Monday, May 18, 2015

Lynch's Hotel, Narooma

All right. My second visit to Narooma and I was hoping not to jinx it. The first time when I visited Narooma, the second night was memorable for the wrong reasons. Dead tired, we dozed off and woke up and ventured into the city at 8.30 P.M., only to find out that most of the eating out options had closed. We frantically ventured from food joint to another and alas, we found none. Eventually we had to sleep hungry.
Second visit, second day and similar situation, we wake up and head out at 8 on a Sunday evening. I had the choice of going either to Mosaic restaurant in the Whale Motor Inn or the Inlet restaurant. Now Mosaic, event though highly praised fine dining, didn't make sense to me as I couldn't eat beef and pork, which ruled out most options. Besides, it was probably too high end fine dining that I could understand much by reading the menu. We drove down to the Inlet Restaurant, which was famous for seafood. Narooma being a small fishing town and famous for the fresh produce, we thought lets go to the Inlet, overlooking the calm waters of the Waroonga Inlet. Unfortunately, at 8:10 we were sent away saying the kitchen is closed. While out of experience I didn't bother trying to use reasoning or common sense to say What da !! , why is the kitchen closed at 8 P.M.

So I raced my car back to the main Princes Highway and went to the Aussie Pub, Lynch’s. Now I hoped desperately that I get some food, even a Pizza. As I spoke at the pub and requested, I was lucky. Kitchen closes at 8.30 and it was 8.30. They were kind enough to do one last order.

The decor was of a typical Aussie pub. Wooden interiors, games and matches, and betting and the booze. I wasn't sure if I would get my mom and brother here, but surprise, they lead me into the restaurant, which was totally for family seating. Looking at the menu, I was getting a bit stunned. I expected pub food like pizzas, schnitzel,garlic bread and may be some pasta’s. but boy, the menu was unbelievably exotic. It had  Moroccan chicken, Balinese curry. And wait for it, Indian curries. Well I thought the max I can get, it a tandoori chicken pizza or and anglicized version of the butter chicken. On the contrary, the menu had a tandoori sampler on a sizzler plate, Nepalese chicken momos and chilli chicken. There was korma with chicken, Nepalese chicken curry and lamb saagwala. I was getting a bit high, seeing so many options in an Aussie pub. But then being the cynic, I knew this is probably one of those creamy curries, sweet and much to please the palates of the Aussies and locals.

So without too much expectation and happy to have found food in the first place, I ordered for a tandoori sampler and a Nepalese chicken curry. The Nepalese curry was on the recommendation of the lady taking the order.

The interiors of the restaurant, again, wooden finish and very cozy. A few big families enjoying their meals. It took a bit of time, but eventually the food arrived. The tandoori platter came on a sizzling plate. It had chicken tenderloins, lamb, and prawns, all with tandoori flavors. Loaded with strips of onions, capsicum. The prawns were good, the chicken was very well marinated and tasty. The lamb was the big chunk. I used to avoid lamb initially, because of the smell and chewiness, but off late, I do go for lamb, specially the tandoori ones. The lamb here was a big portion of meat. It was juicy for starters. A few areas were a bit chewy, but not too bad. The marination could have been a bit stronger for my liking, but then this was a good one, which had the lamb soft and juicy, not too excessively cooked, and not too over spiced. If I had it my way, I would have gone for just a little bit more cooked, and a bit more flavor.  The prawns were descent as well. So all in all a good platter and I loved it.

Next came the Nepalese chicken curry. Well the plating was wow. An inverted bowl of rice, some salad and yummy looking gregariously orange-ish red chicken curry, separated by a vertical papad. Wow. Full marks to make it look great. The rocket and the papad, all ok. The rice was jasmine. The curry,well let me tell you- it was heavenly. It was exactly the kind of curry you don’t expect to get at restaurants. I mean, you go to a restaurant, you expect thick creamy curries or over spiced curies. You don’t expect a simple gravy like the one you get at home. The simple gravy made out of only onion and tomatoes, with salt, turmeric and chilly powder, and the chicken all well fried and then with coriander. It was like the homely chicken curry which I have at home, in fact even better. One spoon and I was like stunned. Man, this cant be true. I went to Melbourne, after a 9 day fast and when I was craving for curries, I got crappy curries, in a city famous for food and so many Indians. And you come to a small town called Narooma, with not even Indians visible or Indian food, and there you end up with the most awesome chicken curry. Its unbelievable and ironic.

A travel note needs to be issued. If you are travelling to Narooma or on the way from Sydney to Melbourne or from Melbourne to Sydney, must have food at Lynch’s pub at Narooma for the most awesome curry. The curry menu is available at nights only.

I was very satisfied with the food and it hit the spot. The bill was about $45, which was not too bad at all.

135 Wagonga Street, Narooma
phone2: 02 44763 022, (02) 4476 2001
Fax: 02 4476 2247

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