment a few months ago and on that occasion concluded that perhaps that sort of dish was not exactly the Chef's forte! But across several visits I have never had any other meal I thought inadequate.

Although not a full house, there were none the less several tables with larger groups at them as well as some eating out for two. Considering the numbers the service was therefore fast and the staff as attentive as needed.
I would therefore certainly recommend THE CROWN INN as being well worth the visit for an enjoyable meal and atmosphere.
Best of all is that the lunch time special menu is available five days of the week. At the price it is probably one of the best bargains you will find.

We called in with my older brother for a lunch time special. Fish and chips. The number of chips had increased as I had 19  this time, while my wife and brother seemed to have a similar number each.  As with our previous visit everything ran very smoothly, the food was very well presented and the salad bar was excellent. Nobody in their right mind would expect a huge meal for the really excellent lunch time price being asked, yet it was certainly quite reasonable and was actually a larger serve than we've had at several other establishments, who charged a heck of a lot more. It exceeded the size meal offered at the Warradale or the Port Noarlunga Hotel both of which charge far more, so no complaints there.  It goes way past some other establishments because you can also have a bowl of 'soup of the day' within the price.

The salad bar makes up for it, not in variety, which is quite sparse compared to most pubs, but certainly in quality. There were not a lot of things on offer but what there were turned out to be excellent and all three of us agreed it was a good price for a good meal.

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