Patonga Beach Hotel

March 31, 2013 — Leave a comment

Patonga has been an escape place for a long time now. I probably best got to know it from the time that my brother built a weekender there, spending many good times there. Invariably one meal at least will be at the Patonga Beach Hotel and one at the fish and chip shop at the front of it.

Patonga

Patonga is a sleepy fishing village at the southernmost part of the Central Coast, overlooking Broken Bay towards Palm Beach looking south-east, and the Hawkesbury River looking south. The village is on a stretch of sand with the sea on one side and Patonga Creek on the other.

Looking across Broken Bay to the cottages at Darks Corner:

Patonga - beach on sunrise

That was taken at sunrise one morning. See all of the fishing boats in the bay. The next photo was taken about the same time, looking across to the Hawkesbury.

Patonga - bay - looking towards Hawkesbury

Patonga - boat, beach and jetty

Fishing boats in Patonga Creek:

Patonga - fishing boats in the creek

Looking along the beach later in the day:

Patonga - beach & boat

And this one’s looking back to the pub on sunset:

Patonga - looking back to the pub

The Fish & Chip Shop

At the front of the Patonga Beach Hotel you can buy fish and chips, lovely thick-cut chips they prepare themselves, and wander over to the beach to eat them. Perfect.

Patonga - fish & chips

The Pub

The Place

The pub was rebuilt something like 6-7 years ago. The new pub has become a busy magnet for visits to Patonga, with people arriving via boat and car.

Patonga - hotel courtyard 2

These photos don’t show the views across to the beach and sea. It’s a picturesque setting to linger.

Patonga - Hotel courtyard 1

The Food

The popularity of the pub has meant that on weekends it’s usually necessary to reserve a table for lunch, and dinner, ahead of time.

The pub serves the usual pub standard fare, but along with that, superb seafood platters with lobsters and fish from local trawlers, and oysters from the oyster farms in Patonga Creek. In the 2012 SMH Good Pub Food Guide, Patonga Beach Hotel was awarded three schooners, top rating, considering it “best in class”. It was awarded “Best Country Pub“.

These photos were taken over time, and don’t really show off the best of the food. On the menu is usually a variety of dishes, from standard pub fare through to salads and excellent steaks and seafood.

Here’s one of their home-made pies:

Patonga - pie

The Mezze Plate:

Patonga - mezze plate 2

Fish and chips (as if you couldn’t have guessed!):

Patonga - fish & chips

Visit Patonga, go for a walk along the beach, or around the village, or around the rocks at Darks Corner, or along the Creek. There’s swimming and fishing in the sea or in the Creek. The Creek is particularly good for children. It’s tidal, so gets quite low in low tide. Kayaking up Patonga Creek has been enjoyable on many occasions (just make sure you know which way the tide is drawing the water, and which way the wind is blowing!). And then have a meal at the pub. A wonderful way to spend a day or a weekend or longer.

Details

Here are the details about Patonga Beach Hotel at time of posting. Please check their web site for more current details.

Web site http://patongahotel.com/
Address 6-8 Patonga Bay Drive, Patonga, NSW 2256
Phone 02 4379 1111
Open Restaurant Hours
Weekdays
Lunch 12.00 – 2.30
Dinner 6.00 – 8.00
Weekends
Lunch 11.30 – 2.30
Dinner 6.00 – 8.00
Menu
Patonga Beach Hotel on Urbanspoon

 

Where do you go for good pub food with a view?

Advertisements

The Baron in Castle Hill is like a breath of fresh air in the area. Good to see a place with a bit of character!

The Place

The Baron - outside

The Baron is on the outside of Castle Towers, across from the park. It’s open for breakfast and lunch every day, closing most days at 4pm, except Thursday and Friday, when it stays open for dinner and into the evening.

The Baron - inside

The industrial /retro decor looks more like Surry Hills than Castle Hill.  A pleasant change.

The Baron

The Baron - noticeboard

The Baron - counter

Menu

Here’s the current lunch menu – it changes regularly.

The Baron - menu

Good food with fresh ingredients, with a variety of options sure to suit any appetite.

Following is one side of the drinks menu.  They are also licensed, so can offer some good beers, and other alcoholic drinks, or add shots of spirits to affogato or the iced tea.

The Baron - Drinks

Food

The first time I tried out food at The Baron, I had the “new southern pulled pork roll”, which is slow braised bourbon and coke pork with a creamy red cabbage slaw:
The Baron - pulled pork

That was enough to fall in love with the place.  The sweet bourbon flavours with the pork were gorgeous, accented perfectly with the slaw.  I’d happily keep going back to keep on eating this!

On my second visit I had the Ploughmans Lunch: a selection of cured meats, cheese, fresh fruit ‘n nuts and chutney.

The Baron - Ploughmans

On the board was salami, jamon, goats cheese, apple, walnuts, a tomato-based chutney, and half a dozen light wafer crackers.  While each of the elements were quality, full of wonderful flavours, just having a few light wafers was not satisfying enough for lunch.  I would have preferred a few slices of sourdough with it, and then it would have been closer to perfection.

I had to go back and prove that my original view of the cafe was correct, and this time tried the Mexican Chicken Salad: coriander, chilli, chicken, with corn, radish, cucumber & buttermilk jalapeños dressing.
The Baron - mexican chicken

As I went back to look at the salad description, I realized that I didn’t notice any coriander in there, but didn’t miss it because all the rest was so good.  The chicken was tender. There was a lot of freshly cooked corn, so it still had the crisp outside to the kernels and sweet juicy insides.  The lettuce was primarily curly endive, with a few leaves of other lettuces in there.  The cucumber and radish added more texture to the salad.  The buttermilk dressing was creamy, with black pepper adding the occasional kick.

I’m not sure why it was called a Mexican salad. It did have corn, and a lime wedge.  Maybe if there was more chilli and coriander it would seem more Mexican.

It was a tasty dish, thoroughly devoured.  I was glad I returned.

Drinks

One of the things I love at The Baron is the cold-brewed coffee, served with a huge ice-cube, so that it stays cold without watering down the coffee.
The Baron - cold brewed coffee

The hot black coffee is also good. I wish this photo showed the steam rising from the coffee, which was particularly hot.
The Baron - coffee

The Baron also offers an iced tea with citrus and mint. A refreshing drink.

The Baron - citrus and mint iced tea

On Reflection

Despite some little imperfections I’ll still keep on going back to The Baron, because it’s interesting food, in a funky environment, and easily accessible. The pricing is reasonable.

A new menu is going to be released next weekend, and I’m sure there will be more good things. And then there is breakfast and the dinner menus to try.

It’s good to see people doing something different, and providing tasty food with quality, fresh ingredients.

Details

Here are the details about The Baron at time of posting. Please check their web site for more current details.

Web site / Facebook http://www.whoisthebaron.com/ / https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Baron-your-local/223535157704991
Address Shop 461, 4-16 Castle St, Castle Hill, NSW 2154
Phone 0401 498 877
Open Monday – Wednesday 7:30am – 4pm
Thursday & Friday 7:30am – 11pm
Saturday & Sunday 7:30am – 4pm
Menu Breakfast / Lunch: $5-16
Dinner: Around $11-30
See the menu for more details.
The Baron on Urbanspoon

 

Where is your favourite industrial-feel cafe?